Thursday, August 9, 2012

Blog Challenge #8: Reasons for having representation in ePub market

Just a few of my clients
As the writer conferences continue to fill up and folks start to make appointments with various agents and editors to pitch their work, I hear the proverbial "you don't need an agent to query epubs" and I sigh, turn my iPad sideways and start writing a blog post about why, yes, you DO need representation.

So... here are just a few good reasons to have an agent in your corner when publishing in ePub or otherwise.
  1. Sale of sub-rights - You still need an agent to do this. Audio, foreign language, movie/TV, etc. are still managed through agents. If you're not aiming for the sale of these rights for your work, then yes, you may not need an agent. If you're aiming high, get an agent!
  2. Contract negotiation / Advice - Yes, you can do this on your own and those who understand contract law (specifically publishing contracts) can negotiate the contract without having to pay someone 15% commission but if you're not sure about what you should do, contact an agent or pay someone a consulting fee to help you review the contract and advise you on negotiation points. This is your livelihood you're talking about! Wouldn't you prefer to have someone in your corner who is as invested in your success as you are?
  3. Brainstorming - Authors helping authors brainstorm ideas can be a beautiful thing but are you getting saleable ideas or are you just hashing up ideas based on a "trend"? I use air quotes around the word trend because, in reality, what hits the shelves today was sold several years ago and while epublishing has a shorter pub schedule, what is found on their shelves today was likely purchased anywhere from 6-18 months ago.
  4. Career Planning - A huge part of my job consists of helping my clients prepare for the future. What are their financial goals, can the reach those with their current publisher? Are there opportunities in previous contracts to exploit rights not exercised by the publisher? Is there a market the publisher is not exploring? Are you happy with your career prospects at your current publisher?
No, you don't need an agent to get in the door to some of the ePublishers out there but it does make it easier for you to manage your career when you have a partner in the business as invested in your success as you. You need someone out there who is working for you. Who's out there, every day, working their fingers to the bone for you!
I am out here for you. You don't know what it's like to be ME out here for YOU. It is an up-at-dawn, pride-swallowing siege that I will never fully tell you about, ok? - Jerry Maguire