Step Five – Find an Agent

*Update: Step 5, 6 and 7 of this Crash Course, which covers How to Find a Literary Agent or Publisher for your Children’s or Teen Book, can be downloaded to your Kindle!*

You’ve done your due diligence. You have some idea your writing is good, your story holds up, AND YOUR BOOK IS FINISHED. You couldn’t be more ready to send out your manuscript.

There are three ways you can get your book out there.

  1. find an agent who will sell your work for you
  2. submit directly to an editor
  3. self-publish your book

If you read the post about self-publishing, you’ll gather most people go for option 1 or 2. So let’s talk about agents first. You should know there are literary agents who specialize in children’s fiction. That’s all they work with, all they sell. If you only write young adult (teen) fiction and up, there are even more agents who do both adult fiction and teen fiction. But before you start hunting down an agent, let me tell why there’s a debate on why you should have one.

An agent is going to take about 15% of your cut. That’s the standard in children’s fiction. An agent is not a requirement. Adult fiction is a bit different; you almost always have to have one. So if you write for children and you can sell your book without an agent, that’s money saved, right?

Well there’s a flip-side. An agent might be able to negotiate more lucrative terms for you than if you tried to wheel and deal yourself. If you’re the kind of person who hates talking money, then an agent might be just the ticket. Your agent, if he or she is good, should be able to do way better than what you would have gotten if you negotiated yourself.

What’s the C Liu take? If you can get a GREAT literary agent, do it. But keep in mind not all agents are angels. Many, many writers have acquired agents and gotten burned. You’ll want to do your research. BUT…before you begin the agent hunt, answer this question… Should you find an agent now?

If you’re ready to look for an agent, here’s a post on how to submit your work to editors and agents.

If you want to submit your work to an editor instead, go to step six – find an editor.

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