PDA

View Full Version : Agent v. Agentless



Little Ming
05-16-2011, 06:09 AM
I think conventional wisdom tells us that if you don't know what you are doing, you find someone who does. That's why I fully intend to at least attempt to get an agent before going agentless. :D

But I know there are many writers on this board who are unagented by choice. My question is why? Did you have an agent before and decided you were better going at it on your own? Did you never have an agent? How do you manage the business side of writing? Do you submit directly to the publisher? Have contacts? Do you negotiate your own contract? Do you have someone else look it over for you? What about other legal "stuff?" Ever wish you had an agent? Is it nice to be able to keep the 15%? :tongue

Specifically, I write fantasy and I know there are some major publishers that will look at unagented mss, but the average wait time is more than a year. :( Any published fantasy novelists out who are unagented? How do you manage?

Any advice is welcome! :)

Nick Blaze
05-16-2011, 01:20 PM
This question is relevant to my interests. I'm VERY curious if there are any unagented full-time writers on the board.

I am agentless, but not by choice. Eventually I will find one, so I'm afraid I can't add much more than that to the conversation.

shaldna
05-16-2011, 01:33 PM
I don't have an agent and I was full time for a while, mostly academic writing though, so that's not quite the same thing, and, while I really liked what I did, I feel that had I been writing fiction full time I would have prefered to work with an agent because I don't have the contacts or the know how to really make the best deals. That said, I have sold all three of my books without an agent.

Undercover
05-16-2011, 04:00 PM
I went agentless for my first two books, and have an agent with the third.

The difference I've noticed is well money for one thing, and a different method of submitting. I just threw my babies out there with the first two. I have a good publisher too, but I doubt I will make a bundle of cash on it.

With an agent, not only will your ms. be better, more sellable and marketable...since they know what's on the market, they coach you too, a lot like a beta. This is how I see it. And all the places she submits it to have advances, nice ones too.

I think publishing first is a better idea. To get your name and writing out there. Many agents hesitate if you have no writing creditionals at all! But then again, if they LOVE your work, they will work with you on it. It's hit or miss with agents, and they are super picky...much pickier then publishers. They are in it to win it, soda speak, ya know?

So it all depends, if you think you have a whopper of a book that will be remarkable to the market, then only search for agents. But if you are getting rejections after rejection, you can always submit to the smaller pubs. There is benefits to it in many ways.

Your choice, hope that helped.

Phaeal
05-16-2011, 06:12 PM
I have never submitted a novel-length MS on my own. I just kept querying agents until I found the right one, because I at least want my shot at the Big Six and the other markets that, explicitly or effectively, require agented submissions.

I'm in charge of subbing my shorts (seven in circulation at the moment.) That's enough subbing for me. ;)

Libbie
05-16-2011, 06:21 PM
I feel the same a Phaeal -- I have some short fiction published, which I sold without an agent. But I currently am working on my novels with my second agent and still have not sold a book yet. I am optimistic, though. I looked into the agented vs. unagented debate before I queried agents, and I decided to go with an agent because I would like to get a large contract if possible. However, it is worth noting that a lot of small independent presses do accept unagented novels and many of them have a very high standard, produce a quality product (good editing, good covers, good distribution). Authors have won Pulitzer prizes out of small independent presses. It is entirely possible to launch a very successful writing career out of a small press, which can be tapped without an agent, but it is much more difficult.

I am not aware of any major contemporary success stories in fantasy that happened without the aid of an agent, but I don't follow fantasy very closely. They may be out there.

cameron_chapman
05-16-2011, 06:32 PM
I'm an unagented non-fiction writer (mostly articles, but I've just finished up edits on my first trad-published book), so YMMV significantly from what I've posted below. I self-publish my fiction, and at this point have no interest in finding a traditional publisher.


My question is why?
For the work I'm doing, I don't see what value an agent could bring to me. Of course, that's going to vary based on the type of writing you do.


Did you have an agent before and decided you were better going at it on your own? Did you never have an agent?
I never had an agent. I considered approaching an agent once I had a contract in-hand, but decided against it after looking over the contract myself.


