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Hundreds of Helpful Articles

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Do I Need a Literary Agent?

Like everything in life, you do not need a literary agent, but it is extremely useful to have one working with you, especially if you are a first time writer and looking to secure that elusive book deal. This is especially true if you want to go down the traditional book publishing route. This is for a variety of reasons.

First, the literary agent will help prepare your manuscript and book proposal before they are submitted to the publisher. This is vitally important as you want these to be seen and read. If they are poorly presented then they will be discarded. The literary agent can also help with editing and proofreading of your work. They know how best to showcase your work and what publishers to approach. They have their finger on the pulse and know all that is going on in the literary world.

Once your proposal is ready, then the agent can help you with the whole submission process. They usually have close relationships with editors and know what the editor currently needs and is looking for. Therefore they can help steer you in the right direction. They are also invaluable during this process as they can help answer many of the questions running around inside your head.

The next process that they will help with is that of accepting offers. They know how to respond to an offer and to negotiate if needed.

The next question to ask is: once you have secured that lucrative book deal do you still need your literary agent? The answer is yes as you are only really starting out on your journey and you will need guidance and support in many areas including writing your book, editing, designing your book cover, choosing your title and book promotional events. The agent will have done this many times before and will know best how to help you; they will prove to be a valuable source of information.

A literary agent can also help you with the dreaded calculating of royalty payments and, most importantly, check if they are correct. Once again they will have done this countless times for other writers and know what they are looking for.

More importantly than anything else is the fact that a literary agent can help you survive in the long run. Yes, they can help you secure that much coveted first book deal but then what about the rest? They can help guide you in your career and help you to make decisions about your next book. Once again, they will know the editors to go to and if there are any new and cutting edge editors on the scene. Their input really is needed.

Realistically it is strongly recommended that you search for a literary agent when you start off down the road trying to find a traditional publisher who will accept your book. Their knowledge and expertise will prove to be extremely lucrative, now and in the years to come.