Does an author need an agent?

It has always been difficult for a new author to break into the market.  The first, and most difficult, step of finding an agent has daunted even those who now feature on best-seller lists on a regular basis yet initially had their work rejected time and again.  Perseverance – and a thick skin – have always been key to getting work published.  Until now.

With the advent of the ebook authors with just basic computing skills are able to format their work for multiple ebook publishers and publish themselves.  Some people think that this will mean that the market is flooded with poor quality work, though others say that the consumers will soon weed this out simply by not buying.

So, does an author need an agent? 

I would be interested to hear your views.  Especially if you are an agent or an author!

5 thoughts on “Does an author need an agent?

  1. Hi Dorinda! I don’t know how things work in England, but in America, numerous agents are bringing this same topic up. As you said, with the popularity of e-readers, publishing houses are having a hard time keeping up. Granted, the ratio of print to digital is still something like 80/20, but that percentage is slowly reaching equilibrium. Some publishing houses are having trouble keeping up. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing just filed for bankruptcy (of course, many other variables attributed to this) and Borders, a large chain of bookstores, disappeared completely.

    Older readers, bibliophiles, and children still read print, and so do many others. So in essence, it’s going to be a tough one, and some agents might feel the heat, but I’m sure they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

    1. Hi Daniela,
      Thanks for the comment. I agree that I don’t think agents will disappear for a while yet! I think that even if an author self-publishes an ebook they will still need an agent if they want to sell TV or Film rights so there might be a change in the way some agents opperate. Perhaps they will look at ebook sales then approach authors if they think they can sell these other rights for them. It will be interesting to see if that happnes.

      Are you an agent? author? jut an interested person?

      1. Just an interested person. 🙂 But I have been doing loads of research. One can never be too ready. But the way I see it, epublishing is a second chance for writers who could’t get traditionally published. It can be very lucrative as well if you market yourself correctly. A very good way of marketing one’s self published novel is seeking a website that is dedicated to reviewing books. You’ll be amazed how much of a boost you will get after getting it reviewed.

        I’ve yet to attempt to publish anything but I hope to do so by next year. If you’re interested in that path, you might want to search for people like Amanda Hocking and J.A. Konrath who are mega successful with self publishing. Hocking was later approached by a large publishing house to sell her books print. They talk about how they did it on their respective websites. Talk about a hitting gold! Good luck to you in your endeavors!

      2. Thanks, I shall certainly take a look at the websites you mention. You are, of course, right when you say that marketing is key so I am already looking into that prior to my ebook launch of ‘Heronfield’ which I hope will happen later this summer, or early autmun.

        Good luck with your own writing,, hopefully we will see you in print next year! Do you have a website where I can get to look at some of your worK

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