View Full Version : Agent interest after listing on Amazon.com

09-26-2016, 11:37 PM
Do agents walk away from a potential author relationship if the author already has the book available for sale on Amazon.com or other online retailers?

Richard White
09-26-2016, 11:40 PM
Only reason I can imagine is if you're trying to query the same book that's already for sale on Amazon.

If you have "a" book on Amazon but not "the" book, you should be good.

09-26-2016, 11:44 PM
What if it is "the@ book? Is there a way to deal with this so the agent will still want to work with the author?

Maggie Maxwell
09-26-2016, 11:48 PM
Sell tons and tons and tons of copies. Otherwise, the agent's going to find it near impossible to rehome your work with a publisher. If you have not sold any copies or only sold to a few friends, you MAY have a chance if you take it down from the sites, but it's only slightly slimmer than leaving it up. Basically, your book is already published now. Most publishers aren't interested in second publications unless the original was a huge hit.

09-26-2016, 11:48 PM
As I understand it, there are exceptions (like if the book has sold really, really well), but in general agents don't deal with already published work.

09-26-2016, 11:51 PM
Many agents don't deal with already published work. The ones who do usually only do when the sales of the self-published book are really impressive.

The best thing to do, usually, is write another book you can query, if you want to go the trade publishing route next.

Richard White
09-26-2016, 11:51 PM

Hope it's selling thousands of copies and you need a agent's help to let Simon and Schuster take it off your hands?

Sorry, I don't mean to sound flippant, but unfortunately, unless something like that is the case, the ship has sailed on your book. It's published. What can an agent do for you now? All they can do is sell reprint rights. In the future, if you think you "might" want to pursue an agent, do not publish (self or otherwise) the work you're trying to entice the agent with.

Now, there is a difference between "Hey, this publisher is interested, can I get some assistance" and "Hey, this is already available for sale at Amazon." Agents can sometimes be acquired to help out with negotiations -- a friend of mine's agent was willing to represent me on a specific assignment but I would not have been a full-time client for them (it was a media tie-in deal, not your typical situation).

Do you have another book you can query agents with?

09-27-2016, 12:07 AM
Not yet, but it is only book one of a planned trilogy.

09-27-2016, 12:22 AM
It's a catch-22. From what I hear, if your book isn't selling gangbusters than most agents or publishers won't want it.

But if your book is selling gangbusters, then why would you want to hand it over to an agent or a publisher? What can they offer that's worth the hit to your profits and the fuss?

AW Admin
09-27-2016, 12:25 AM
If you have a contract offer from a trade publisher, it's pretty likely you'll be able to sign with a legit agent. Just don't sign the contract before you talk to an agent or literary attorney (preferably an agent; they'll know more about standard agreements from specific publishers and sales and such).

09-27-2016, 12:40 AM
Thank you got some of the great comments. I'd been rejected so many times thst I wasn't willing to wait any longer. I'm glad I didn't. The issue for me now is how and where to promote it most effectively.

09-27-2016, 04:27 AM
What do you expect an agent to do for you?

* If your answer is, you want somebody to "help promote" -- you don't want an agent, you want a freelance publicist or marketing person.

* If it is "sell this book to a trade publisher", you have one of two choices: Sell THOUSANDS of copies -- MANY thousands of copies -- like, say, tens to hundreds of thousands of copies -- on your own (in which case - why do you want an agent now???) OR, remove it from sale and pretend like that never happened.

* If it is "to sell books 2/3 to a publisher whilst still having Book 1 self-published" - no way, unless you have sold the previously mentioned Tens to Hundreds of Thousands of Copies of Book 1.

09-27-2016, 04:16 PM
Would anyone in the group be willing to recommend a good publicist of thrillers?

Old Hack
09-27-2016, 11:19 PM
Would anyone in the group be willing to recommend a good publicist of thrillers?

The only ones I know wouldn't be effective at working with most self-published writers, I'm afraid.

Be careful if you take this route. It's expensive to get a good publicist, and the results are very difficult to quantify.