Do I need a Literary Agent to get PublishedWill I need a frahling to be published?
I need an agent?
The secretary-general of the Society of Authors, Mark Le Fanu, tells when an editor needs an agent. It often seems obvious to new contributors that all good contributors have editors, that it is not possible to get anywhere without them, and that they are interested in any good writing and invention.
None of these hypotheses is entirely correct, as expert contributors know. The majority of our professionals are staffed by a team of highly qualified professionals who offer an important and invaluable work. The fact is, however, that as a rule operatives deal with literature, general non-fiction and children's literature - generally referred to as "trading books" - and seldom move outside these areas.
An agent or other specialist (e.g. a lawyer) is decisive in the processing of transactions in the field of utilities, e.g. moviemaking. Whilst commercial authors have agent pioneers when writing pedagogical, scholarly, academic, medicinal, science, technical or juridical textbooks (to choose a few categories), you will be very happy to safeguard the service of an agent.
You would be better off if you submitted your work directly to the publishing houses, as required by the directives on their website. An overwhelming proportion of the writers working in these areas should not spend too much patience getting close to the agent and then torturing themselves with refusals. Fortunately, most publishing houses are used to negotiating directly with writers who run their own businesses.
Special non-fiction suggestions can be sold to a potential editor without working with literature. Some of the big publishing houses - disgrace to them - will only take entries from agencies. However, they are very selectively and cautiously when it comes to winning new customers, and the most sought-after agencies will only take on a few new customers each year.
As the publishing houses worked independent, nurtured "their" writers and nurtured their allegiance, the agent made the trade-off, leaving his writers and editors to work together and settle any disagreements over the usual three-hour luncheon. However, the tasks of an agent are still poorly definded. Others are better at "author support".
One good agent is both: a publisher's leviathan, a customer's cooch. In contrast to publishing houses, an agent is more of a generalist than a specialist. One part of our task at the Society of Authors is to monitor the different types and help the writers in their search for them. We receive phone conversations every fortnight from members who want to switch the agent.
A writer tells me that his current agent has something like "a first-class pass..... on the Titanic". Agent-what matters? Trend - What am I looking for as a frahling?