Why Should You Hire An Agent?

 

• Agents serve as the initial screen, filtering out inappropriate, inept, and near-miss projects. Good agents match projects with prospective publishers, saving the editors from having to wade through worthy submissions that just aren’t right for their imprints.
• Agents know which editor at a given house is most likely to give you a receptive reading. Here are some things an agent will do for you:

1. Send your work to the right editor
2 Help you choose the right publisher and editor
3 Negotiate the terms of your contract
4. Make sure the publisher keeps you informed on the book’s progress.

 
1. Editorial contact
• Agents build relationships with editors. They get to know the acquisition editors and gain credibility with editors. They meet with editors at ICRS, conferences, and sometimes visit the publishing houses.
• The author can meet editors at writers conferences; some writers know as many editors as agents do. If you’re writing for several lines you may need help in managing the submissions.

 
2. Business Management
• An agent typically can get a larger advance and royalty rate for you. Signing the contract is only the beginning. You have to maintain the contract. The agent checks the royalty statement for accuracy. Also she/he can ask for the check from the publisher when it’s due.
• Subrights – TV and film rights, foreign rights, reprint rights, audio rights, serialization rights, book club sales, online electronic rights.
• Revision suggestions and pre-press information. Many times authors feel more comfortable having the agent make inquiries about the book—how it’s selling, how large the print run, options.
• The agent can negotiate multiple book deals with a publisher.
• Response time is much quicker for an agent.
• Our in-house publicist helps and advises with name identification and marketing efforts.

 
3. Career Development 

• The right agent can help your career development by associating your talent with future deals
• The agent can act as a sounding board for the author, give suggestions, and provide specific input to keep you selling. There is a lot of value in being able to discuss your manuscripts with a professional.
• Perhaps the best criterion for measuring agents is communication. You should feel your agent expresses an understanding of your work and your goals.
• Because the fiction field has become so competitive, and publishers are so busy, more and more are relying on agents. For publishers, agents act as “first readers.”
• It used to be that editors were allowed to develop authors. Now publishing is so market driven, the editors don’t have time for this anymore. It’s up to the agents.

 
4. Expectation level

• It can take months, even a year or more to sell a manuscript.
• The best way to work with an agent is to be a team player.
• Give the agent your very best work; know the market and the publishers