Friday, April 19, 2013

Agents - What Are They Good For? Part 2

So, I finished Part 1 of this post by coming clean with my desire to be traditionally published. Don't get me wrong, I still think there are a lot of benefits to self-publishing if you have the right skills and mindset. But there's just something visceral about my desire to see my book sitting on the shelves of the local bookstore. Maybe someday that will be more in reach for the self-publishing author and for a few, it may already be possible. But I think that I need the affirmation that a professional - an agent - will give me by believing in my work.

I could go into all the important tasks that an agent takes on when she accepts a new client - editorial feedback, author branding, submission to the 'big guys', contract negotiation, foreign and film rights sales, being the author's cheerleader to some extent - but I'll leave that for future posts.

Today, I'm just thinking about affirmation.

I haven't abandoned my self-publishing goals completely - I'm working on some steampunk novellas that I'm thinking of  publishing through Amazon - but for now I'm slogging through the query trenches. Getting an agent is only the beginning of what I understand is a long and sometimes arduous process, but I accept that I'm in it for the long haul.

Bring it on!

I would love to hear any agent success stories so feel free to comment and share. Or just admire the lovely Rackham illustration below - I picked her because she looks tired, maybe because of all the querying she's been doing. See how she's cradling her tired and broken hand from pounding all those keys on the keyboard? But it's Brunhilde the valkyrie - so you just know that she'll persevere.


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