This Thing Called A Literary Agent


When you're a god used to embarking on harrowing adventures in Asgard, Earth can be a bit dull. I mean no offense by this statement – it's merely an observation.

But there is something I find very enjoyable here: books.

We had books in Asgard, but they weren't like the books here. Books here are mystical, captivating, and they like very much to steal hours of my time away every night.

I couldn't stop reading books once I found them.



It seemed only natural that after a while I might try writing one to see how hard it could be. Stark suggested I purchase a pad of paper and a pen and jot down my thoughts at odd times.

They were...strange at first, to say the least. I didn't know what I was doing. So I read some more and realized I needed things called characters and also conflict. Bit by bit I started to string a story together. That story turned into a full-length novel.

I wasn't planning on letting anyone read it. But of course Stark stole the pages one day and read them. When I found out, I considered smashing his head with my hammer, but then he told me it was “actually pretty good for a guy with long hair.” He said I should think about publishing it.

Great, I said. I'll publish it tonight!

Unfortunately, after several failed attempts, I realized what I thought “publishing a book” meant wasn't actually going to get it into bookstores. Stark recommended using something called the “internet” and “google” to learn more about the process. So I did!

I found out there were a couple different ways I could go about getting published. The one I decided to try involved this thing called a literary agent. I'd never heard of the term before, but google helped me find a definition from this place called The Free Dictionary:

LITERARY AGENT. (noun)
A professional agent who acts on behalf of an author in dealing 
with publishers and others involved in promoting the author's work.

Now, the way you go about contacting this literary agent is by sending out a query letter – a short, intriguing description of the book you wrote – but I'm not going into that right now. I am here to tell you what I learned a literary agent helps writers with. See, all these months later, I have an agent and she helped me find a publishing house who bought my manuscript! I couldn't believe it when it happened. And I bet you don't believe it either, so here are the top three things you should know make an agent a fantastic person to work with as a writer (presuming the agent is qualified – check their history of book sales and speak with their clients if you aren't sure):

  1. A good agent will have connections. Your agent has the connections and the know-how to get your manuscript in front of many beautiful editors at publishing houses big and small.
  2. A good agent will take care of legal matters. Your agent allows you to focus on your writing while he/she takes care of things like how much money you're going to receive in advance for your book (they try for a big number), what your royalty percentages are, and what rights you keep for yourself. Your agent is well equipped to hack-and-slash a publishing contract so you won't accidentally sell your soul to Loki. They'll work out the best deal possible.
  3. A good agent will keep you sane. Your agent believes in you. When you' ae in the throes of revisions and beating yourself over the head with your hammer because you're fairly certain your writing is getting worse, your agent will kindly remind you that you are not, in fact, a terrible writer – you're just having a bad day. He/she will help you get through it.

There you have it. I am happy to answer any specific questions about why you think you may or may not need an agent in the comments.

Happy Monday,
Thor.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you Thor, and Stark, for giving you that pad of paper and directing you to the internet. :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ooh. I need one of these too... ;) Very clearly put, Thor. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete