Are you a fiction writer who would like to get a book published? Are you considering hiring a literary agent or book agent?
Agents help you in a number of ways, once they accept you as a client. They shop your book around to different publishing houses, help you stay up-to-date with the editing and publishing process and negotiates the terms of your contract. Most agents work on commission and don’t expect an up-front payment from you.
Although it is possible to get a book published without having a literary agent by your side, there are times where a literary agent is needed. For example, many of the larger, well-known publishing houses do not accept manuscripts from authors who are not working with an agent. If you have your heart set on seeing your book published by a larger, well-known publisher, an agent may be in your best interest.
If you do decide to use a professional literary agent, proceed with caution. Anyone can call themselves a professional, but that doesn’t mean that they are. Do your research and interview a number of literary agents before making your decision. Compare costs, quality, and success rates.
Protect yourself: look for literary agents who only get paid when your book gets published.
Bottom Line: there is no rule stating that a literary agent is required to get a book published – but you can certainly benefit from having one.