For authors who wish to consider self-publishing, there are many facets of the process that should be considered. Beyond printing and publishing, the self-publishing process may not be a great financial decision, especially when considering the loss of benefits from using a literary agent.
Literary agents are key players in the publishing of books. Without a literary agent, your publishing, contract negotiations, rights and even your promotion can lack something to be desired. Because literary agents commonly have a first hand knowledge of the editors’ interests and needs in the publishing business, an agent who accepts your manuscript will often know who to place that manuscript with first in order to ensure optimal outcomes for your hard work.
Because the publishing business is evolving regularly, literary agents will provide you with the first hand knowledge of what trends are occurring the publishing word so as to ensure your literary works are placed in the proper format for optimum promotion. Often, this may include formats beyond books in print and include audio book or E-book formats. In pursuing self-publishing, you will find it necessary to research these trends on your own.
In addition to the publishing and networking side of a literary agent, they also provide a keen eye for publishing contracts and negotiations. Because agents are familiar with trade publishing, they are also well versed in the payment concept known as “escalators”, the use and misuse of subsidiary rights and they are ready to work, diligently, to collect your royalties and payments as, without them, the agent won’t be paid.
With thousands of literary agents in the market, many authors are choosing to self publish, believing the self publishing process will, in some way, preserve the profits off the sale of a book, audio book or E-book. Unless your book is placed with a specialized group of readers, who are eagerly anticipating your final published works, this may simply not be the case. In fact, choosing to self-publish, rather than retain the services of a literary agent, may ultimately result in loss of thousands of dollars in revenue when considering the time spent in your own research and the relative loss of dollars through the negotiations process.
If you are unsure about the method by which you anticipate your book will reach the general population, consider self-publishing but do not limit your options to this one selection. Requesting interviews and open discussions with literary agents will provide you with a better idea as to what services they may be able to offer that will, in most cases, turn you away from self-publishing concepts.