A few days ago I posted some information about a few notable literary agencies in New York, but looking back, I feel like I failed to mention the importance of utilizing them. Until now, I have been focusing on the mechanics and processes of writing a manuscript, but once it is complete, the literary venture has really only just begun. Depending on where you look, different advice is offered about the "correct" next step to take. Some sources believe direct contact with publishing companies is the way to proceed, but far more agree that finding an agent is the way to go.
While both of these suggestions are out there on the web-o-sphere, neither really gives you the concrete reasons for why you should or shouldn't seek out literary agent representation. So, to remedy this, I have compiled a few common reasons detailing how an agent can help. This list isn't designed to make you chose something either way, but it should give you an idea for what they have to offer:
1. Literary agents have normailly worked in the field for some time, and their experience can go a long way towards giving authors helpful and accurate advice.
2. If agents aren't able to provide specific advice, they will, no doubt, be able to introduce you to an indivual who can.
3. Because their job is to know about the literary field, they often are able to inform their clients of the important innovations and developments within the industry.
4. Primarily, agents act as the professional advocates for their client's work. Once accepted, they do their best to introduce the product to the publishers and editors that will be most interested.
5. Within the same vein as number four, agents will also know with publishers and editors who are most diffiult to work with or have the least experience.
6. Monetarily, agents will compile offers from publishers and editors and bring them to their clients. This eliminates the added worry of publishing fee negotiations, allowing writers to focus on their job without the added stress of financial maneuvers.
7. Overall, the agent will be your advocate, connecting your work with the most relevant industry individuals while ensuring a timely response.