Publishing Deal and Literary Agents

9 articles all about literary agents and you

Think about this: nearly half a million books are being self-published every year. Now think about the fact that there're only a handful of major publishers left. Do some quick math and you'll see why those publishers, when scouting for new titles to release, don't really want to work directly with authors. They'd be swamped (even more than they are already).

So if you want a big publisher to put out your next book, you'd be wise to try to find a literary agent first.

But what is a literary agent? What do they do? How do you find them — and most importantly, how do you impress them with your manuscript? If you're asking these questions, check out the articles below:

1. What do literary agents do?

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Bad book contract

Indie author H.M. Ward is tired of the BS, misinformation, and scare tactics that have kept talented writers from self-publishing.

In under 3 years she's sold over 4 MILLION books — all without the help of a big publisher, and in her blog post "The Roses are Dead" she sets out to anecdotally debunk a number of myths concerning the publishing industry.

She doesn't want you to wait around any longer for that big book deal. According to Ward, many of your hopes for that book deal are based on false assumptions anyway.

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Mr. PantsLast month we talked about printing galleys (or Advanced Reader Copies) of your book — and why that's a crucial step in your overall book-promotion strategy. 

But there's another reason why you might want to consider printing copies of your book before its official launch: getting a book deal!

That's right, BookBaby's very own Scott McCormick and RH Lazzell created a picture book about a cat named Mr. Pants, printed a few copies, took it to a writers conference, showed it to some literary agents, and got a deal with Dial Books (an imprint of Penguin).

Well, it wasn't quite as simple as that, but I'll let Scott tell the story:

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BookBaby president Brian Felsen recently interviewed Michael Larsen, a literary agent and director of the the San Francisco Writers Conference. In this clip, Michael talks about why authors should begin by self-publishing in order to build their platform and audience BEFORE approaching publishers, agents, or editors.

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It’s time to be an arrogant self-publisher

Why? Because the gatekeepers are falling away. And while they’re losing power and relevance, they’re providing fewer benefits to fewer authors. Don’t “submit” your work to them; that sounds like S&M anyway. Don’t please the gatekeepers– instead, trampoline over them by self-publishing today. Below, I’ll talk about some of the ideas BookBaby president Brian Felsen shared at the Frankfurt Book Fair on how independent authors can successfully market themselves.

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Whether you are a die-hard independent author or simply building your platform in hopes of attracting a publishing deal later on, putting out your own books can be a rewarding, challenging, instructive, and lucrative endeavor.

The obvious up-sides to self-publishing:

1. Complete creative control- No bending your words to appease an editor, agent, or suit.

2. You keep more money- Even established authors are now expected to do much of their own marketing. Why give up a big cut of your earnings if you’re still doing all the work?

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