Thursday, December 29, 2011

Do We Really Need an Agent With E-books Doing so Well?

Since I've been asked this question numerous times by wonderful fellow writers, I thought Gee, maybe I should address this question in the blog. So here goes...if you are wanting to put an E-book out NO you do not need an agent...UNLESS, you want to go through an E-book publisher (such as ).

So, (you may be asking yourself) why bother with agents? Why not just E-book it all the way to the bank? Well, if you haven't figured out by now this blog isn't just about getting an's about:
* building a platform
* marketing

I'm not against E-books. In fact, I will be putting one out soon. But, that being said, the book I am putting out as an E-book still went through the proposal process. Why? Because of marketing. The proposal process isn't just about finding an agent. It's about studying our books, knowing the ins-and-outs of the material we've written or want to write so we can successfully market them. The proposal process ensures that we've thought about:

* title and book cover
* word count
* audience (who will buy your book)
* book benefits (for non-fiction)
* special features
* models for your book (genre and comparable/competing books)
* a marketing position (what sets your book apart as unique compared to others like your book)
* other books you plan to write
* your platform and promotion plan (extremely important these days!)

The E-book market is about to become severely flooded. Getting our E-books to stand out is going to take some hard work, great writing and good marketing. So agents aside...go through the proposal process anyway.

However, agents are not useless even in the E-book world. Agents (who know your genre inside and out) are extremely valuable in both editing and marketing. So if you want to send out a great book as opposed to a pretty good story, then an agent can help. An agent can also help with contract negotiations should Hollywood come knock-knock, knocking on your door. (Two writers in my writing group have been contacted for movie deals and both have agents to help them through the process.)

And finally, even if you have an E-book out and it's selling steadily why not tap into the hard copy market? It only makes sense to put at least one hard-copy title with your name on it into the bookstores in order to cover all your markets. Mind you, the market is changing so rapidly--who knows what better opportunities will be available tomorrow.

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