A Bad Literary Representative Can Be Worse Than No Agent At All.
Kinds of things to look out for with agents:
* Charging the author a cost up front, to be accepted as a client. Can be called a reading fee, or a regular monthly “workplace expenditures” charge. The very best agents, and most successful ones, just charge a portion cost of royalties the author makes, normally 15 %. Suppose a real estate professional charged you a charge to come over and explore your house prior to getting the listing? How rapidly would you show that real estate professional the door …
* Charging back uncommonly huge “postage and copying fees” to send an authors’ work. One uneven company accepts nearly every client that contacts them, however in the small print of the agreement they charge “postage and handling” of as much as $10 per submission they send on your behalf. It does not cost $10 to send out a letter and a sample chapter of a book to a publisher. This business succeeds from these fees whether or not they really effectively market any of their customers work.
* Directing authors toward particular editing services or providing authors’ names to these services. Sometimes they even own the editing service. Some agents make a significant part of their earnings from referral fees from these services.
* Terms in Company agreements with authors differ commonly. Need to be read carefully. Not standard at all.
* The agent contacts publishers pretty much at random. The representative’s value to you remains in the relationships they have with publishers, so that if the publisher hears from them, they understand the book is worth having a look at. Ask to see copies of rejection letters that return from publishers. If it appears like simply a form letter reaction, rather than a letter you would send to an associate, you can bet the agent may be just choosing names from a directory site of publishers.
* Puts forth a weak effort or gives up on the client’s task after a few months. You have a right to ask how active the agent is going to be. How many publishers are they going to contact, how will they follow up? You likewise have a right to regular files as to whom they have actually called and the results. You should identify just how much time and attention they are truly going to offer you.
Another factor it is vital to have a respectable agent is that the publishing house normally pays the agent, who subtracts their “cut” and sends out the remainder it to the author. It’s a frightening thought that a less than honest individual gets their hands on the money you’ve made from sweat, blood, and even tears.
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