February 22, 2012 · 2:46 am
Now that’s a tricky question to answer. Why? Because in this last year it seemed like the world of publishing had indeed started the slow march to extinction. They are being faced with changes that are now starting to effect their bottom line and they are going to have to really dig deep to stay viable. So what does that mean for us agents?
Well, it means we are going to have to change the way we do business as well. We need to source the best manuscripts we can to sell. So if you are thinking of submitting a book, it’s now more important than ever to produce the best work you can. And look at all your publishing options.
Remember, just because you want to self-publish doesn’t mean there isn’t a contract involved. There is. And that’s where agents are valuable. We are here to negotiate the terms so that you don’t get screwed out of sales. After all, if you are going to spend money on producing a book- why not make sure you get the best deal you can?
Last week I sold a book directly to Kobo- a digital edition of a book that had been out of print for a long time and now has a chance to be read and bought on e-readers. It’s a great opportunity for all of us to embrace change and sell the best writing we can to all the publishers out there. As much as I dislike a lot of the technology out there ( Cell phones) there are some good opportunities for readers and writers to get their work into print.
Agents aren’t just around to sell books. We are top negotiators on the side of the writer.
So, that’s my short blog about stuff. Just got back from L.A and I really wish I could have stayed longer. The rain is sure coming down in Vancouver right now. SIGH.
Filed under Agent Services, Book advances, Literary agent, Mobile phone, publishers, publishing, Publishing strategies, Sport, Submission Guidelines
Tagged as Advances, agents, Author, Author's Rights, authors, book selling, books, business, buying, Canada, clients, e-books, editors, How to sell to an agent, literary agent, Marketing, negotiations, Submissions, writing
November 1, 2011 · 6:49 pm
As the smell of the fall leaves comes through my window, I thought I should catch you up on a few items. As you can tell I almost never get onto my blog because I am so busy making book deals! In the last few months I travelled to Toronto for my twice yearly visit, and met some great editors and publishers, as well as caught up with a few friends from Ottawa and Montreal. It’s always great to travel back east and take in the sites and sounds of Toronto, but I’m equally as happy to come home.
This year has been an interesting one for me and in general for the publishing world. In the media we are seeing more and more stories about authors going the self publishing route but then having issues when their books don’t sell, and then we see ones that breach their contracts without realizing it- and wondering why they just lost their 20,000 dollar advance.
That’s one of the reasons agents are valuable -for their knowledge and expertise in the industry. Too often I hear complaints after the fact about why an author lost out on a deal. My first question is always “Did they have an agent?” and if they didn’t then I tell them “That’s why your author is losing out.” Agents act in the interest of the author first, publisher second. Without an agent a writer has a higher chance of being cut out of profits and second book deals because they simply don’t know what they are signing- or they don’t think a point can be negotiated.
The next thing I hear is ” But Brian, it’s not that easy getting an agent. My work sits in a pile for months before they even respond- if they respond at all.” My answer to that is
” A) Did you read their submission requirements down to the letter? Did you follow them? B) Did you research the agent you are contacting? Do they even publish your type of book? C) Did you actually include the bottle of scotch and cigars or did you just say it was on the way? and D) Is your book any good? Not- friends and family good, but actually good- good grammar, good story, good subject. Is it interesting and exciting? Why would I want to sell this?
Remember- once you finish writing the book it moves into the business of selling. It’s not about how great you think your book is, and what ‘people’ say about it. It’s about how it’s going to do in the marketplace. How is your marketing, advertising, publicity going to be put together- what is your platform- does anyone know who you are? That’s what it’s about now, and that’s what you have to show to an agent. And if you do all that then who knows- you may end up with a great agent and a book deal.
And on that note, this Christmas please consider buying one of my newest releases Where There’s Smoke – Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man by William B Davis– he’s a great guy so go and buy his book!!
Filed under Agent Services, Blurbs for books, Book advances, Facebook, Literary agent, publishers, publishing, Publishing strategies, Social media, Submission Guidelines, Writing
Tagged as Advertising, agents, books, buying, Christmas, Marketing, Platform, publicity, slush pile, Toronto, william b davis