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Is your agent your manager?

30 November 2015

Lizzie Kremer's amusing article about being a nerd, which we link to this week, disguises a greater truth about agents, which is that behind the showmanship and flair that many of the better-known and possibly more successful ones show there is a great deal of attention paid to the detail of their clients' affairs, particularly their royalty statements and subsidiary rights sales.

Not every author wants this, but many of the best agents are like their authors' managers, advising and coaching them on their projects, providing a vital conduit to publishers and then managing their affairs in terms of their writing and how it can best be sold. For every agent who specialises in knowing everyone in publishing there is one who focuses on the editorial end of things or another whose specialty is subsidiary rights or royalty statements.

To be fair, most agents have to make a decent fist of all of these areas and the independent agents don't have the luxury of supporting departments such as subsidiary rights, which you would find in a big agency.

If you are looking for an agent, it's important to remember that you need to trust them and get on with them, although it's tempting to forget this if you are desperate to get someone to take you on.

Finding an agent and Working with an agent provide some pointers on how to deal with agents, so you can go that route or just decide that you're going to publish your own work.