Home    Workshops    Members Only    Contests    Join    Contact us                       RWA Chapter

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Do I Need an Agent?

Please welcome guest blogger Donna Alward

Over the years I’ve heard this question asked time and time again. Heck, I’ve even asked it myself. And there is no one right answer except “It depends”.

It depends on what genre or publisher you’re targeting, what you’re willing to negotiate yourself, how badly you want to hold on to that 15% commission. It depends on where you are in your career, where you see yourself going.

I sold my first book in 2006; I signed with my agent in 2009 – our first contract together was for my 12th book. Everyone told me I didn’t need an agent to write for Harlequin and they were right. Thanks to the knowledge of authors who came before me, I knew what things to watch out for, and I knew what changes I needed to negotiate. And let’s face it – 15% is a significant amount of your income.

So why did I actively seek out an agent? What makes her so worth her cut?

From February 28-March 4, I’m going to talk about this very thing here at FF&P in my workshop TO AGENT OR NOT TO AGENT. Not only will we talk about choosing to go this route (or not) but when you do decide it’s the right time, there are things to be on the lookout for. How do you know if the fit is right? How do you get an agent’s attention? What red flags should you watch for in the agent/author contract? And then we’ll open it up to a Q&A in case there’s something I didn’t cover or needs clarification.

You’re the one in the driver’s seat. Knowledge is power and this is YOUR career as a writer.

Donna Alward is an award-winning author of over a dozen Romance novels for Harlequin Romance and Samhain Publishing. Her debut Harlequin, HIRED BY THE COWBOY, won the Bookseller’s Best Award for Best Traditional Romance, 2007. She belongs to the Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada RWA Chapter and has had articles published in both Author Magazine and The Romance Writers Report. Her current release is Proud Rancher, Precious Bundle (Harlequin Romance). To learn more about Donna visit her website at www.donnaalward.com.

Proud Rancher, Precious Bundle

After a hard day's ranching, Wyatt Black wants to kick back with a cold beer. But when he steps onto his porch, he has unexpected company—his tiny abandoned niece!

Against her better judgment, Wyatt's neighbor Elli Marchuk agrees to help him for a few days.

Elli soon falls in love with baby Darcy, but it's the child's grouchy, gorgeous protector who's got her head over heels….


Anita Clenney said...

The agent question has always been a tough one. I chose to get an agent because I knew she could open doors I couldn't. But I honestly was stunned to found out how many doors and how much quicker they open for her. And on top of that, negotiating my contract would've been a nightmare, and I consider myself fairly contract savvy. She's directed me, molded me and sent me running in the direction I needed to go. I don't know what I would have done without her. She's like my fairy godmother.

Donna Alward said...

That's definitely one of the things I'm going to talk about, Anita!

Jill Kemerer said...

The workshop sounds terrific! Is it just me or does the publishing industry seem different than it was even three years ago? With e-rights still being hammered out, I'm sure there are even more things in a contract writers need to be aware of.

Your new book looks really good!