How do you manage the business side of writing?
The business side of writing isn't really that complex. And in all honesty, an agent only adds a layer of complexity to a lot of businessy things (like accounting).


Do you submit directly to the publisher? Have contacts?
I was approached by the publisher based on my work for a blog that has a book series with said publisher. So I guess you'd say I had contacts.


Do you negotiate your own contract? Do you have someone else look it over for you? What about other legal "stuff?"
I negotiated my own contract. If you sit back and take a deep breath, contracts really aren't that complicated. The money side of my contract was pretty much fixed, due to the nature of the series I'm writing for, but there were other things I had to have corrected, like the due dates for various parts (they fell on weekends, I had them extended to the following Mondays), and the clause giving them first right of refusal for my next book-length work (I made sure to have it specify that it meant book-length non-fiction work, since they don't publish fiction). Mostly minor changes. But seriously, contracts aren't rocket science. Get out your dictionary, be prepared to ask questions, and dig in.


Ever wish you had an agent? Is it nice to be able to keep the 15%?
I don't wish I had an agent. I've read too many horror stories about supposedly reputable agents to be comfortable letting someone else handle the "business" side of my business. I mean, you're going to let someone else basically take over every aspect of your livelihood? I don't trust anyone enough to let them handle the money side of things. Even if, in the future, I do have an agent, my cut of royalties and advances will be coming directly to me from the publisher, and if the agent has a problem with that, I don't need to do business with them. Paranoid? Maybe. But considering that there's no regulation and no oversight for agents, do you really want to trust someone that you may never have met (and in some cases may have only spoken to on the phone once or twice) to be 100% honest with potentially thousands or tens of thousands of dollars? I guess I just don't have that much faith in people.

shaldna
05-16-2011, 06:37 PM
I just want to echo some of the things that others have said upboard, I personally feel that agents can do a huge amount in terms of negotiating contract terms and money which the author simply can't do on thier own.

Jamesaritchie
05-16-2011, 07:32 PM
Even if you do have an agent, you still need to know what you're doing. You need to know just as much about the business as your agent does, and you need to know just as much about contracts. If not, you have no clue whether you're getting a good deal, or whether you're getting ripped off, by the publisher, or by the agent, and both happen.

I don't have an agent right now, and don't plan to have one ever again. I have many reasons for this. I don't like paying an agent fifteen percent for life. It's too much money for what an agent does. I hate the way agents treat writers, and I hate the way writers allow themselves to be treated.

Too many allow agents to tell them what to write, when to write it, and how to write it. If you need this kind of help, you don't need an agent, you need to learn how to write.

I detest many of the clauses agents are starting to work into contracts, and that writers sign. Full control as long as copyright lasts, keep the fifteen percent coming in even if the book goes out of print and you have to find a new publisher with a new agent, on and on.

I hate that a great many agents out there are agents only because they hung out a shingle that says "agent", but writers somehow think they're mysterious people with special powers who know editors better than we know our own parents. The really sad thing about this is that many, many selling agents are treated the same way writers are treated by publishers. What they submit goes straight to slush, and gets sorted out by an assistant to an assistant before an editor ever gets close to it. But writers think the agent and editor are best of friends, and everything the agent submits goes straight to the editor's desk.

I've seen agent after agent after agent make deals that benefited them more than the writers they represent, and the writer usually have no clue they've been bent over.

Far, far too many agents only submit books to the tiny handful of editor's they really know well, and refuse to submit books to publishers that don't offer a large enough advance to fund the agent, even if the deal would be good for the writer in the long run.

Agents often decide to not submit a book because they don't think the time is right, or because a bigger client has a similar book going to the same publisher, or because the moon isn't yet full.

This business is just not all that complicated, and even with an agent you have to learn it, so why not learn it and do without the agent? If you need help, an IP attorney knows more about contracts, takes a one time fee, and then leaves you alone.

