December 17, 2016
A step you need to figure out early on in your career as an author is whether you want to use a literary agent or do it all on your own. I have spoken with many publishers about this very thing the past few years. With my first book, the first year I did not use an agent. Looking back that second year, I realized that I had been spinning my wheels and getting no where, so I decided to give a literary agent a try. There are, unfortunately, not many publishers out there with editors who will try to actively connect with potential writers to bring in new people. If you find one that offers you a deal that is suitable, then that would be fine. In my experiences, I could not find one, so I decided that going with an agent was the best step for me.
There are several things that are different if you decide to go with an agent. The first one is money. An agent will need to be paid. Most of their money will come from any money you earn from your book, including your royalties and anything else. There is a huge benefit, though, in that you are given access to a lot of publishers at one time and the publishers are ones that work with your agent on a regular basis. Your agent will help you go over any contract you are offered to help you make a good decision, too.
Keep in mind that, if you decide to hire an agent, you are likely going to get a lot more letters of rejection. Of course this makes sense considering that your proposal is going out to a lot more publishers now. Though the rejections were disappointing, they were also quite helpful. Most of the publishers that looked over my proposal gave me an explanation as to why my book was being turned down. It could be as simple as they didn’t like the way the book ended or that they didn’t understand something in particular about the book. When they explain why they don’t want to work with me on the book, it gave me ideas on what I could work on to make it better for the next publisher.