Angie’s theory on agents

Posted by: Angie Fox

Currently working on: the third book in the Accidental Demon Slayer series

Mood: slap happy
So I was thinking about doing a general post about why some people choose to have agents, while others would rather go it alone. There really is no right way because every writer is different. But… I’ll bet you’re reading this blog to get the down and dirty, to hear what someone else really thinks. Right? Well, okay. Pull up a chair and let’s talk. I’ll tell you exactly why I’m darned glad to have my agent and why I’d be shaking in my boots to go it alone. You might be like me, or you might not. I’m not saying my way is right for everyone, just one author’s point of view.
#1 reason why Angie needs an agent: I drove a Saturn for 12 years
How is this relevant, you say? Well, dear reader, besides the fact that my little Saturn was gold, cute and got great gas mileage, I bought that car because I didn’t want to negotiate. I can’t stand going back and forth with a car salesman on a price, always second guessing myself, wondering if I’m making the best deal. After I bought that Saturn, I kept it for more than a decade – for the same reason.
As you can imagine, this makes me a very bad person to negotiate my own book contracts. Not only is there more emotion involved in a book I love vs buying a huge chunk of metal, I actually know less about book contracts that I know about cars.
Yet my agent lives for this. She loves it. I can hear it in her voice when we’re in book negotiations. It goes something like this:
Me: Err…any news? (even talking about negotiations can make me queasy)
Jessica: (gives update with glee)
Me: When do you think we’ll have a deal? (when will this be over?)
Jessica: I’ll keep you updated. Just keep writing.
And I do, because that’s what I like to do. Jessica worries about the contracts because that’s her area of expertise. Thank goodness.
Plus, even though contracts are written in English, it doesn’t always feel that way. As I worked my way through the details, Jessica was right there to answer my questions and explain just how we could hammer out a contract that worked for everyone. I sure appreciated how smoothly it went, and I’ll bet my publisher did too.
So can you be a successful author without an agent? Sure. Would I recommend it? Not if you drive a Saturn.

Comments

Angie’s theory on agents — 5 Comments

  1. Yes – there’s something to be said for a car that takes you that far. 🙂

    The important thing is to find the right agent for you – someone who is on your side as a sounding board and a business partner. In my opinion, it makes life a lot easier.

  2. Angie,

    As an artist of writing -I’m with you on having an agent…but it seems harder to get one than a publisher…any hints on how to get one to take you on?

    I need a brave one…one that’s willing to break in new ground. Willing to take on an author who writes about subjects that are(you’ve read my blog)even more ground breaking.

    But…

    To my Irish ear when I hear agents say they want “New and exciting” I hear — break into your of knowledge of science, occult and new age material and write on a subject no other writer has – yes, I fit romance into these multi twisted tales..very hot romance. But how do you get an agent to take a chance with very new material?

    Hugs
    Hawk

  3. LOL, Angie! I’m glad you quickly explained the connection between getting an agent and driving a Saturn, because I was scratching my head and going huh? for a moment.

    Glad you found such a great fit with your agent!

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