Roger J Carlson
05-16-2011, 08:20 PM
There's an awful lot of broad brush strokes in that thar post.

firedrake
05-16-2011, 09:22 PM
I hate that a great many agents out there are agents only because they hung out a shingle that says "agent", but writers somehow think they're mysterious people with special powers who know editors better than we know our own parents. The really sad thing about this is that many, many selling agents are treated the same way writers are treated by publishers. What they submit goes straight to slush, and gets sorted out by an assistant to an assistant before an editor ever gets close to it. But writers think the agent and editor are best of friends, and everything the agent submits goes straight to the editor's desk.

I've seen agent after agent after agent make deals that benefited them more than the writers they represent, and the writer usually have no clue they've been bent over.

Far, far too many agents only submit books to the tiny handful of editor's they really know well, and refuse to submit books to publishers that don't offer a large enough advance to fund the agent, even if the deal would be good for the writer in the long run.

Agents often decide to not submit a book because they don't think the time is right, or because a bigger client has a similar book going to the same publisher, or because the moon isn't yet full.

This business is just not all that complicated, and even with an agent you have to learn it, so why not learn it and do without the agent? If you need help, an IP attorney knows more about contracts, takes a one time fee, and then leaves you alone.



Can we see some statistics to support the above assertions please?
Some facts? Some hard evidence?

Look forward to it.

Thx.

Calla Lily
05-16-2011, 09:26 PM
Can we see some statistics to support the above assertions please?
Some facts? Some hard evidence?

Look forward to it.

Thx.

+1

Maryn
05-16-2011, 09:38 PM
James, you may recognize this: And despite all the horror stories, all the horrible agents, there are also a LOT of very good agents out there who do care about writers, who do put writers first, and who make a lot of pro writers very, very happy. There are many agents who are very good at marketing, who do keep a book out until it sells, who do everything possible to make sure the writer always gets the advantage.

Simply put, most writers do have agents, do let those agents do all the marketing, and do have long, happy, prosperous careers because of this.

You seem to have changed your tune. How did that come to be?

Maryn, ears up in sharp curiosity

Jonathan Dalar
05-16-2011, 09:45 PM
I am unagented, but not by choice. I'll get one eventually and go it that route.

I do that because the horror stories of not having an agent are at least as bad as having a bad agent. As a writer who writes some horror, horror stories intrigue me, and because they're few and far enough in between with bona fide agents, I'll stick to that route. It's worth the 15% to me.

And it's been argued often that an agent will bring you more than 15% of what you could have gotten for yourself anyway, making that whole percentage thing kinda a moot point.

Little1
05-16-2011, 09:51 PM
Even if you do have an agent, you still need to know what you're doing. You need to know just as much about the business as your agent does, and you need to know just as much about contracts. If not, you have no clue whether you're getting a good deal, or whether you're getting ripped off, by the publisher, or by the agent, and both happen.

I don't have an agent right now, and don't plan to have one ever again. I have many reasons for this. I don't like paying an agent fifteen percent for life. It's too much money for what an agent does. I hate the way agents treat writers, and I hate the way writers allow themselves to be treated.

Too many allow agents to tell them what to write, when to write it, and how to write it. If you need this kind of help, you don't need an agent, you need to learn how to write.

I detest many of the clauses agents are starting to work into contracts, and that writers sign. Full control as long as copyright lasts, keep the fifteen percent coming in even if the book goes out of print and you have to find a new publisher with a new agent, on and on.

I hate that a great many agents out there are agents only because they hung out a shingle that says "agent", but writers somehow think they're mysterious people with special powers who know editors better than we know our own parents. The really sad thing about this is that many, many selling agents are treated the same way writers are treated by publishers. What they submit goes straight to slush, and gets sorted out by an assistant to an assistant before an editor ever gets close to it. But writers think the agent and editor are best of friends, and everything the agent submits goes straight to the editor's desk.

I've seen agent after agent after agent make deals that benefited them more than the writers they represent, and the writer usually have no clue they've been bent over.

