Literary Agents – What You Need To Know Before You Sign

Have you been thinking about extending your booklet into a book and finding an agent to represent you to a publisher?  If you have, there are a few things you should know before you try to secure an agent.

First, agents prefer to work with published authors who have already proven themselves within their marketplace.  If you have authored a booklet and it has sold well, you have met this criteria.  You have a waiting audience for your book.  But, this is about the only good thing you’ll have going for you with an agent.  Here’s why.

When you’re under contract with an agent, that agent will take 15% of the money your book makes for the life of your book.  That means as long as your book is in existence, every time it sells the agent gets paid off the top, before you ever see a penny.

But, money isn’t the only thing you must consider when hiring an agent.  You must also consider your cost of time.  It may take that agent months to find a publisher willing to publish your book – if they find a publisher at all.  And once they do, the publisher is under no obligation to publish your book within a certain time frame.  Most publishers will publish a book within 12 – 18 months of acceptance.

Sometimes, the publisher will decide at a later date not to publish your book.  This can be a real blow to an author who has signed the contract and eagerly anticipated seeing their book in print for months.

Finding an agent slows down the process of getting your work into print, and therefore getting money from your work into your pocket.  Not every agent will be willing sign you, and when you finally do get one you’ll be at their mercy when it comes to getting your book published.  You literally give up control of your work and the time it takes to get it to market.  In fact, finding an agent won’t guarantee your book will make it to market at all.

This is why I chose to self publish booklets.  I can get to market on my own – fast, and I don’t have the high costs associated with self publishing a full length book.  I’m in control of everything – from my titles to my cover design to how much money I make per copy sold or per deal made.  I keep every cent my booklets bring in.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

If you don’t want to give up control of your work, I would advise against hiring a literary agent or attempting to go the traditional publishing route at all.  In fact, if you’re booklet has sold well, you’ve got a waiting audience for a second booklet.  Why not take advantage of that rather than running all over creation trying to find an agent, and then waiting for months on end to see what develops from that?  Writing your second booklet will take far less time than trying to expand your current booklet into a full length book, and you’ll have two titles on the market for people to buy – which will net you much more money than your book would anyway.

As a booklet author, you’re in complete control.  Isn’t that what you really want?

To your riches!


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