Sunday, November 14, 2010

Do You Even NEED an Agent?

Q: What are some of the pros and cons of skipping the agent and working directly with the publisher?
Look, you don't need an agent at all, if:

If you already have a lot of good contacts in the book world and know how to make even more.

If you don't mind taking a great deal of time and energy doing research, sending your work out to people and following up on it.

If you have a lot of knowledge of the market - what is selling, and to whom, and how much money they are paying for it.

If you are superb at self-editing and self-promoting.

If you know what good contracts look like & have a good literary attorney.

If you understand why subrights are important and how to exploit them.

If you are good at negotiation and awesome at asking for raises.

If you don't mind chasing down money from stubborn tightfisted companies.

If you are excellent at sticking up for yourself even in extremely tense or fraught situations.

HOWEVER, I find that most authors, while they might be able to do all or most of those things if they really wanted to, prefer to spend the bulk of their time... well, writing.  That is where an agent comes in handy. We do all that stuff so you don't have to.

Obviously, this is my perspective, and it would be; Surprise surprise, the agent thinks you should have an agent.  But I am curious - what do YOU think are the "pros and cons" of having an agent or not?