Far, far too many agents only submit books to the tiny handful of editor's they really know well, and refuse to submit books to publishers that don't offer a large enough advance to fund the agent, even if the deal would be good for the writer in the long run.

Agents often decide to not submit a book because they don't think the time is right, or because a bigger client has a similar book going to the same publisher, or because the moon isn't yet full.

This business is just not all that complicated, and even with an agent you have to learn it, so why not learn it and do without the agent? If you need help, an IP attorney knows more about contracts, takes a one time fee, and then leaves you alone.


Wow, just wow. I could not disagree more with this post. You SHOULD have a open dialog with your agent about what you are writing for several reasons. Also, *MOST*, (see that word? MOST as in almost not ALL) agents that just throw out a singngle do not last long. Your agent should be there to help YOU to make sure you don't get tricked. They *SHOULD* have spent YEARS studing under another agent. As to the agents deciding about when to publish a book. They KNOW the landskape. They have there puls on what the big publishers are ,for lack of better term, "in to". Or what is coming down. How do you know that there "bigger clinent" has not simply written a BETTER book? GAPS yes I said it. Perhaps someone wrote the book better then you. That happends, that is life, you just have to move on and write another BETTER book.

Little1
05-16-2011, 09:53 PM
+1


Can we see some statistics to support the above assertions please?
Some facts? Some hard evidence?

Look forward to it.

Thx.


+2

gothicangel
05-16-2011, 09:59 PM
James, you may recognize this: And despite all the horror stories, all the horrible agents, there are also a LOT of very good agents out there who do care about writers, who do put writers first, and who make a lot of pro writers very, very happy. There are many agents who are very good at marketing, who do keep a book out until it sells, who do everything possible to make sure the writer always gets the advantage.

Simply put, most writers do have agents, do let those agents do all the marketing, and do have long, happy, prosperous careers because of this.

You seem to have changed your tune. How did that come to be?

Maryn, ears up in sharp curiosity

:whip:

Medievalist
05-16-2011, 10:03 PM
I detest many of the clauses agents are starting to work into contracts, and that writers sign. Full control as long as copyright lasts, keep the fifteen percent coming in even if the book goes out of print and you have to find a new publisher with a new agent, on and on.

Mr. Ritchie

I realize you seem to have found a crop of rotten agents; however, most of what you've described are things that reputable agents do not do.

You're condemning a lot of people with very little reason.

Rather than condemning all agents, writers should not sign with disreputable agents.

soopykun
05-16-2011, 10:26 PM
I love my agent, he rocks.

aruna
05-16-2011, 10:38 PM
You seem to have changed your tune. How did that come to be?

Maryn, ears up in sharp curiosity


That's what I'm scratching my head about. What happened????

Maryn
05-16-2011, 11:05 PM
While I suspect that Mr. Ritchie may prefer to keep his change of mind to himself rather than defend his new opinion by revealing a negative incident with an agent or agents, I do hope he didn't get burned too badly.

Remember, James, there was a time not that long ago when you believed agents could benefit the writer and were worth their fee. Those agents are still out there, working for and with their writers.

Maryn, concerned

RemusShepherd
05-16-2011, 11:47 PM
Rather than condemning all agents, writers should not sign with disreputable agents.

I think the problem is that agents (and agencies) are becoming more and more disreputable, both because the economy has tanked and because publishing has become much more competitive. That's why you see bloggers like Dean Wesley Smith warn you against getting an agent, even though they admit that only a fraction of them are bad. One bad agent can kill your career and your checkbook. So there's a cadre of authors out there that are advising it's best not to risk any agent at all.

I think agents have an important place in the writer-publisher relationship. But with all the turmoil in publishing right now it's no wonder that the scoundrels are coming out to cheat whoever they can. The publishing world may have to go through a house cleaning to make having an agent respectable again.

gothicangel
05-17-2011, 12:12 AM
I think the problem is that agents (and agencies) are becoming more and more disreputable, both because the economy has tanked and because publishing has become much more competitive.

Do you have evidence to back this up?

