What to Look for in an Agent/Publisher

All too often, writers are so keen to be published that they will accept the first offer of publication without too much consideration of what the agent and publisher will do for them.

What an Agent Should Do For You

  • Validate your work, and you, as a writer by the fact that they have chosen to represent you.
  • Provide you with advice every step of the way.
  • Share their knowledge of the publication process and of the market, including e-markets.
  • Make contact with appropriate and reputable publishers.
  • Negotiate the best terms on your behalf.  Offer advocacy and fight your corner.
  • Work hard to represent you and earn their fee (usually 15%)
  • Help organise you and provide deadlines.

What a Publisher Should Do For You

  • Provide you with advice to ensure you make your work the best it can be.
  • Use their contacts in the media to help you promote your work (news, radio, magazines)
  • Organise and facilitate your book launch/es.
  • Work within their advertising budget to sell your book, using their marketing expertise.
  • Get your book into libraries and organise Public Lending Rights.
  • Get your book into bookshops, negotiating terms and monitoring sales.
  • Ensure your book reaches potential readers through social media.

What do check for before you approach them or sign up with them

  • Their ‘track record.’ Look carefully at their website and how widely available the work of authors currently on their list is.
  • Do they limit themselves by only ‘operating’ regionally ?
  • Similarly, do they limit themselves by only offering their publications in print or e-book form?
  • Check that they will be interested in your genre before you waste time submitting.

Remember this is your precious work, that you have poured ‘blood, sweat and tears’ into.  Choose carefully, making sure your choice is an agent/publisher who will best represent you as an author and champion your work.

For help in getting this stage visit www.writeanovelinsixmonths.com

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