I am fairly new to the writing community (and brand new to WAE - just joined yesterday) and have been thinking about the possibility/need of obtaining an agent. One writing mentor tells me I don't need one - she self-promotes and does very well. She has been approached by two agents through Twitter and turned them both down, but she has e-books on Amazon that hit the Bestseller paid list and I do not. Yet. She is getting ready to promote me on her site and in the event that I am contacted by an agent, I am a bit unsure about how to respond.
Is there a set of guidelines that can inform me as to whether or not I need an agent in the first place? I am worried that I will be approached and don't know the best source to research whether or not the person is worthy of my time and consideration, which is a precious commodity. Advice?
How far along are you into your book? You can promote yourself and get your name out there, before you even consider an agent. By setting up a platform and prepromoting yourself, not your book, you are just that much ahead. I'm not saying don't look into an agent, but prioritize your time, by writing and promoting yourself. If you're starting out, you might want to check out conferences, conventions and workshops to find out what's out there and who's out there. You can pitch to agents and publishers at conferences and conventions. Don't commit to one path, exploring is part of the adventure and fun.
By the way welcome, remember you make the final decesion of what you decide. As I've told writers in every critique group I've ever attended, take what fits and leave the rest. Do the same with all the advice you recieve here too. Again, welcome and have fun with writing.
Thank you for your responses, Katherine! I haven't actually started a book. Well, I should say that I have two started, but am not very far along. I have so many ideas, it is hard to figure out what to start with. I currently run a humor blog which is proving to be successful, so I may start with a humor book. However, I also want to do serious self-help based on my experiences. I am doing like you say and just putting one toe in the water at a time. Don't want to jump at anything too soon.
Cindy, If you want to be traditionally published and receive bookstore distribution, you ought to try getting an agent, because the publishers are much more likely to read your work if you have an agent. If you prefer to self-publish and sell directly to the public, then there's no point to having an agent.
Thank you. I have a lot to think about before I decide which way to go. I have time to decide while I am building my platform and writing a first book. I'm just sticking my big toe in the water to test it out right now ;0)
Enjoy the ride, Cindy
I already am!