Sonia Land publishing Cookson's backlist is not disreputable. Curtis Brown's Creative Writing School is not disreputable. There is certainly a conflict of interest, but definitely not disreputable.

Ryan David Jahn
05-17-2011, 01:26 AM
I don't have an agent to handle my books, though I do have one to handle any film stuff that might pop up, and I also consult with an intellectual property lawyer every time I negotiate a new contract.

I'm certainly not against agents. I've been in talks with a few since I started getting books published (by Macmillan in the UK and Penguin in the US) but am in no rush to make a decision.

My relationship with my publishers is good and (for the time being at least) I'm able to write full-time on the income from my novels.

That said, I'll continue to talk with agents and will probably settle on one before I turn in my last contracted book.

Soccer Mom
05-17-2011, 02:02 AM
Unagented romance writer here. Not really by choice. Why? Because I don't think I make enough to interest an agent. I'm happy epublishing my romance novellas.

I negotiated contracts myself. Contracts are scary. They make my palms sweat. I spend a lot of time carefully reading each clause. And I'm a lawyer.

Someday I hope to move up to bigger projects and query agents again. Quite frankly, it will be a relief to have the guidance and business management of an agent.

ChaosTitan
05-17-2011, 02:31 AM
Since I am agented and insanely happy with my agent, I don't have much to add to the OP's questions. But I did want to address this:



Many agents hesitate if you have no writing creditionals at all!

Um, not really. Almost every writer friend of mine who's signed with an agent did so with zero writing credits, myself included. If you knock their socks off with the query and manuscript, an agent won't care if you've published one book or eighteen.

And it's important to note that not all credentials are created equal.

Xelebes
05-17-2011, 03:11 AM
Do you have evidence to back this up?

Sonia Land publishing Cookson's backlist is not disreputable. Curtis Brown's Creative Writing School is not disreputable. There is certainly a conflict of interest, but definitely not disreputable.

He didn't say all agents or upcoming agents are disreputable but that there has been a shakeup in the world of books that is letting in the crooks to set up shop.

Nick Blaze
05-17-2011, 03:16 AM
He didn't say all agents or upcoming agents are disreputable but that there has been a shakeup in the world of books that is letting in the crooks to set up shop.
I swear more and more scam "agents" pop up double-fold every day.

Mr Flibble
05-17-2011, 03:19 AM
I don't have an agent.

For what I mostly write, I'm happy without, and with my publishers, and my editor. I know what she/they like. I know they like my writing. I'm happy with everything wi them. More than happy.

However, I'm wanting to branch out into more mainstream fantasy (will keep writing what I'm already writing too. But...) For that, who I'm subbing to at the moment it's...not their thing? Or rather, probably not their readers' thing. So for that, I'll be looking for an agent.

Nothing to say you have to have an agent for all your stuff, is there? (And yes, I would bring this up. If I ever got that far.)

CAWriter
05-17-2011, 04:01 AM
I do agree with this:

"Even if you do have an agent, you still need to know what you're doing. You need to know just as much about the business as your agent does, and you need to know just as much about contracts."

The rest, not so much.

My first book was purchased after being seen by an agent at a conference. I found my first agent (the only 'agency' in my genre at the time) after I got the "we want to publish your book," call.

I know enough about contracts to understand what I'm signing and to point out things that I want changed. I prefer to have an agent do the talking at those times though.

I also know that writers with agents, by and large, (obviously there are exceptions to everything so I don't want anyone coming back to give me three names of people who have written 46 books--agented--and are now doing it on their own with 6 or 7-figure advances), get better contracts than those without. I know, because I have friends who have been on both sides of the table. One friend who was a writer first, who became an editor closed the door of her office to tell me one of the biggest surprises of her new career was to see the difference in the contracts between agented authors and non-agented authors. Some were among the publisher's leading authors, but if they didn't have an agent, they didn't get as much as those who did. Another friend who was an editor and is now an agent told me the same thing.

I have access to editors; I'm good at knowing which publishers are a likely fit for different projects; I understand much about the the business. But I still prefer to have an agent on my team than going it alone.

