Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Hidden Benefits of Having an Agent

In the world of children's publishing, it isn't necessary to have a literary agent in order to get a book published.  Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different sold without the assistance of an agent.  Not to say I didn't *want* one - it just, well, happened that way.  And I've loved every interaction I've had with Delacorte.

But now I have an agent.  And not just any agent - SuperAgent.  But I digress.  My reason for this post is to point out that there are many reasons why having an agent is a good idea, beyond the "hey, maybe they can get me more money" and "they have some pretty great contacts" and "agents know contracts." All good reasons, yes, but there are others:

-Agents make the wheels turn FAST.  Before I joined forces with SuperAgent, I was accustomed to waiting anywhere from 3 to 9 months for a response.  Through an agent, the response time has narrowed to - 3 weeks?  Sometimes not even that.  
-Agents can submit electronically to their contacts.  When submitting to houses prior to having an agent, I was spending hundreds of dollars a year in postage and printing costs.  Now I email manuscripts to SuperAgent, who forwards them accordingly.  Verr niiice.
-Agents are great at helping you figure out your career priorities.  I love all kinds of writing.  All kinds.  It's nice to have someone who can help me focus my energies onto the projects that sound most promising.
-Agents can go to bat for you when you're freaking out.  Most writers know this is a good reason to have representation, but imagine if you were the writer described here.  Danke, agent!  
-Agents don't just "know people" - they are match-makers.  They want to pair writers with publishing houses in a way that creates careers.  They, like you, want the publishing house to want your next book.  And the next.  And the next.  

I know there are reasons I've missed, but these are the reasons why I'm thankful for SuperAgent *this* week.  :-)  Please, list any reasons I've overlooked!  


Shelli said...

agents make your book better

agents handle the bidnez so you can just write

Kristin Tubb said...

Ooo! Good ones! Thanks, Shelli! :-)

Corey Schwartz said...

Great post. I'm twittering.

Kristin Tubb said...

Thanks, Corey! So glad you visited!