So do I really need an agent? I hear this question quite a bit. In today’s market where so much can be self-published in both print and digital forms, why would one need an agent? Maybe you don’t, but speaking for myself, I surely do. My agent has two things (and many more) which I don’t. Contacts and legal expertise. I attend one, maybe two writing conferences each year and that gives me access to a few editors and publishing professionals. My agent travels constantly, cultivating relationships with everyone who is anyone in the publishing world. These are the same people who may have need of a certain type of writer who can deliver a certain project to whom my agent can suggest yours truly. He is also privy to the developing market trends with an ear to the ground on what certain publishers are looking for. He’s connected, I’m not.
Another enormous advantage to having an agent is mine has a legal background so he knows his way around a contract. Option clauses? Worldwide rights? Copyrights? It’s so helpful to have someone working on your behalf who understands the fine print and, by the way, can lobby to have you better compensated for said contracts.
Anyone out there have an agent? What do you like about yours? Have you pursued contracting with an agent? All comments get you entered in the May drawing for a Starbuck’s Card.