It’s important to look at the publisher that’s interested in the book. Is this their area of expertise? Are they trying to make inroads into a new area? Are they really the best match for your book? If they’re not the best match for your book, don’t settle just because it seems easy.
But can you do both? Send your book to publishers and agents?
It’s not a great idea to try to do both. Agents prefer a book that has not yet been shopped around. A good agent knows the industry and will find the most appropriate matches for your book. Chances are, you’ll have better opportunities because you used an agent.
Even if you do find a publisher on your own, there are many reasons to have an agent. One of my clients, Kathy LeMay, whose book The Generosity Plan just came out this month, had an offer from her publisher before her book got published. She thought about not having an agent, but I wasn’t the only one to advise her to get a literary agent.
She asked her publisher, “Do I need an agent?” and her publisher told her yes.
“You don’t want to be negotiating with me. That’s not our relationship. And you want an agent not just for this first book but for your career as an author.””
Kathy got a great agent and didn’t have to negotiate a thing. Her agent knows the business and Kathy was thrilled with her contract.
Anything you should be aware of in signing a contract with a literary agent? Absolutely. Read my recent blog post about Literary Agent Red Flags.