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  • Writer's pictureIan Brooks

Should a New Author Get an Agent?

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The answer to this is a tricky one. The history of the literary world would indicate that yes, a new author should get an agent. However, current times would suggest they aren’t necessary.

When it comes to self-publishing then of course an agent isn’t necessary. Many authors have developed great careers by publishing online through Kindle and Audible and other such platforms while also selling hard copies through Amazon. There’s no agent to take a cut out of your sales, it ensures you aren’t waiting for someone else to say your work is worthy of being published and it gives you access to a market of millions of readers. The downside is that you will have to do all the business side of being an author by yourself without any expert hand to guide you.

If you are going down the traditional publishing route, i.e. you go to a mainstream publisher and try to get them to publish your work, you don’t need an agent either. There are some serious considerations to be given before deciding on this though.

Firstly, it limits the number of publishers an author can approach. Most big publishers don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts. Then there’s the contract. Agents take care of everything to do with contracts. They know exactly how to extract the most amount of value from every deal and will take care of any legal issues. If you go without an agent, there is the possibility of being lowballed. At the same time, many authors consider this a risk worth taking as they don’t have to pay an agent.

There are successful traditionally published authors out there who don’t have agents, however it is easier to go agentless once you are more experienced and have built an established name for yourself.

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