Monday, February 21, 2011

Indie Vs Agent

Currently Reading: I'm on the last Jodi Picoult book, Second Glance. At first, I wasn't sure I was going to like it, due to the fact it begins with ghost hunters. But I kept going, and have enjoyed seeing some of my hunches come true, and being surprised with other twists to the story! This is one I don't own, but I would like to in the future. Library books are due back today, and I only have about 30 pages left. I'm also still reading Access Denied:)

A friend accidentally sparked a firestorm of controversy last week on FaceBook, when the conversation turned from query letters to whether or not agents (and publishing companies) are really needed.

There were several debates on issues such as...
-Since we can now go through CreateSpace, do we need a publisher?
-Are agents needed, since the technology exists to upload our own work and even design our own covers and book trailers?
-Can word-of-mouth followers on Twitter help 'get the word out'?

The conversation was so volatile, the writer of the post went on several times to beg for politeness and state, again, she was only trying to get an opinion on her query letter.

But now, one of the posters is writing a self-help book titled, "How NOT to Get Screwed By Publishing Companies", and some of the material includes:
- examples of how authors get 'ripped' off when they use their services
-why people think agents are beneficial.

For my part, I like having a publisher because:
-I like having an editor!
-I like knowing I'll get a professional document put together by people who have done this for YEARS.

I would also like to have an agent, because they will shop the book around for me and leave me more time to write. Yes, I had one who scammed me, but I've learned my lesson and would now like a more reputable one. Several of my blogmates can attest that having an agent makes life somewhat easier on the author (correct me if I'm wrong, Cindy...Mia...Travis!).

So what's YOUR take?


Unknown said...

I think it depends on what you want out of your publishing career. If you want your work to be widely distributed and professionally produced (including cover art and editing), you still need to go with a publisher of some size that has a staff and budget behind it unless you have the means to hire out a professional editor and graphic designer/artist. Having an agent gets your manuscript to the top of the publisher's submission pile much faster. And I would never want to try to negotiate a big-time publishing contract without an agent!

Anonymous said...

Hey Molly, It's Debbie. I tweet a lot and if you'd like I can tweet your newest book. I have quite a housewife following, Debbie R

Paris said...

Hi Molly,
I think it depends on what your ultimate goal is but I for one enjoy having an editor and an artist-designed cover.

As for the agent question, there's always the option of hiring a lawyer who specializes in intellectual property/entertainment law to explain it to you and make suggestions.

Unknown said...

While I'm sure there are a lot of excellent books out there that were self-published, but it's difficult to find them amidst all the dreck. I personally think every book needs to be professionally edited. That means either pay to have it done -- and good editors are not cheap -- or have an agent and publisher provide the services. Same with covers.

I just signed with an agent, so I guess it's easy to see what side of the fence I'm on. I spent a good 8 months getting him. I also publish my books through a small indie publisher and I'm very happy with the editing and cover art they offer. Until I absolutely have to, I am not the least interested in doing it all myself.

Connie Chastain said...

Hi, Molly. Saw a link to your blog on a promo loop and the subject looked intereresting. I self-published my first novel, and an e-publisher is launching my second in a few weeks, so I'm going to experience both sides of the question. Good subject! It will be interesting to compare the experiences. Maybe I'll blog about it!

Cara Marsi said...

I think we still need editors and agents. Agents do get our books out in front of editors. But self-publishing has changed things quite a bit. I self-pubbed a book for which I got the rights back from the publisher. The book had already been professionally edited. I edited some more and put it up on Kindle where it's doing very well, much better than it did with the publisher. If I were to self-publish another book that hadn't been previously pubbed, I'd hire an editor and a cover artist. Professional editing is most important. So I guess I could go both ways in this debate.

Marianne Stephens said...

I like having a publisher. I want clout behind my books, and an editor to catch my mistakes! far I've sold all my books on my own. An agent would be great to have for other publishing options.

Molly Daniels said...

Me too, Marianne:)

anny cook said...

I think self-pubbing would be all right for a book previously pubbed elsewhere. But for a first time book? I want my EDITOR!!!

For myself, I'm not looking for wide distribution via a NY pub so I'm not actively seeking an agent.