Thursday, February 21, 2008

Book Publishing the Traditional Way -- The Role of A Literary Agent

For those interested in publishing your book through traditional means, by "traditional" I mean quite the opposite of "self publishing." While in self publishing, it is the author that pays for the publishing service, in traditional publishing - the publishing house purchases the rights to print and publish the author's book.

I'm going to post a couple of entries that are directly related to helping to get your work out. This will involve people you should know, steps you may want to take as well as important information that could help you get your book published or steer you away from fraudulent personalitties only looking to take advantage of writers and authors.

Let's start with the roles of a Literary Agent. To become a traditionally published author, you may have to establish contact with one of these. From Get Published! by Susan Driscoll, here are some of their functions as gatekeepers for most traditional publishing houses:

  1. They have close working relationships with many editors and are careful to send them only quality works that they believe in as well as those they know suit a particular editor’s taste or a publisher’s range of categories

  2. They assess the quality and marketability of an author’s proposal or manuscripts to determine whether they think it’s salable to a publisher.

  3. They negotiate in behalf of the author to get the most money and best terms.

  4. They are responsible for ensuring that the author agreement is in line with industry standards

  5. They often become the points of contact for authors throughout their writing careers

  6. Reputable ones don’t take a penny until the ink has dried on your contract

  7. They are selective in accepting clients.

Be wary when choosing a literary agent. This person will be your guide into the world of publishing.

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