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Why Some Authors Choose Not to Have an Agent/Publisher

Many, if not all, writers dream of having their written works published. Having your book picked up for publication and distribution, preferably by a major publishing outfit, is a great way to have all your hard work and sacrifice validated. There's also the glory of the byline, which refers to the immensely satisfying feeling brought about by seeing your name in print. For those who treat writing as their bread and butter, getting published means getting paid for each copy of your book sold.

This is precisely the reason why many would-be authors usually have agents to help them sell their manuscripts. Agents are normally the first people to assess the merits of a manuscript. Once they see the potential in it, they suggest necessary revisions before they go out and sell it to the appropriate publisher.

Once a manuscript reaches the hands of the publisher, it undergoes the usual process of editing, design, printing, marketing, and distribution. The author then gets a cut – typically called royalties – from the sale of each book.

But there are some writers who choose to do away with this traditional method.  There are reasons why a number of writers think thus:

Some writers don't want to wait too long to have their works published.

The traditional method outlined above is time-consuming. Not counting the instances of rejection from either the agent or the publisher, the whole editorial and production process to come out with a book takes months, sometimes even years. Then there are also contracts, terms of sale, licensing deals, and even payment disputes to deal with. For someone who just wants to write and earn a living out of it, the whole thing can be a little cumbersome.

Some writers prefer a larger share in the sales generated by their respective books.

The typical publishing process goes through so many people, all of whom need to be compensated. For example, agents usually charge a fixed rate of somewhere between 10 to 20 percent of both the initial down payment to the author and the succeeding royalties from the sales of the book. Publishers also require a publisher's fee. In the end, the author would have to make do with what's left after all the deductions have been made.

So by choosing to skip getting an agent or a publisher and instead deciding to go at it alone, an author stands to get a bigger share of the profits from the sale of his or her book.

Writers enjoy greater editorial and creative control.

If you decide to get an agent or a publisher, along the way you would have to make compromises regarding the manner in which your book is supposed to be written, how it's supposed to feel, and how it's supposed to look like. After all, book publishing is still a business. As such, marketability of a certain product is prioritized over its creator's artistic vision or motivation.

These are just a few reasons why some authors choose not to have an agent/publisher. In a nutshell, these authors prefer to have greater control over their works in terms of both content and profit.