I already forgot. How does that happen?? The entire purpose of this Web page and blog is to bring you along on the journey, and while I feel I’m keeping you informed, I haven’t much asked your opinion.
I’ll give myself a little slack in consideration that so far, my work has been writing, meeting, then writing some more . . . so there hasn’t been many decisions that need made.
But that’s about to change, and I need your help in making the first big decision.
Today is the deadline for illustrations for Yoba’s Bedtime. Joshua Baker will submit the final illustrations today and from there, I’ll begin sending the book to publishers. Or to literary agents?
Should we send letters to publishers unsolicited (some publishing companies do not accept unsolicited work, except from literary agents) or should we send the book to literary agents?
Pros and Cons about literary agents: Literary agents represent an author and become their voice when pitching the author’s material to publishing companies. It’s a bonus that literary agents often have an “in” that an unknown author wouldn’t have, but they also charge various fees–some that are reasonable and some that are not. Each literary agent is different and has their own fee schedule. Some can even charge “reading fees” just to read your material. And who knows if they really read it? Of course, there are plenty of honest agents out there as well, and because of abuse of the “reading fee” charge, many agents have done away with it.
Literary agents are familiar with the publishing process and could get author’s through it more quickly (doing most of the work themselves), but because agents represent several authors, their time spent solely on you is divided, and it could take them a while to actually get your work into the hands of any publisher for review. However, if and when a publisher picks up your book for publishing, the literary agent uses their connections with book stores, literary festivals, etc., to promote and advertise your work–contract places where your book will be sold, scheduling appearances and spreading the word about your book on social media.
Pros and Cons of pitching directly to publishers: Publishers seldom take unsolicited work, so when they do, they likely get a ton of them. Yoba’s Bedtime, while it may go straight to the publisher quicker than going through the hands of an agent, could lay under thousands of equally-great stories and take forever to be found . . . if it gets found at all. However, if and when the publisher finds it, reads it, critiques it and decides they want to offer a publishing contract, there is no middle man. This could be good and bad. I mean, who understands a publishing contract better than a literary agent? You’ve got to be careful what you sign! If a literary agent doesn’t go over the publishing contract, then one would need an attorney to. And that’s more money going to someone.
So, what do you think? We’ll be sending the book out next week. Who do we send it to? Literary agents or publishers? Comment below.
And always, thank you!