Medievalist
05-17-2011, 04:34 AM
I think agents have an important place in the writer-publisher relationship. But with all the turmoil in publishing right now it's no wonder that the scoundrels are coming out to cheat whoever they can. The publishing world may have to go through a house cleaning to make having an agent respectable again.

A legitimate agent will happily refer you to authors they currently work with.

A legitimate agent is delighted, in fact, to talk about current author and recently contracted-and-public books.

A legitimate agent will negotiate the agency contract with you, and will talk to you wrt to contracts with publishers.

Ask agents who they represent; ask authors if they like their agent.

hillaryjacques
05-17-2011, 04:51 AM
Nothing to say you have to have an agent for all your stuff, is there? (And yes, I would bring this up. If I ever got that far.)

This is a correct assumption, and something I'm seeing more and more of, where an agented author is actively working alone on side projects.

I think it always best to run something by an agent to see if its something he/she thinks he/she can market successfully.

Now, developing a strategy for what you're going to be working on alone versus what the agent will be working on, will be a longer discussion. That's where consideration of whether to use the other projects to build a following separate from or in conjunction with the agented work will come in.

gothicangel
05-17-2011, 11:55 AM
I swear more and more scam "agents" pop up double-fold every day.

Which is what the B&BC forum - and Google - are there for.

Also, what Medievalist said.

ChaosTitan
05-17-2011, 05:43 PM
Nothing to say you have to have an agent for all your stuff, is there? (And yes, I would bring this up. If I ever got that far.)

Not at all. It's possible you'll write something your agent doesn't rep, or that you know is a good fit for a market that doesn't require an agent for submission.

But it's definitely something to discuss with your (potential) agent.


A legitimate agent will happily refer you to authors they currently work with.

A legitimate agent is delighted, in fact, to talk about current author and recently contracted-and-public books.

A legitimate agent will negotiate the agency contract with you, and will talk to you wrt to contracts with publishers.

Ask agents who they represent; ask authors if they like their agent.

Exactly. There are plenty of resources online that will help steer authors away from the scam agents.

Just like their are plenty of resources to steer you away from scam publishers, scam credit card companies, scam cleaning services, scam financial investments, scam....etc...infinity....

RemusShepherd
05-17-2011, 05:58 PM
[SIZE=2]Do you have evidence to back this up?


I cited Dean Wesley Smith. Read his blog and that of Kristin Rusch. I have no evidence of my own, I am only going by what some professional authors are stating publically. It would delight me if they're all wrong.

RemusShepherd
05-17-2011, 06:14 PM
A legitimate agent will happily refer you to authors they currently work with.

A legitimate agent is delighted, in fact, to talk about current author and recently contracted-and-public books.

A legitimate agent will negotiate the agency contract with you, and will talk to you wrt to contracts with publishers.

Ask agents who they represent; ask authors if they like their agent.

This is all true. However, I've heard about another wrinkle that's been appearing recently. Some legitimate agents and agencies are dicking around with their contracts to screw more money out of the writer. Because business is so tight, some agents are starting to look out for their agency first and the author somewhat further down the list. Asking other authors about that agent may not give you an accurate view if those authors have older and more genteel contracts.

This has nothing to do with scam agents. This is an attempt to change the accepted rules of the game to the detriment of the author. If one agency is allowed to get away with it, the others will follow suit.

Again, this is just what I'm hearing from a few different sources -- this post is probably the clearest illustration. (http://kriswrites.com/2011/05/04/the-business-rusch-advocates-addendums-and-sneaks-oh-my/)

I still think having a good agent is best. But you still have to be careful. You used to be able to trust a reputable agent to keep you away from the sharks, and now you have to treat them as potential sharks themselves.

Libbie
05-17-2011, 06:37 PM
I cited Dean Wesley Smith. Read his blog and that of Kristin Rusch. I have no evidence of my own, I am only going by what some professional authors are stating publically. It would delight me if they're all wrong.

