Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Do you need an agent?

I wanted to do a quick post about agents. Many writers at some point in their career ask themselves--Do I need an agent?

Short answer - No

Long answer - No, but you might really want one.

A good agent is the surest way to be certain that your manuscript will end up in the hands of an actual editor, and not just any editor, the right editor.

What does an agent know that can help me?

~ Agents know contracts and protect your rights
~ Agents negotiate better deals
~ Agents may help edit your manuscript
~ Agents can be a friend, therapist, or cheerleader

How do I find an agent that is a good fit for me?

~ when you finish that, RESEARCH some more.

Treat writing as a career

~ What you put into it is directly proportional to what you'll get out of it
~ Sign up for Free Lunch on Publisher's Marketplace, and follow trends in your market.
~ Bottom line - Know Your Trade.

What makes for a good writer/agent relationship?

~ Do they love your work? (most important thing!!)
~ Could you make it on eHarmony? ;) or do you have similar personalities?
~ Is the communication good?
~ Are the expectations established on both sides?

I'm sure some of you have things to add. Feel free! These are just some things I've been pondering lately :)


  1. Great post Jenn. I'm not to the agent point in my writing growth, but your advice is sound. In many of the books I've read to help me master my craft they all speak similar messages.

    An agent can really be your cheerleader and coach, but it is key that you are working with someone you like and trust. Thank you.

  2. I agree. In this market, we need someone who knows the ins and outs of publishing. Agents are invaluable. Thanks for the post, Jenn.

  3. I definately need an agent! Now I just have to write an incredible good story, a stellar query letter, a polished summary, and then act like a beggar to get one!!

  4. I think its good to remind us that just because an agent may be interested in you doesn't mean they're the right fit and it has to be right for both parties involved. I'm going to have to review all these posts when I start querying.

  5. I agree with Candice. I actually had an agent interested in representing me, but I found out some things about her that would have made it difficult for us to work together. For one thing she was VERY anti-Mormon and not afraid to voice her opinion publicly. I was grateful she ultimately declined to represent me. Now if I can just find that perfect match.

  6. I have a question. When trying to publish an LDS book, are literary agents out there for such a specific area? I was curious as to whether I should look for one or just submit my transcript straight to the publishing companies.

  7. Usually LDS publishers will NOT work with agents. So getting an agent if you want to publish with an LDS publisher is counter productive. Focus instead on looking up the publisher you are interested in going with and finding their guidelines and query with them instead of an agent. Hope that helps!



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