Edit My Novel
By Cara Lockwood
You’ve finished your manuscript, had it edited (hopefully by me), so now what? You’ve had it in your mind that one day you’d sign a huge deal with a major publishing company, but you’re not quite sure how to go about it.Literary agents have long been turnkeys in that process. They have ongoing relationships with editors at big publishing houses, and they can make those relationships work for you. I’ve been represented by an amazing agent for the last fourteen years, and I feel I have a good understanding of how agents work and where to find them. There are editors and companies out there who want to sell “find an agent” service to you, but I think you can arm yourself with the knowledge you need to find your own.
First of all, having an agent endorse your work means that someone out there with serious professional experience believes in you. It’s a huge ego boost, but beyond that, the endorsement means something in the publishing world. Agents have trusted relationships with editors and those editors will take special care to really consider pitches from the experts they’ve come to trust. Agents also help you negotiate the best possible deal. Publishing contracts have never been more complicated. There aren’t just domestic and foreign royalties; there are digital royalties, mass market paper royalties and the possibility of who makes money if the work is optioned for a movie or TV show. The best agents make it their business to understand how to protect your interests in this ever-changing world. Plus, when you work with an agent, you’re more likely to get a multi-book deal, which is what any new writer wants!
I really have my heart set on a particular agent. How do I grab his or her attention?