Do I Really Need a Book Agent?

Are you a writer who would like to get a book published? If you are, you may have heard that you should hire the services of a professional literary agent. Yes, there are a number of benefits to using a professional agent, but do you really need one??? Let’s find out.

As for whether or not you should use the services of a literary agent, there are a number of important factors that you will first want to take into consideration, the most important of those being your book.

Have you already written your book? If you haven’t, you may be at an advantage. You can still take your time and research publishers to see what they are looking for and which one may be the perfect match for you. When you are able to tailor what you write to exactly what most publishers are looking for, you are more likely to see success, even without the help of a professional agent.

If you have already written your book, it is more than possible to get published without using the services of a professional agent. What you will want to do, however, is find the publisher or publishers that are the perfect fit for you and your book. This will involve a little bit of research on your part, but if you’re strapped for cash, you will find it to be a lot cheaper than using a professional literary agent. As for how you should proceed, consider submitting to publishers who are looking for the genre that you write. If you are a science fiction writer, only send your book manuscript to publishing houses that are looking for science fiction books, as opposed to those who are requesting romance novels and so forth.

Although it is possible to get a book published without having a literary agent by your side, there are times when a literary agent is needed. For example, many of the larger, well-known publishing houses will not accept manuscripts from authors who are not working with an agent. If you have your heart set on seeing your book published by a larger, well-known publisher, as opposed to a lesser-known, smaller publisher, an agent may be in your best interest. If you do decide not to use a literary agent, just be sure not to send your book to publishers who request that their authors have agents.

If you do decide to hire the services of a professional literary agent, proceed with caution. Nowadays, just about anyone can call themselves a professional. However, that doesn’t mean that they are. You should compare several literary agents before making your decision by evaluating costs, quality, and success rates. If you are targeting a specific genre, such as the children’s market, try to find publishers that specialize in the field of children’s books.

For the ultimate level of protecting your best interest, examine literary agents who only get paid when your book gets published. In all honesty, these types of literary agents and agencies are few and far between with today’s economy, and many only extend this offer to a limited number of authors, but the upside is that you do not have to worry about losing money.

While there is no rule stating that a literary agent is required to get a book published, that doesn’t mean you cannot benefit from using the services of one. If you have questions, you know you can always give me a shout!

Until next week 💙💙

Adrienne Michelle Horn is the owner of I A.M. Editing, Ink. Although she has a full-time professional career in healthcare, she is also a South Florida-based editor, poet, author, entrepreneur, and mother of her beautiful daughter, Paris.

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