It is true that today more and more authors are jumping on the self-publishing train. However, there remains a vast body of writers out there still longing to attract the attention of the Big Six or land a deal with one of the many smaller presses out there. After all, there's just something especially delicious about knowing you've made it through the traditional filtration system, to have someone choose your work among all the other lovely shells along the shoreline.
Writer's Relief agrees, most of the authors who come to them for aid or advice dream of being among the small percentage of authors who publish their book with traditional publishing houses, like Penguin, Random House, or Hachette. Of course, the question becomes, how do you go about achieving this?
Well, Writer's Relief and I agree on this point as well—your best bet for success in this arena is to hire yourself a literary agent.
Although it's certainly possible to find a home for your manuscript without the aid of an agent, there are plenty of publishing houses (the Big Six especially) who will not even accept a submission if it doesn't come from an agent. Beyond this, of course, is the simple fact that agents are good for a great deal more than simply garnering publisher interest. To quote from Writer's Relief, here are just a few reasons why an agent is a fantastic tool for writers, no matter what stage you're at in your career:
Thus, for those of us still dreaming of the day that Random House comes knocking on our door for our latest masterpiece, finding a good literary agent is a must-do!
What have your experiences been? Do you have a literary agent? Do you want one?
(Writer's Relief blog: http://www.writersrelief.com/blog/2009/03/top-reasons-to-query-agents-first/)
Contributed by K.C. Mead, Editorial Assistant, Chrysalis Editorial