Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Do You Need an Agent?

 
 
Do you need an agent to publish?
Time was, in kid-lit, when the answer was that you may want an agent to provide the editorial support, submitting work, negotiating contracts, and general hand-holding, but you didn’t need one.


Do you need an agent nowadays?
Today you can self-publish and even launch a small press at a fraction of the cost of what it would have been in “olden days,” only a generation back. E-books and online book retailers have made marketing a possibility. The stigma of self-publishing is also receding some, and many traditionally published authors have done well moving that-a-way. You don’t need or want an agent to self-publish.


Do you need an agent if you want to be published by a publishing house that pays you?
You don’t need an agent for many of the smaller and self-started publishers who still accept unsolicited submissions directly from writers. Medium and larger houses may still accept submissions intermittently, or through personal contact with an editor after attending a seminar or conference with them. You need a great story and persistence, and an agent would be helpful. But you don’t absolutely need one.


But do you need an agent to get a traditional contract with any imprint of a large and established publisher if you have no contacts or the budget for conferences?



Yup. You pretty much do. You need an agent to even have a smidgen of a shot at that.



Grateful for my agent. She’s the definition of persistence.

7 comments:

  1. Glad you have an agent, Mirka. Wishing you the best on her submissions for you.

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    1. Evelyn^, you are one example of just-now published by a big NYC publisher without an agent.
      Check out her book--
      https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28692082-the-twelve-days-of-christmas-in-kentucky

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  2. I'm agentless right now, but by choice. I've been burned too many times by agents and publishers, so I'm keeping total control over my career for now.

    Having said that, a good agent is a must if you get one. A bad agent is terrible for your career. You're better off with no agent than a bad agent.

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  3. I like your straight-forward question and answer format, as many people ask those very questions! I'm thankful to be working with an agent!

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  4. Most writers really want their books to be read by many members of their target audience. Those who write for adults may find a strong audience through self-publishing, but it's much tougher for children's authors. Pretty much the only way for us to get read is to get a well-connected agent who can get your books into a reputable, well-known publishing house. And Kelly is right; having a bad agent is worse than having no agent; look before you leap!

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  5. That "double agent" strip was funny! I've never had an agent and doubt I'd pursue one (unless I need help with handling rights and other complicated legal matters, but for now I'm doing okay on my own).

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