To Get An Agent…Or Not

Posted by: Susan Lute
Currently working on: revisions, researching a new story idea
Waiting on: a green light from an editor, and a high five from my agent on a single title contemporary proposal I sent her last week.
Mood: impatient, hopeful

The question of whether to get an agent or not is one that occupies every writer’s mind. There are pros and cons. Everyone who’s been writing for any length of time has heard them all, so I’m not going to go into them here. What I will do is tell you why I like having an agent.

I’m published in category romance. Standard contract. Very little wiggle room, not that I’m inclined to wiggle much. Most say an agent isn’t needed to write for Silhouette. For the most part, I think that’s probably true, but one day I wrote a single title women’s fiction novel…okay, not in a day…but when I submitted it to my agent, she read it fast and said it made her cry. That’s why I signed on with her and I’ve been very happy I did.

That story didn’t sell, the market flattened, and the next two didn’t get her okay, but here’s what I like about having her for my agent. She tells me when I’ve hit the nail on the head, and when I don’t, as well. She won’t represent something she can’t say she’s a hundred percent behind. That integrity means a lot to me. When she does like a project, she’s my biggest advocate, even when I get crazed by how this business goes. Knowing she can’t sell a manuscript if she doesn’t have it to shop keeps me writing even when I find myself wondering if it would be easier to make a living as a door to door saleswoman. She’s my ra-ra section. She’s my kick in the pants. She’s not my mother. She’s my business partner. For all these reasons, even if my next contract is with Silhouette, she’s worth every penny I’ll be paying her.


To Get An Agent…Or Not — 5 Comments

  1. Interesting perspective on having an agent. What struck me again–even though I “knew” this–is that agents do a lot of work on a project, even if it doesn’t sell. Just as authors do. Are we all just big-time gamblers…

  2. Su, having that kind of relationship with your agents sounds like great. I can’t wait to see you back in print. I’ll be the first in line to get my signed copy.
    You go, girl!

  3. Business partner – exactly what I need and the role I want from an agent. Also, a first line of defense, someone to focus on the market so I can focus on the writing.

    We’re not gamblers – we’re risk takers, willing to face challenges, living our passions…

    The agent is practical part of the partnership – try not to spook them.

  4. Just got back from the day job and an overnight stay in Portland. Finding the *right* agent is almost harder than finishing the manuscript 🙂 Knowing your personal needs in a business partner and finding someone who will keep your spirits up is most important I think.

    Terri, I can’t wait to get back in print 😀 When I get that call, you’ll hear me whooping clear across the city!

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