Saturday, July 13, 2013

Is there a role for the agent in self publishing?

What role does your agent take on if you published your first book (with the agent;s help), but are choosing to self publish your second book?

This is an excellent question, and you have touched on what is probably THE question of our time.

As always, it depends on many factors. It depends primarily on who your agent is, and on the nature of your book. If your agent did well by you the first time around, and if your agent is well versed in the ebook world and will actively help you self publish and guide you through issues like tech issues, jacket art, title, synopsis, pricing, etailers, etc., and if he only wants to charge you the same standard 15% commission, then I would advise you stay with your agent. As a compromise, you might want to limit the term on the agreement to 1 or 2 or 3 years, since ebooks technically never go out of print--at which point you can mutually renew if he is doing well.

If your agent did a lousy job the first time and/or if your agent is out of touch with the ebook world and has nothing to offer you that you cannot do yourself, then there is no reason to use him. There is a broad spectrum of expertise among agents and ebooks: some can bring a tremendous amount to the table, and others will only get in your way. Ask him on what specifically he will give you that you cannot do yourself. Good ebook agents can make a big difference by guiding you through issues like title, length, plot, pricing, jacket art, etc. Bad agents cannot and may take a fee they don't deserve. Some authors will really need a lot more help, and others will not. Each case will be different.

1 comment:

  1. Is my self-published novel ‘Close to Evil’ worth a major re-write? Would you care to look at it and assist me in this? People in the industry who have looked at it:

    David Bischoff, an award winning writer, with over 80 books published.

    D. Bischoff reviewed Close To Evil
    Great mystery! June 8, 2013
    This is one angry and thrilling mystery novel, with a unique style and message.

    You may not agree with it, but you will have a great time reading it!

    Peter Brown is a name to watch!

    Kirkus Book Review: In Brown’s mystery thriller, a private detective teams up with a high powered lawyer to find her sister’s killer. As the plot focuses more on Jack and Sue and their investigation, the themes and coherent plot threads get stronger. A dark suspenseful read held back by a messy beginning.

    Donald Maas Literary Agency: This a great premise and though your protagonist isn’t exactly sympathetic there is a kind of frenetic energy to your opening pages. Unfortunately, I’m afraid I must pass. Thanks again for thinking of me and please accept my best wishes for your project’s success.

    Peter Brown (


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