Don’t [Mis]Represent Yourself as a Client
Like a defendant who represents himself at trial, representing yourself [as an author] ensures that you, too, have a fool for a client.
In today’s turbulent, hyper-competitive publishing world, authors should not try to navigate the ins and outs of it all without the benefit of a literary agent. A competent agent can help an author from the idea stage to finished book. This includes everything from drafting the book proposal through the negotiations with various publishers to the preparation of the manuscript itself. And these are just the obvious contributions.
As someone with editor, publisher, author and agent on his resume, I have had a front row seat to the literary world from every vantage point. As an author, I can honestly say that I would never write a book without the benefit of an agent. This isn’t rocket science – just good sense. In addition to all of the aforementioned, an agent handles the thornier things that can possibly derail the relationship between author and editor.
So the next time you think of handling your own business book project by contacting publishers directly, stop and reconsider. Chances are you will be glad you did.