Your Agent Loves You – A.K.A. Why You Need One

I love talking shop with people and answering writing and industry questions, but I always feel kind of weird posting about it. But I wanted to expand on something we were talking about in chat last night that I didn’t get to say because I got really hungry and my brain crapped out. I mean, ’cause I ran out of time.

First off, the most common reason I hear that people think they need an agent is because they can’t handle the contracts themselves. This is very true! But it’s also just the tip of the iceberg. You probably already know all the obvious reasons why you NEED an agent (even if you make your sale yourself, get an agent ASAP)–they have contacts and can get you a good book deal, they handle contracts and keep you from getting screwed, etc.

But what you might not know is that an agent–a GOOD agent–is like your mom.

Yeah, you heard me.  Not like your agent tells you to be home by midnight and bakes you cookies or anything, but a good agent is like having a mom around because not only do they handle the hard, grown-up stuff like contracts, but they believe in you.  They always have good things to say about you and tell everyone who will listen (thankfully, unlike real moms, they don’t have embarrassing baby pictures of you).  They’re super supportive of your dreams and your work, and they’ve got your back if the outside world gets too scary or things don’t go how you planned.  They make scary phone calls so you don’t have to.  They can set up play dates phone calls between you and your editor/potential editor.  They’re always happy you called or wrote, they’re always on your side, and they share your triumphs and your downfalls.  And if there is bad news, your agent knows how to tell you in the best way possible, so you still come out feeling good about yourself.

That kind of stuff is invaluable.  I speak from experience, having had both a not-so-good agent who barely spoke to me and gave up on me when my book didn’t sell right away, and having had an absolutely awesome agent who’s everything I just described in the above paragraphs.  Handling the contracts isn’t the top reason for having an agent, it’s icing on the cake.

  1. Kay Cassidy

    Amen, sister! Having an agent who is like your mom (in the best sense) is definitely a plus. That doesn’t mean you have to be chummy chums with your agent, but you know that they heart you unconditionally. Even when you email them with dumb questions. Several times in a row. And even when you send them the pure dreck that is your manuscript because you can’t figure out how to make it jive with what your editorial letter is asking for.

    But mostly, it’s knowing that you’ve got a business partner you can count on. It’s a business relationship, first and foremost, but that doesn’t mean it has to be starchy and impersonal. Knowing you’ve got someone you can share your true concerns with who will go to bat for you when you really need them to is worth its weight in gold. And chocolate. :-)

  2. Jordyn

    Ah, thank you thank you thank you! This is a wonderful post and thanks so much for “talking shop” with me last night. You are great and so is this post.

  3. Shari

    LOL — love this post! :)

  4. C.J. Redwine

    I never thought about it this way but I agree. A great agent is always in your corner. :)

    So glad we have a GREAT agent!

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