f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n: Day 5 of Agents – The Advocate Hat

f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n

Friday, February 04, 2005

Day 5 of Agents – The Advocate Hat

Publishing is an industry of relationships. Or should be. Editors should work closely with authors to help work a manuscript into tight shape. Publicists should work with authors to plan the best opportunities for a particular book. There should be a fair amount of give and take.

Sometimes hiccups occur or problems arise. An author doesn’t like editorial changes that were made to a book. Or the cover design. Or feels her book has been overlooked by marketing and publicity. (Every author feels this, BTW.)

Should these problems arise it’s sometimes nice to have someone standing by your side. As well, it adds a buffer layer that can help deflect hurt feelings. Since publishing is a relationship, hurt feelings can quickly become a burden to author and publisher.

Hopefully this is the least used hat in the agent’s wardrobe but it’s one that is important to remember.
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So that will conclude our discussion of agents.

Whether you seek one out is up to you. You’ve heard how very much they can offer you and so my only advice is that should you decide to sign with an agent, you seek representation that offers you all that you want.

Next week we’re going to switch topics altogether and, invoking the name of Carl Linnaeus, begin a look at the rather imprecise way we categorize books and whether there is a better alternative.