A literary agent can catapult your book to success. They can help establish you as a professional author—and a good agent can even make a name for you on the global market!
Most publishing companies won’t even look at unsolicited manuscripts. If you submit your book to a publishing house without being represented by an agent, chances are your work will land right in the slush pile. And that’s just a more friendly term for the garbage!
Publishers generally don’t want to hear directly from you as the author. Instead, they rely on your agent. Your literary agent’s role is to sell your work to a publishing house so that your book can be mass produced and mass marketed. Their goal is to make you a huge success. That means that they earn money from your book—and so do you!
Whether you have a small target audience or are hoping to market your book globally, you might want to consider hiring a literary agent. An agent can help establish you as a successful author—and help you make good money in the process. But before you decide whether to partner with an agent, it’s important to understand what they can and cannot do.
As an author, your job is to create interesting and well-written works of art that the public wants to read. And your literary agent’s role is to show your art to the world. Agents are experts in the ins and outs of the publishing industry so that you don’t have to be.
Good book agents stay on top of industry trends. They know what people want to read and want publishers want to see. This helps them guide you and your work to success. Here’s a short list of ways your agent can help you become a renowned professional writer:
Most publishing houses won’t even look at unsolicited submissions. But they will read manuscripts that agents bring to them. So if you’re determined to become a well-known author, it’s time to start the search for a good agent. In short: if a good agent signs you as a client, you can likely expect success!
Your book agent is your partner. And when you succeed, they succeed! Most agents get paid a commission based on the contract with your publisher and your overall book sales. Because your agent’s paycheck is directly tied to your success, you can expect them to work very hard to make a name for you.
In your search for a literary agency and your specific agent, it’s important to ask the right questions. This will help ensure that you hire a reputable agent who can really help you become a successful author. It’ll also educate you on what your agent can and cannot do.
One of the biggest limitations to a book agent’s responsibilities is to help you finish your work. Although it’s possible that your literary agency will have an editor or copyeditor on their staff, it really is your responsibility as the author to complete your book. Your agent will want to see the finished product before they decide whether to sign you as a client.
Writing a book is a process. And so is hiring a literary agent! Your book deserves to be published and marketed to the public. A good agent can help establish you as a professional writer and help guide you through the publishing industry. But you will have to pay them a commission based on your book deal and sales.
The best way to determine whether to hire an agent is to decide how far you want your book to go—and to weigh the pros and cons of hiring an agent.
Literary agents are not all created equal. And it’s important that you find the right fit. Here are a few things to consider in your search to find a literary agent:
The publishing industry can be daunting. It’s not entirely set up for writers to navigate. Even if you’ve had previous success as a self-published author, you might need some assistance to learn the publishing process.
In general, a traditional publisher will not accept an unsolicited manuscript. Publishing houses receive a great deal of book samples and query letters from unknown authors. And they just don’t have the time and resources to review each one. But your agent can get your foot in the door with the publishing industry. When your agent submits a query letter and your manuscript to a publishing company, there’s a much better chance of your book getting the attention that it deserves.
There is a lot of work ahead of you if you try to publish without hiring a literary agent. You’ll need to create a very impressive submission package. You’ll have to spend a lot of time contacting publishers. And be prepared for rejection! This can be a frustrating process with a lot of negative feedback. So if you’re determined to navigate the publishing industry without an agent, you’ll have to develop a thick skin and a strong determination to find a publisher on your own.
Hiring a literary agent can really skyrocket your book’s success—and your success as a professional writer! Your agent can draw publishers’ attention to your work. They can negotiate contracts to get you a strong book deal. And many agents will even help market your book to the public!
Basically, your book agent is your guide through the publishing industry. Your agent can help with just about everything from your query letter and submission package all the way through establishing your book on the global market. You will have to pay them a commission. But it can be worth it when you see the results of their hard work!
You’ve completed your manuscript. And you’ve decided to hire a literary agent to represent you with the publishing industry and help market your book. This is a very exciting time for you as a writer! Now it’s time to find the right agent—someone who will be a great partner for you and a strong advocate for your book.
Most literary agencies will require you to send them a formal submission package. This package often includes three main components:
Your submission package is the literary agency’s introduction to you as an author. It should be professional and impressive. You worked hard on your book and you’re excited to get published. So don’t cut corners when you submit to an agency. Give your submission package the time it deserves!
It might seem like finding a book agent should be easy. Unfortunately, it can be a frustrating process filled with rejection. But don’t let that deter you! Your book deserves to be published. You just have to dedicate some time and energy to finding the right agent.
Keep in mind that your literary agent is your partner. Whether you’re a short story writer or have created a full-length novel, your agent will work hard to negotiate a book deal with a publisher. So you want to make sure that you choose an agent that you feel comfortable with. You have to be able to trust them to do what’s best for your book. And this process takes time. So be patient!
Agents are busy. Sometimes they’re so busy that they stop accepting new clients for several months at a time. And this is one of the biggest challenges that writers come across in their search for the right agent. Try not to be discouraged if this happens during your search for an agent. The best agents are often the busiest, so sometimes it’s worth the wait.
Another challenge that both nonfiction and fiction writers have to overcome is finding the right agent. Just because an agent is available doesn’t mean they’re the best fit for you and your book. So take your time—this is a big decision! Don’t rush into a partnership with a literary agency just because they’re available. Make sure they’re right for you.
One of the factors you should consider when searching for a literary agent is the cost. How much commission will they take? Will they charge extra for ancillary services such as editing or marketing?
You want to partner with a reputable agent who will work hard and charge fairly. And the first step in achieving that is to understand the costs associated with hiring an agent.
For the most part, literary agents are paid on commission. This means that an agent won’t cost you money out-of-pocket. They will instead take a percentage of your earnings from the book deal that they negotiate for you with your publishing house.
They might also take a portion of any royalties that you earn for international translations and television or movie deals. Just make sure that you closely read all of the terms with the agency agreement you sign when you partner for your agent so that you know what to expect.
Most reputable literary agents do not charge upfront costs. This is great for you as an author because you don’t have to put down any money for their service. But it does mean that you’ll see less money from your book deal. For instance: your agent might take a 10 percent or 15 percent commission from your book deal. You’ll get the remaining 85 percent or 90 percent.
Always be sure that you thoroughly understand the terms of your contract and agency agreement. You have to be aware of all costs and commissions that your agent is entitled to.
Hiring a literary agent is a big decision. You’re basically entrusting your work to a publishing industry professional. And although an agent should not charge any upfront fees, you have to make sure that it’s worth it for you to hire an agent.
If you are interested in self-publishing and are ready to put a lot of time and energy into marketing your book on your own, then you might not need an agent. But if your goal is to be a nationally—or even a globally—recognized author, it’s probably best to hire an agent. Their expertise and hard work will pay off once you have your first book deal and see those sales ringing up.
When you hire a literary agent, you are partnering with a publishing industry expert. An agent can help establish you as a prominent professional writer.
In order to sign with an agent, you first have to impress them with a stellar submission package. Elite Authors understands how important this is. Contact us today to find out how we can help you stand out and sign the right agent!