Why you need an agent …

If you’ve ever thought about going it alone (and who hasn’t?) or self publishing, then there are good reasons to reconsider. My experience is personal, of course, and limited, of course and … well, it’s full of all the prejudices, assumptions and neuroses that go to make me unique. Ahem. Putting aside that point for later consideration. These are the reasons that I believe striving to get a (good) agent is worth all the effort:

1 – I didn’t get the work for hire project, which makes me sad. But they have said that they’d like me to try again, and this is not a chance that I would have got if I hadn’t been on the books of Excellent Agent, so I’m aiming for second-time-lucky on this subject.

2 – while that project didn’t come off, and EA is still trying to place Novel #1, she came up with another idea, based on some non-fiction work I’ve been doing. Of course this might come to nothing too, but I couldn’t pitch the concept to publishers, while she can, so there’s much more chance of success with her on my side.

3 – I always have somebody to talk to about my writing career.

That third point is the real key – without EA to talk to me about ‘me’ in relation to the currently stagnant and turbid waters of fiction publishing, I could easily despair. But with her overview, my personal situation is properly located in a world where even established authors are having their books cancelled by publishers, where imprints are closing left, right and centre and publishing is shedding staffers like a snake sloughing an old skin.

A new, shiny, and more lithe publishing world will emerge and I will be ready to greet it, but only because EA is there to remind me that it’s not personal, and that staying the course is as much part of the profession of writing as is turning a good sentence.

And in the meantime, I have a short story live at Beat the Dust and I managed to produce a sketch I wasn’t ashamed of this week. It was of a feather …

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