Have you ever been to a “perfect” wedding? You may think so, but chances are, even if you weren’t aware of it, procedures went wrong.
Why is it hard to plan and execute a wedding? Because we don’t practice to perfection. So, many people hire wedding planners to take care of details for them.
A similar profession? The interior decorator. Though my home was likely among the more modest my decorator adorned, I was thrilled to hire her for my front rooms. Wallpaper, paint, carpet, furniture, draperies — were her domain. We chose the décor from suggestions she made based on research and connections that cost her time and money to cultivate. The professionals she worked with displayed passion for painting, flooring, applying wallpaper and hanging draperies. I’d rather send out manuscripts and negotiate contracts.
What does this have to do with life as a writer? An interior decorator and a wedding planner have much in common with a literary agent. We can practice to (near) perfection so we know more than the majority of working writers have time to learn — because they must have a chance to write!
We’re on friendly yet professional terms with editors. Lots of them. A writer spending thousands of dollars attending every conference for a year still isn’t likely to meet even a third of the editors we already know.
We know the look, feel and terms of the contracts from major publishing houses. A solo writer simply does not have access to the number of contracts a literary agent sees. This knowledge allows us to negotiate the best terms for our authors.
And those are only two examples of areas we have spent our time and money to learn for you.
I won’t claim there is no situation we haven’t seen, no question we haven’t heard, and no problem we can’t solve. However, the probability that we’ve experienced your situation, been asked your question, and can solve your problem, is great. Much greater than if you’re on your own.
Just as the wedding planner should know who to call if the bakery misses delivering your cake (or better yet, keep that from happening in the first place), we’re familiar with our landscape and can help make your writing journey a happy one. You let us take care of what we know. You get more time to write.
What do you think is the most valuable service an agent provides?
How does your agent make your life easier?