Today I’m going to talk about agents. Agents are experts in the publishing industry and have inside contacts with specific publishers. They know which editors are most likely to buy a particular work and can secure the best book deal for you. When you enter into an agreement with an agent they will negotiate a fair contract with the publisher for you, protect your rights and make sure you are paid fairly.
The best agents are ones that have been in the industry for many years. Traditionally, agents get paid when they sell your work. They receive 15 percent commission on your advance and royalties.
The big questions is: do you need a literary agent?
If you want to be published by any of the following publishing houses:
- Penguin Random House;
- Hachette Book Group; or
- Simon & Schuster
then you need to have an agent on your side.
Agents take on clients based on the size of the advance they think they can get. If your project doesn’t command a decent advance, then you may not be worth an agent’s time.
Not every book is published by one of the above publishing houses, or represented by an agent.
Books suitable for a traditional publisher
- Young Adult
- New Adult
In comparison, non-fiction books would only be looked at if they anticipate selling up to 20,000 copies minimum.
There are also many mid-size houses, small presses, regional presses, independent publishers, university presses, and digital-only publishers who you can check out if your books doesn’t fall into any of the above categories.
How to find literary agents
You need to research which agent is best for you. To research literary agents have a look at PublishersMarketplace.com On that website, you can search the publishing deals database by category, genre, category or a keyword to find the best agents for your work.
Until next time, I hope that helps.