19 October 2015

Literary Agent

Who needs a literary agent in the modern era of book publishing?

Well, I do for a start and I'll tell you my reasons.

I have a limited amount of energy. You might also describe it as time but I prefer the use of the word energy because energy determines what I can do with my time. As you may be aware, I'm a partner in a publishing business as well as being an author. My crime thrillers have sold well, particularly as ebooks, and I've picked up the skills and experience that a publisher needs. So I know how to get cover designs, format manuscripts, employ editors and produce good quality books that people are happy with. I also know the best ways to get our books noticed, including Facebook and Twitter, and who can help me grow our market.

I would, however, rather be writing. That's what makes me happy. I do get some fun and satisfaction from all the peripheral tasks involved in producing a book but once the novelty wears off it does seem a bit too much like work.

My ambition was always to write a full length novel. I've now finished nine of them since 2007 and three have been published. That was my second ambition, to be published. Then I wished that people would buy my books and they did. I really wanted some indication that they had read and enjoyed them and lo and behold they wrote very positive reviews. Whew! My wish list appears to have been fulfilled.

But not quite, we humans are beggars when it comes to wanting even more. Now I feel that I want to expand my readership, especially now that I'm writing fantasy as well as crime thrillers. In order to do that I need an agent. Someone who will champion my work. Someone who has the boundless energy and know-how required to deal with mainstream publishers. Someone who has a vested interested in my success because they are investing their time in the project. Agents are purely commission based, they have to back the right horses and then ride them to the finishing line before they get paid. That's the energy I need. Yes they take a proportion of my earnings but they're welcome to it, they'll have earned it.

I'm convinced I've found the right one but there's every chance that she won't have me. All I can do is ask her nicely, which I've done.

Wish me luck.

photo credit: Ann Arbor Cook Book, 1899 -- frontispiece advertisements. via photopin (license)