You’re determined to see your novel on bookstore shelves across the country, if not around the world. Understand this: The path you’ve chosen is no harder nor easier than going the indie route.
Both ways have their own ups and downs, but the bottom line remains the same:
You have to have written a good book.
Simple, right? Without a good book — a great book — it doesn’t matter much if you’re going to self-pub or find the world’s best literary agent. So let’s take a good hard look at that “great book” part first:
Now choose which button describes you best:
What’s the difference between an editor and an agent?
An editor works for a publishing company (or “house”). It is, in part, the editor’s job to buy novels on behalf of the publisher and work with the author on making it marketable. A literary agent works for herself or a small company and represents the author in all dealings with the publisher. It’s the agent’s job to protect her client (you, the author) and get you the best possible deals when you sell your novels to publishers.
What does “represent” mean?
Representation is what agents offer their clients. As in music, film, or professional sports, agents take a percentage of their clients’ earnings in exchange for going over contracts between the author and publisher, ensuring the author is getting a fair deal, and opening doors to traditional publication that are closed to unagented/unrepresented writers. (This is a cursory definition.)