On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Thursday, July 07, 2005

About Agents

Do you need an agent?

YES! If you're aiming for a big NY publishing house. If you're aiming at small press publishing or epublishing, this is different, you don't need an agent.

It might not have been so even a few years ago (and yes, I sold HeartMate without an agent. At that time I was between agents), but I KNOW an agent would have gotten me more money and perhaps a quicker sale for Heart Thief than I did myself. Those are two reasons to have an agent. A third is that they will negotiate and you can write (but always ask questions and ALWAYS read contracts). A fourth reason is that they are usually better connected to the publishers, know what's going on, what's coming out, than an author is. Also, more and mor publishers are corporate conglomorations, and don't take unagented material.

And yes, getting a good agent can be as difficult as getting your first book published. I am now on my third.

AND, A BAD AGENT IS WORSE THAN NO AGENT AT ALL.

How can you tell if an agent is bad? They charge fees up-front. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers have a site called "Editors and Predators," here, that can help you with agents:
http://sfwa.org/Beware/agents.html

Also, I advise that your agent be a member of the Association of Author Representatives, which has a code of ethics.

Because anyone can be an agent. You could print up some business cards, send a few emails and have stacks of manuscripts on your desk by the end of the week. There is no licensing for agents. So stick with someone who has signed a Code of Ethics. Talk to their authors (and they should be touting their authors), look at their websites.

Love to all,
Robin

3 Comments:

Blogger Gena Showalter said...

Excellent points! I totally agree.

7:41 AM  
Blogger Bonnie Ferguson said...

Great post, Robin :)

10:10 AM  
Blogger sex scenes at starbucks said...

good points. I'm in a search for one myself and it's sloooow going.

5:01 PM  

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