To Query an Agent or Not?
Now that I have polished manuscripts, I am ready to see if my work is ‘publishable.” I set a goal to start querying publishing houses August 1st. So, any publishing houses that align with the theme/genre/mission of my book, will be on my list.
Except for one big thing…
I can only apply for houses who accept unsolicited submissions.
Unsolicited meaning... I don’t have an agent so I can only apply to those that allow “cold calls”, essentially.
That narrows my list significantly but still offers opportunity.
However, the deeper I get into this process, the more I wonder if I should query for agent representation first.
I am still working through this but, ultimately, I think it is a good idea for a few reasons...
More opportunities offered for publication
Knowledge of ins/outs of publishing houses
Representation/growth in career
It seems like an obvious choice, right?
I mean, it’s already hard enough to get noticed as a debut author…
I read an article that likened a literary agent to a real estate agent. They get a cut but help you showcase and sell your book for the best deal to the best fit publishing house. The alternative is selling it yourself
– “for sale by owner” aka submitting to publishers directly.
Okay - this is helpful to visualize.
There are a few smaller publishing houses that I follow and really respect. I love the mission and community-feel that some of the mid-size houses offer to authors. But I guess I can talk to an agent about those houses - if I gain representation.
I will make my decision in the next week or so… I am attending a children's book conference this weekend which will offer further clarification.