I remember when Smith's blog post re: agents was circulated several months ago. I read it then, and I recall that the reaction I had was "It's easy for you to say that writers should go without agents, Dean. You've already established a career, and did it years ago when it was far less necessary to have an agent in order to access big publishers." Doors open for authors who have an established backlist but stay shut and barred for new writers. Whenever I see an established author touting going agent-free, I have to roll my eyes a little over how insular that opinion is.

Working without an agent may be a viable option for new authors, but getting access to the same kinds of opportunities and contracts as agented authors will take an extraordinary amount of time and effort -- the kind of time and effort that might be prohibitive for a good many new writers. Those established authors who promote going agent-free neglect to mention this, and give the impression that it's a level playing field for everybody. It's not.

gothicangel
05-17-2011, 07:10 PM
I remember when Smith's blog post re: agents was circulated several months ago. I read it then, and I recall that the reaction I had was "It's easy for you to say that writers should go without agents, Dean. You've already established a career, and did it years ago when it was far less necessary to have an agent in order to access big publishers." Doors open for authors who have an established backlist but stay shut and barred for new writers. Whenever I see an established author touting going agent-free, I have to roll my eyes a little over how insular that opinion is.

Working without an agent may be a viable option for new authors, but getting access to the same kinds of opportunities and contracts as agented authors will take an extraordinary amount of time and effort -- the kind of time and effort that might be prohibitive for a good many new writers. Those established authors who promote going agent-free neglect to mention this, and give the impression that it's a level playing field for everybody. It's not.

Libbie beat me to it. :)

I really hate it when people who should know better, say this kind of stuff. They set new writers up for a lot of heartache.

wizard tim
05-17-2011, 07:38 PM
I think there are several viable business models, and the one you choose depends entirely on your goal. When you finish your manuscript, consider sitting down with a piece of paper and pencil and write out your goal for that project.

If it's a short story, you can submit it yourself. If it's a novel, you may want to go the do-it-yourself ebook route, or you may want an agent, or you may go print-on-demand. It depends on the nature of the story, your goal and even your personality. I know writers who want to write whatever they want even if it doesn't sell much because creative control is paramount to them. Others want the support and advice of an agent. It just depends.

I think there's room here for all of us.

COchick
05-17-2011, 07:43 PM
Different strokes for different folks, I think.

I decided to go the agent route because that's what works best for me. I don't think I could handle doing submissions for my own book. I know this sounds incredibly stupid, but when I was sending out queries to agents, it was seriously a major nightmare. I'm not the most organized person, and even with an excel spreadsheet and all the details of each agent I'd contacted, it was still a mess. I'd rather be writing than worrying about finding the right editors to send my stuff to.

gothicangel
05-17-2011, 07:55 PM
Different strokes for different folks, I think.

I decided to go the agent route because that's what works best for me. I don't think I could handle doing submissions for my own book. I know this sounds incredibly stupid, but when I was sending out queries to agents, it was seriously a major nightmare. I'm not the most organized person, and even with an excel spreadsheet and all the details of each agent I'd contacted, it was still a mess. I'd rather be writing than worrying about finding the right editors to send my stuff to.

Not to mention depressing as well as stressful. If I get too stressed I lose the will to write [I suffer from depression]. Agents are bad enough, but waiting for publishers? I would rather have my agent saying, right this is what is happening . . .

ishtar'sgate
05-18-2011, 09:27 AM
[QUOTE=Little Ming;6147953]Did you have an agent before and decided you were better going at it on your own? /QUOTE]

This. He couldn't sell it, I could and was quite happy with the results. I may make another stab at getting an agent for my current WIP but as it's another historical I'll probably end up selling it myself.

elindsen
05-24-2011, 04:18 AM
Unagented romance writer here. Not really by choice. Why? Because I don't think I make enough to interest an agent. I'm happy epublishing my romance novellas.
Same here. For my adult writing, I write novellas and am perfectly happy doing so. At this time I don't need an agent. Even for my kids writing, most pubs take directly from writers because agents don't want to bother with the small advances picture books bring in.