Author Topic: I'm not sure what just happened, but I think I got ripped off (Paid Editor)  (Read 7762 times)

Offline lamont cranston

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What's the advantage of having an agent?

Agents get a percentage, I understand, and that's a 'down side', I suppose, but is a decent agent more likely to get a book to a publisher who will accept it and do a good job of marketing it, than say, a new author who doesn't know the business well?


hillwalker3000

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The agent will hawk your book around prospective publishers if he feels it's got potential to make him/them money. There's no guarantee he'll succeed in getting you a deal. He has a reputation to protect so he's going to be ultra-careful with what he's trying to push. He'll also check through your contract before you sign it. But he won't be directly involved with how the publisher promotes or markets the book. That's not what he's paid for. He'll be interested in sales because his cut will depend on your earnings, but the success or failure of the book once it's published is as much down to you as the publisher. Publication doesn't necessarily mean success. In my own experience, I make more in a week from the 6 books I've self-published than in a year from the 2 published by established publishers. Luckily, I don't have an agent.  ;)

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Jo Bannister

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On the other hand, I feel lucky that I do have an agent.  I don't know enough about the business - as distinct from the creative process - to round up all the domestic and foreign deals my agent has negotiated over the years.  It's also a huge help when you're physically remote from the inner circle where contacts are made and maintained.  And frankly, I'd rather be writing than selling.  Couple that with the fact that 15% of nothing is nothing, and I'm firmly on the "get a good agent if you can" side.

Lin

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When I go into town and see all my writer friends in the RNA with their books in Waitrose it feels good to know they have been successful and I hope to be up there one day with them. Some of them have agents, most are just published with Avon books, Choc-Lit or some other publisher.  These days the best publishers are very good at selling books.  You have to do your homework and not submit to just anyone who happens to be open to submissions.  If you think your book is tip top, then don't pull yourself down, submit to the best and then hope for the best.  Pegasus, Harper Collins, - yeah why not?  It's the only way to see your books on the shelves in supermarkets and bookshops.  The top publishers always win through in this direction.  Go for it, but it has to have gone through many hands before you try.  Beta Readers, editors and don't rely on close relatives and friends, they will not see the mistakes or feel they are hurting you by commenting, no matter how much you think they are being truthful. Work smart and be ultra professional.  Read everything that's required and show through your query letter that you know all about the company where you are submitting.

Be the best you can ever be. Don't rush submission, but be positive about doing so. The writer who complains that they are always being rejected often doesn't accept that they need to do better and learn more.  The novel industry is extremely competitive. Finding the right agent or publisher might take a long time on the other hand if you've got something that shrieks 'I want this' then you're in. 

Lin  :D



 

Offline lamont cranston

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Very helpful, thanks.

Offline Annmarie

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What's the advantage of having an agent?

So far, the advantage for me is that my agent is an amazing developmental and line editor. I have two books in various stages of editing. The first one -- the one that hooked my agent -- has been my "learning" book, I suppose, the one where my agent points out every single flaw in everything from structure right down to how I use articles. She's not at all like what many people say about agents. She's not in it for the quick buck, or only to sell, though that's the ultimate goal. She's an ex-house editor who expects excellence, and she's extremely patient and supportive. Right from the beginning, we both knew me and my book have a lot of potential, but it'll take a ton of work to gain the skills I need to make the book what it could be. Obviously she thinks it's worth it or she wouldn't have read it multiple times, with multiple meetings and many many long editorial emails. In the end, a book has to be sold to justify all this work, but at the moment, the focus is on getting the book the best it can be. She has some successful authors on her list, and I think I'm benefiting from that. She can carry a new author who needs more guidance and doesn't pay off right away.

Anybody who wants an agent should know that the process is likely to run slower, maybe a lot slower, than expected. It's the nature of the trad pub business. Most of the time, I don't mind this. If I was older, I probably would. So it's really up to how you as an author like to work, and how patient you are, and how willing you are to listen to very tough -- and sometimes heartbreaking! -- constructive criticism. I'm willing to do all this because I suppose I'm a craftswoman at heart. I want to be a better writer, and I see how my skills have taken a huge leap forward under my agent. The financial stuff matters too, though, and of course I hope all this hard work will pay off down the road. But for now, I'm enjoying (and tearing my hair out over) this free education I'm getting in the craft and the business. 
Work hard. Believe. Take a chance.

Jo Bannister

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You sound to have an excellent relationship with your editor, Annmarie.  There's no doubt she'll have earned her cut when the royalties start coming in. 

Offline Annmarie

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Thanks, Jo. That's what keeps me going.

But does the work have to be this hard?  :D
Work hard. Believe. Take a chance.

Lin

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I am getting on, so the agent path may be a case of lost time for me although I will still try.

Lin x

hillwalker3000

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I'm the same. Publishers seem to inhabit their own time dimension where everything happens excruciatingly slowly.  ;D

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