Finding A Literary Agent You Can Work With
Posted on 09/19/2013 Evan Swensen
So you have finally finished writing the book for which you toiled so hard and just like your newborn, is very close to your heart? And you thought that you have crossed the biggest hurdle? Well now comes the tougher part, which is to get your book printed and making it see the light of the day. For this, you would need the services of a book agent. Not just any book agent, but also someone who is good at his work. There are many kinds of literary agents and hence you have to be careful with who you choose to represent you.
To start with, do a background search on the area of specialization of the book agents. This is important since some agents work with fiction, some specialize in poetry whereas other love technical titles. Once you identify a list of agents who deal in your area of work, you would need to zero down on someone who can ensure that your interests are protected. This is difficult since finding agents who know their jobs is very difficult. It’s almost like searching for a needle in a haystack. Don’t be surprised if you keep bumping into scammers disguised as book agents. Though people like these are available in plenty, they are in it only for themselves and can be really terrible at their job.
A good book agent knows his job well, probably would have learnt it by working for some other reputed agent. That would have helped him learn the tricks of the trade by talking independently to the publishers as well as the authors. He would have the gone ahead and set up his own business. These agents toil hard and will be on your side without ever asking you for any monetary benefits. They will also do things like editing your books free of cost.
However, if you land up with a scammer, you will find that he will send you a bill even before the book hit the shelves. This is something that a genuine agent will not do. Once your book starts selling, he gets his money as a share of the amount you get from the proceeds. This can be a real-time filter of isolating a scammer from a genuine agent. Also, a scammer will make you get your revisions and editing done by a third party though it is supposed to be done by him for free. They are book agents after all and it is imperative that they should have editing skills.
In a nutshell, ensure that you do a thorough research on book agents. You should feel comfortable with them right through. However, if you feel that something is not right, switch to another one at the first opportunity. Don’t panic if you find yourself doing this often since it is important that you are working with the right person. After all it is a question of making your dream come true!
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