Six Reasons Why I’m a Fan of Literary Agents

by Rita Emmett

Do you need a literary agent? Not necessarily, but I’m a big fan of them and here’s why.

An agent:

  1. would probably negotiate a much better deal than either you or I ever could, so that even after paying them their 15% (the going rate is 15% of everything our books earn) we’d still be making lots more money that we would have on our own

  2. would eliminate the need to search for and hire a literary lawyer to check the publisher’s contract. The lawyers fee would likely be as much as the agent’s 15% anyway

  3. has “connections” with publishers. Most publishers will not even look at unsolicited manuscripts. They just toss them into what they call "the slush pile” to be read sometime by an intern. So even if you have a publisher interested in your manuscript, a good agent will probably show it to other publishers and have them bid against each other. The result of this kind of bidding is usually a higher advance and a better “deal”

  4. might place chapters of your book in magazines before it is released

  5. might include special considerations in your contract that you would not have thought to do. For example, because I’m a speaker and sell books in the back of the room, I can buy my books from the publisher at a 70% discount. (It started at a 50% discount, then when they saw how successful I was at promoting my books, my agent spoke to the publisher about it and obtained a “deeper discount” for me)

  6. offers advice, guidance, and coaching that is priceless

I am convinced that even if you have a publisher asking you to write a book, you are better off with an agent.


Want to write a book? Go to Rita’s web site and click on The Writer’s Room. Take a look at Rita's The Procrastinator's Guide To Authorship: Stop Putting Off Your Success. Find a free article about writing proposals in The Writer’s Room

Don’t procrastinate in going there now.

Rita Emmett, author of The Procrastinator’s Handbook and The Clutter-Busting Handbook, is a professional speaker who presents Keynotes and Seminars nationwide. She can be reached at 847-699-9950 and email is

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