I've posted a couple of things about the joys of having an agent, but I'm not sure if I've talked about the one thing that means the most to me when it comes to having an agent. Why I'm more than happy to work with her and feel honored to have her input.
Having an agent legitimizes me as an author.
Now I know a lot of people may roll their eyes at that and say "c'mon, you're an author the minute you write something", and that's true. But to me, my biggest hurdle I had to get over after all those screenplays, all those short stories, was that no one was taking me seriously. In my mind, I was still a hack typing away at a computer with no idea how to make a novel work.
And I may be alone in those thoughts. Perhaps my self-esteem was low because I was raised to not think of writing as a "real job" and was always hard on myself when it came to my own words. I'd read about other writers making it big and think "That'll never happen to me".
My dad has self published seven or eight books. And he's thrilled and very happy to have a hundred or so copies ordered from Amazon. He's the definition of writing for himself. Retired, age 70, with an imagination and experience to last the rest of his days.
Me? I always had to have something more. Someone I didn't know from a hole in the wall saying "hey, this is pretty good". My wife loves my writing and would tell me so, to which I'd respond "yeah, but you're not in the business, are you?"
Now I have someone who is. Someone who's job it is to get authors published. She makes money off of the sale of my book, and she thought highly enough of it to take it under her wing and help grow it. And she has - she's pointed out inconsistencies, word choices, and alternate endings to make it a much more sellable product. And I'm grateful.
But most of all, I'm grateful that someone has invested themselves in my writing. That makes it all worth it, and I appreciate that more than anything on a daily basis.
So you could self-publish, or go right to editors, or just stick the manuscript in the drawer. But I wouldn't change a thing for me with getting an agent. I feel like the luckiest guy in the world.
I'm starting a new book today with that as the title. "The Strength To Stand Up. Memoirs of an Unemployed Man." People have...
Great time had at the SCBWI conference on Saturday! And a big hello to my friends from that conference who've hopefully joined us here....