In the world of traditional publishing you need a middle man or a representative to get your work in the door. They are better known as literary agents. Their job description in a nutshell is to weed out potentially great authors from authors who don’t have a shot. They know what publishing companies are looking for and try to only accept works that have a better chance of being picked up. They are also responsible for shopping around your title and potentially getting your manuscript read by the big boys.
Are they important? Yes, in the world of traditional publishing. However, in the world of urban fiction they may not be all that necessary if you are trying to get your book published through self-publishing. Depending on your goals and the realistic timeframe you expect to be published going the traditional route will help you determine if a middle man is essential or a waste of your time.
Are Literary Agents Necessary?
The real answer is no they aren’t for urban fiction authors. Many of the game changers went the route of self publishing, which allowed them to bypass literary agents all together. They found the strategies that worked best for them and sold hundreds of thousands of copies. The attention their titles generated brought traditional publishers toting six figure offers. This ultimately means more money in the writers pocket as they now do not have to pay a commission or fee to a literary agent also.
Self-Publishing & The Literary Agent
In recent years self-publishing has become increasingly popular and less taboo. With the growing amount of writers taking their literary fate into their own hands it leaves little room for literary agents. The one thing to remember is the publishing industry is a money-making industry. It’s a business so it produces titles that has the best chance of generating revenue. Literary agents are middlemen or gatekeepers so to speak. However, to the writers who venture out into self-publishing and make it big literary agents are no more than an unnecessary expense.
Technology is opening many doors in the publishing world. It is creating opportunities that were never available to the average joe. It is also letting the unknowns get into places that were once reserved for the “elite” or special few who made it traditionally.