Saying Goodbye to an Agent

Wow, never thought I'd title a post with that.

I know that some of you are grabbing your head in your hands, screaming at the computer. "Why?" I would have been that person not so long ago.

Here's the long and the short of it.

The Financial reason. Advances in traditional market are low right now. Really, really low. Why would I tie up a novel in a one to two year process for $2500 (on a good day) when I could put it out myself, and in that two year period make that same money. Perhaps even I would see that money and then some, depending on my ability with marketing myself and my books. The traditional route doesn't make as much sense as it once did, nor is it as potentially profitable.

The Respect Reason Would you rather chase after a publishing house or have them come to you? I choose to HOPE that by publishing on my own, they will come to me. And if they don't? I'll survive. I'll just need each of you to buy 10 books. Seriously though, more and more Indie authors are able to command great contracts with the Big Six publishing houses. Simply because those writers have proven their mettle in an industry that is in flux. Amanda Hocking and John Locke are two such writers who now have contracts, after starting out as Indie authors, and there are hundreds more.

The Timeline The traditional world of publishing is 1, maybe 2 books a year. With the way things are now, readers don't have the patience they once did to wait for a year. By then, they’ve forgotten about your book and have moved on to the next series and writer. In this technological age, we should be putting out 3-4 books a year if we want to keep our readers from forgetting about us and moving on to the next authors work.

You'll never get that with a traditional publisher. The fastest they will put books out is 2 a year, and that is if you are a high seller, someone that they can bank on. No midlist author will receive that offer.

Valuing Myself and my Work. Finally, and most importantly, my agent just didn't have time for me, as much as she made a last ditch effort to connect with me. I've been with her for over a year, the last 7 months she's been MIA due to personal issues, but even before that, I was having to dodge her heels to make things happen. That is not my job. My job is to write. I'm grateful she thought well enough of me to take me on, but that isn't enough, not in this market. If you are going to have an agent, you need one who is willing to go to bat for you, one who believes in you and values your work. At least as much as you do.

Guest post by Shannon Mayer. Connect with Shannon Mayer on Twitter & Facebook

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