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7 Things You Need to Know About Your Book Agent
Employing the services of a book agent is a great way for authors to get their works published and have their works read by millions of people around the world. However, some authors have no idea of what book agents really do, resulting in problems arising between them.
It is important that authors know what their book agents can do for them, as both parties can benefit from a fruitful partnership. The authors get their books published and earn money from sales while the book agents get their fair share of commissions. This can only be achieved if both parties fulfill their own share of work.
Listed below are the things authors should expect from their book agents:
They are not scam artists.
The goal of a book agent is to represent the author when talking to interested publishers and producers. They get paid to do this – nothing else. If the book agent demands payment for other services, such as reading and evaluating the document, then they are not legit book agents. Authors should not deal with these people and should instead look for a book agent that is accredited by the Association of Author’s Representatives.
They are not lawyers.
While they are very knowledgeable about contracts, they do not have the knowledge that lawyers have. They will help authors get a contract with a publisher, but they will not help authors should they find themselves in the courtroom due to a failed contract.
They are not therapists.
They can be an author’s friend, but that doesn’t mean the author can ask for advice from them should they find themselves encountering problems related to their personal lives.
They will not promote the author’s works.
Authors new to book publishing often make this mistake. The sole responsibility of a book agent is to represent the author and not promote the book. If authors need their works to be promoted, they should hire a publicist instead.
They will not help authors as a co-author…
While book agents may have some knowledge about writing, that doesn’t mean authors can ask for help in writing novels or books.
…or as an editor.
They won’t help authors in proofreading or revisions as well. Authors should hire a proofreader or a beta reader if they want to make sure that their works are good instead of asking for help from their book agents.
They are not liable for your mistakes.
Book agents cannot guarantee that they will get a contract with the first publisher they talk to, but that doesn’t mean it is their fault. Most authors often blame their book agents for not securing a contract because they think that the agent didn’t do well when negotiating with publishers. However, it is important to know that getting a contract, especially with an author who is not known yet, is very hard to do. Instead of blaming their agents, authors should focus on what went wrong and fix it in order to guarantee themselves a contract with a publisher.
Book agents are invaluable partners – they can help authors grow and pursue their dreams. As such, authors should respect their agents and together develop a fruitful partnership that will benefit them both.