Do I need an Agent

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
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miterite
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Do I need an Agent

Post by miterite » January 15th, 2010, 10:06 am

My second book in the fiction, (mystery genre), is with Publish America and in the production department at this time. I do not have an agent. Should I find representation, now?

Krista G.
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Re: Do I need an Agent

Post by Krista G. » January 15th, 2010, 11:35 am

If I'm not mistaken, Publish America is a self-publisher, yes? If that's the case, then I'm afraid it's probably too late for this book, since a lot of agents don't want to work with self-published titles. That said, there's always the next book to write, and you can always try to find an agent for that one.

Good luck!
Author of THE REGENERATED MAN (G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, Winter 2015)
Represented by Kate Schafer Testerman of kt literary
www.motherwrite.blogspot.com

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Ryan
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Re: Do I need an Agent

Post by Ryan » January 15th, 2010, 3:40 pm

First. Congratulations on finishing your 2nd book. Now comes the hard part: Selling it!

As I'm looking to maximize the work I've done on my book, I am looking for an agent. You don't "need" one to publish a book but if you want distribution and want the book to sell across the country and beyond then you will need an agent. Distribution for self publication is tough. Lots of stories abound of books stacked to the ceiling.... But I've heard of self-published books getting picked up later by a mainstream publisher and with the Internet anything is possible. I've also heard of self-published books selling well but those were non-fiction books written for a specific audience.

It's a tough business. Remember publishers such as Publish America make money from authors paying them to print their books while large publishers make money by selling the author's books. I gather you've already paid Publish America? Too late to back out?

Best!
My love of fly fishing and surfing connects me to rivers and the ocean. Time with water reminds me to pursue those silly little streams of thought that run rampant in my head.
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Harper Karcz
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Re: Do I need an Agent

Post by Harper Karcz » January 15th, 2010, 4:58 pm

PublishAmerica is a (rather notorious) vanity press.

No legitimate agent would rep a PA-published book*. Sorry.

(* = Unless you stopped publication of the book, got your rights back from PA, and tried to get an agent to help you publish it with a legitimate publisher. But even that would be tricky.)
Having just the vision's no solution
Everything depends on execution.

-- Stephen Sondheim

djf881
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Re: Do I need an Agent

Post by djf881 » January 16th, 2010, 5:21 pm

Publish America is a well-known scam. They market themselves as a real publisher, but their business model is about bilking you.

They take your rights, dedicate no resources to you, wrap your book in a clip-art cover, and sell it back to you at $40 per copy. They provide no marketing and no bookstore placement, their books are not returnable, and their prices are much higher than legitimate presses, so very few bookstores will make space on their shelves for PA books, and it is unlikely that anyone who doesn't know you will ever read your work.

You should have researched publishing in general and the crooks you've been dealing with specifically before you signed a contract with these people. Unfortunately, the book that you signed away to them is, for all practical purposes, ruined and lost, even if it was good to begin with.

Before you start submitting your next book, you should learn how real publishing works.

And, yes, you should try to get an agent.

For your reference, the Absolute Write forum about PublishAmerica:

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/for ... .php?f=115
If you like my posts, please check out my writing blog; http://somethingpersuasive.blogspot.com.

crazywritergirl
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Re: Do I need an Agent

Post by crazywritergirl » February 13th, 2010, 10:58 am

Check your Publish America contract. Do they have first right of refusal on your next book? If so, you're got a problem.

I don't think I'd mention your previously PA pubbed book to an agent. Start over with a fresh story and move on from there. Unless that PA book won multiple awards and was seriously kick ass, consider it a valuable learning experience.

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Lorelei Armstrong
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Re: Do I need an Agent

Post by Lorelei Armstrong » February 13th, 2010, 10:46 pm

My condolences. The best thing you can do is forget the PublishAmerica book exists, write to them and tell them you will never buy any copies, tell everyone you know that they are not a legitimate publisher and not to buy the book, then sit down and write a new book.

When you have a new book, yes, you will need a good agent. So you won't lose another book to an outfit like PublishAmerica.

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Lorelei Armstrong
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Re: Do I need an Agent

Post by Lorelei Armstrong » February 13th, 2010, 10:48 pm

And when you're querying your next book, don't mention PublishAmerica. They are not a publication credit.

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Do I need an Agent

Post by Nathan Bransford » February 13th, 2010, 10:55 pm

Here's a great guest post by bestselling author Jeff Abbott on why you need an agent: http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2008/11 ... tance.html

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