Question from Laurel: Why do you recommend authors get an agent?

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 Question from author Laurel Bradley (www.laurelbradley.com): Given that it is frequently more difficult to get and agent than a publisher, why do you recommend authors get an agent?

I cover this in more depth in Chapter 5 of my new book, “The Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters” – but here’s the short version.

1) Many of the large publishing houses won’t even look at unagented manuscripts.

2) An agent can likely negotiate more money than you could on your own.

3) An agent can sell foreign (translation) rights for you. (No work for you but more money!)

**Erin and I received more money for foreign translation rights on our first book than we did for our advance!

4) An agent can negotiate better rights for you. (Think movie rights and audio books)

5) An agent can get your manuscript seen faster. (Jump over the slush pile!)

6) An agent knows the trends in publishing. 

Those are just some of the reasons. I can tell you that I’m such an advocate of using an agent that I got an agent AFTER I got a book deal. Yes, that’s how strongly I feel they can help you.

Thanks for the question, Laurel!

2 responses »

  1. I think one of the best things about having an agent I trust would be the freedom to write and not worry about details of an industry I know very little about.

  2. You’re absolutely right. And I can tell you that the industry is changing faster than anyone can keep up with. Everything now is electronic rights, e-book, Kindle, issues with online excerpts – you name it! I wouldn’t want to be an agent right now…

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