Agents and publishers

January 23rd, 2006

I realize that I'm way overdue on completing my "Writing a Book" series (links to the four parts that are up so far appear below).  However, one thing that I've not covered in any way is the subject of agents (because I've never needed one - I can negotiate deals and read contracts just as well as or maybe even better than an agent).  Since I don't like speaking on something I don't know this was a deliberate omission on my part.  However, Joe Wikert has two excellent posts about agents.

My suggestion is that you read both of these, do a lot of Google searches and find out as much as you can before you commit to an agent.

Here are a few of my thoughts:

  • Agents will cost you about 15% of what you earn - if they can't negotiate generate their keep (and more) then it's not a good deal.
  • The main thing you are paying for with an agent in their Rolodex (list of contacts).
  • In some areas of writing you won't get anywhere without an agent.
  • Agents vary - a good agent and a lazy agent are poles apart.
  • Remember, YOU are the writer, not the agent. 

I'll leave that there for now before I offend all agents out there!

My current "Writing a Book" series posts are here:


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