Killing the Top Ten Sacred Cows of Publishing: #4… You Need an Agent to Sell a Book
“… Some myths are very, very deep and based in old publishing and I’m afraid this agent myth is one of them. This one caused the most anger the first time I wrote it and now in this updated and redrafted version, I’m sure it will have its detractors. (I love that kind of understatement.)
The key is to just step back and think it through, decide what path, what method, is right for you. Very easy for me to say, very hard for all of us to do.
The myth is simply: YOU MUST HAVE AN AGENT TO SELL A BOOK
In the world that now has indie publishing as a viable path, that myth is just flat silly. But alas, the myth is very real and a foundation belief for a lot of writers who only want to go to traditional publishing.
To be clear, I like agents as people (for the most part) and have no desire to bring them harm. Most of them are decent people who love books. But there are a few out there who think nothing of taking a writer’s money. However, most do try their best in a very tough new world.
The problem is that their place in the profession is going away quickly. I used to call agents the ‘wart on the butt of publishing’ since they have no real job in the process of writing and publishing a book. But now that ‘wart’ is about to come off completely.”