agents 2

Literary Agents

I think this is the biggest pitfall or set back that most self-published authors run into in their publishing process. That is why the first thing that I would say is to submit unfinished works to agents. That way you are not waisting time with a finished novel that could be self-published and bringing in a income as well as notoriety. Not to mention, once you do meet an agent, it will be easier to sell yourself if you are already selling without their help. Most agents will want to make the title that your working on with them your debut novel if you self-published before. This means no matter how many books you self-published, unless they became bestsellers off of merits, you will be new to the publishing world all over again. This means you may or may not want to consider using a pen name, and your agent may recommend using one.

We are all in the same barn,” James Lee Burke bestselling author of “Wayfaring Stranger” explains in his interview with “Poets & Writers” (July/August 2014).

In the end: the same bookstore, the same ebook platform, the same customers will see your book with or without an agent. Thats why I don’t think it’s important for the self-published to waist time looking for literary agents on completed manuscripts, but feel that writers write and shouldn’t focus all their energy on one title. Keep writing and query your stories as soon as you come up with enough to sell it, because after 70,000 words has been typed up, in my opinion, its time to get to the money.

Rumor has it that the Twilight Saga sold to an agent for $750,000 before she type half of the first draft. Just a thought!

I am looking for some feed back from some people who has dealt with agents, or some good/bad experiences submitting to agents. Do you think self-published authors should look for literary agents? What are some of the pros/cons self-published authors should be looking forward to embracing? I personally haven’t tried and would like to know if its worth adding to the slush piles?

Terrence LeRoy Baker 7-16-2014



  1. Tobe says:

    Saw no truth in most of what you said. What agent would even llook at an unpublished work from an unknown author?


  2. Pete says:

    No good literary agent considers an incomplete manuscript.


    You can self-publish your novel, but unless it sells a whole lot of units (somewhere between 15,000 and 30,000, depending on who you ask), you won’t sell it to a publisher after that. If you HAVE those sales, then you’ve probably proven you don’t need an agent or publisher, because you’re making more money alone than you would with them. Some of those “break-out” authors choose to go with publishers for reasons unrelated to the money from one book.

    Having a self-published novel for sale MIGHT help you find an agent for a new (complete) manuscript, because it will tell an agent what kind of sales you have, how good your platform is, and how it has been viewed by customers in their reviews.

    Self-publishing is, in my opinion, of no value in the mission to find an agent. You need to have a finished, well-edited manuscript (showing better grammar and spelling that you’ve used in this blog post), and you need a compelling query letter. You’d need them even if you were self-published.

    [Note: the”rumor” isn’t true. Meyer’s completed manuscript of book 1 was signed by Writers House (agency), which succeeded in selling a three-book deal to Little Brown for $750k. All of this is accessible by googling, which is something I highly recommend.]

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The information in this post needs a bit more fact-checking.


  4. Pete says:

    Hi Terrence, You’re free to use it any way you wish, but in all modesty, nothing I’ve said is unique, I’m just passing along information/knowledge learned from others (and my own experience). I don’t have the time to post on my OWN blog as often as I should, so I’m not a terribly reliable guest blogger, and I’ve got too much on my plate (including beta reading for several others) to take on any more outside responsibilities. I’m trying to finish another novel, so I’m keeping the distractions to a minimum!


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