A literary agent is a professional who works with authors to get their books published on the market. These representatives typically work on commission and get a cut of the writer’s profits in exchange for finding the best deals with publishers.
With the advent of self-publishing platforms and apps, a lot of aspiring writers believe that they no longer need to hire these professionals. However, there are quite a few benefits in knowing how to get a literary agent and working with them to get your book to your target readers.
Here are the reasons why you need to use a literary agent:
- Their Extensive Network
These professionals take the load off of socializing for aspiring writers, which is a relief for introverts because it’s their job to secure contacts and get to know who’s who in the industry. When you hire them, you automatically enjoy their extensive network and open yourself up to the possibility of being published by a renowned house.
Agents also have a list of the best people to submit your work to depending on your genre. They’ll be the ones to pitch your manuscript to publishers or editors and seek to land you the best deal. Because they work on commission, you can be assured that they’ll be looking for the most lucrative contracts on your behalf.
- Their Industry Expertise
Literary agents take the time to study the ins and outs of the market so that they can help authors navigate through the industry. They’re equipped with the knowledge and skills to balance the responsibility of dealing with publishers while providing support to writers.
These representatives have a trained eye in spotting works that’ll sell thousands of copies. With this, they can offer you insights on how to refine and improve your book to suit your target readers’ tastes as well as increase the book’s marketability.
Literary agents also have in-depth knowledge of the legal aspect of the industry. They can help you manage and understand your contracts as well as advances and royalties. Moreover, these professionals can make you aware of your rights as an author, which is immensely helpful for young writers.
As with any other employee, you must screen literary agents first and interview them before assigning them to the task of finding you a publisher or editor. It takes a lot of trust to partner with a representative, so be mindful of the traits that they should have, such as:
- Professionalism – A literary agent must reply to your emails timely and communicate with you respectfully. These signs show that they take their profession and their clients seriously.
- Transparency – One major red flag in dealing with literary representatives is that they don’t provide updates about the status of your project. The agent you work with must keep you in the loop on which publishers are showing favorable signs and which ones are less likely to book you.
- Sales Acumen – Their track record is an excellent indicator of their business-savviness. A seasoned agent will have lots of success stories on their belt. However, you shouldn’t also ignore the hunger of new representatives in proving themselves and earning commissions.
- Passion – Your literary agent must be enthusiastic about your work. They must inspire authentic confidence in your work so that they can entice publishers to have a look at your manuscript.
- They Provide a Seal of Quality
Agent-approved writings, especially from representatives who have established their reputation in the industry, have a stamp of quality. It means that you’ve caught the trained eye of these professionals, and they see potential in you.
- They Offer Emotional Support
Literary agents are more than business partners. They’re the people who have your back even when you’re facing several rejections from publishers. Moreover, they also help you handle these rebuffs and turn it into a learning experience so that you can improve your book.
- They Help You Advance Your Career
Lastly, these professionals are there to help you move from being an aspiring writer to a best-selling author. While hiring them won’t guarantee instant fame, you’ll have a better chance of getting your book on the market when you work with representatives who have your best interests in mind.
Literary agents are professionals who help authors get their books published. Writers can enjoy their extensive network and industry expertise to get the best deals for their manuscripts.
Moreover, work that’s agent-approved automatically has a seal of quality that assures publishers of its value. These representatives help you advance your career in the competitive writing industry while providing emotional support, so you don’t have to face rejections alone.