Sunday, April 1, 2012

A-Z Challenge: A is for Agent

Welcome to April, and the A-Z challenge! I'll be spending the month talking about writing, publishing, and literature: alphabetically, of course!

A is for Agent

If you've been writing for awhile, you've probably begun to consider the agent question. Do you need an agent to get your work published? Here's a list of reasons that signing with an agent might be a good choice. (As you can tell, I'm biased in favor of having an agent).

The bottom line? An agent will advocate for you and help you with the legalese. If you feel comfortable navigating that aspect of publishing on your own, there are plenty of opportunities to publish without an agent. If you're still on the fence in the decision process, make sure you educate yourself about possible pitfalls when searching for an agent.

As you may or may not know, I made the decision to find an agent. My search was lengthy, but last December I signed with the delightful Kat Salazar, and I am so thankful I did. For me, having an agent has been ideal. She knows so much more than I do about the publishing business, so her guidance has been invaluable. Also, I trust Kat to make the right decisions about my book: with her on my side, I feel like my chance of getting published has increased exponentially.

So, if you decide that you are going to find an agent to represent you and your work, here are a few resources to check out:

Query Tracker
is an excellent way to keep track of the agents you have submitted work to. It's also a nice way to research specific agents: you can learn her tastes and see what other writers are saying about him.

I used Jeff Herman's "Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, and Literary Agents" to help me generate my list of possible agents to query. This book is packed with interviews and articles, providing lots of specific, detailed information on all things publishing.

Another great resource is Chuck Sambuchino's blog. He posts frequent updates, focusing on new agents (who are great for debut authors, since newer agents are trying to build their client lists).

After I had prepped this post, I found this useful guide by Harold Underdown.

So what do you think? To agent, or not to agent? Any published authors who want to weigh in on the discussion?

Check back tomorrow for a post on different Brainstorming methods. Coming later this week: E-Readers, and the Fantasy genre


  1. I'm so glad to hear things are going well with your agent. Best of luck with the rest of the challenge!

  2. "Agent" is a popular post today. Glad to see you are having more luck than others I have read so far.

    Been reading some of your older posts, I am looking forward to reading more about your writing and to seeing what you do this month.

    The Other Side
    The Freedom of Nonbelief

    1. Thanks, Tim! I'll wander over to your blog in a moment...

  3. Hi Jen
    I agree, having an agent is a good thing. I like mine a lot! I did have a previous one who was not a good fit. So, my advice would be to hold out for someone you're sure will be a good fit. I'm over from my blog Idea City (#1157) on the A to Z blogfest. Hop by if you like! I'm talking about meaningful awards. BTW, does everyone have a theme for A to Z?

    1. Catherine,

      I'm glad to hear that you found an agent who fits you. I completely agree that a writer should hold out until it feels right...but, like anything else in the writing world, that's a very subjective feeling!

      Thanks for dropping by!

  4. Hm... seems my first comment didn't show. *shrug*
    Great and informative post, Jen. Congrats to getting an agent! That's not an easy thing to achieve ;)
    Have fun with the A to Z Challenge!