Hmmm… this seems to be the question which is bouncing around inside my head the most at the moment. (apart from slightly more important questions about Syria and Lambert for England) I can’t seem to find a solution to it.
There are obviously pros and cons to the problem and depending on the day, the weather, and the tidal pattern, I seem to float between them. It dawned on me that it may help me to discuss the nub of the issue on here, and perhaps my kindred spirits will offer some light.
- Wouldn’t it be good to have an agent? – I’ve always wanted someone in my corner who will back me up and act as a sounding board when I need one.
- Industry experience – Isn’t that what agents have in spades? A cynical, ground-down professional who can set me straight when my dreamy, idealist opinions take control.
- Making money – Let’s be honest, I’ve said this before, but I’m not in this game just to write words on blank pages. I want a career and an agent can lift me to the next level – can’t they?
- Editing and Genre Advise – The nitty gritty of writing and even deciding what story to write in the first place.
- Rights and Royalties – Overseas rights, translation rights, TV/Radio/Film.
- Publishing Deal – Wouldn’t it be great to actually be a best-seller and sell books in every shop in the world. I can’t do that by whizzing up a story on KDP.
- Kudos/Status – I know this is sad and it shouldn’t matter, but it sounds a hell of a lot better to drop in, ‘my agent said…’
- Who can you trust – There’s plenty of shitesters out there who just want to take your money.
- I don’t need help to self-publish – A lot of agents who I’ve looked at on the internet seem to offer a package to authors which publishes their book for them through the self-pub routes. I don’t really need that, I’m not 84.
- Commission – Although I’m really not bothered by this in the slightest. 15% of sweet FA is fine, and if they make me some money then they’re welcome to the cut.
- Value – What will they actually do for me? This, I suppose, is the over-arching problem.
So, what I need to do is research the problem much more than I have so far. I’ve heard of other self-published authors who have a new breed of agent who work for them in this new world. They strike up traditional deals whilst still keeping digital sales separate. Is this the promised land? Is this even true?
The one problem with being self-published is the marketing and promotion. The internet resembles a gigantic brass band with thousands of writers blowing their own trumpets, and I don’t see the value in just puckering up and blowing along with them.
If you have any thoughts, or even experience, on this topic then please let me know because I haven’t the foggiest. Be prepared for a few more posts on this as I move on, and hopefully they’ll be more informative than me just writing like a headless chicken.