Frank Sinatra once said, “Hell Hath No Fury Like a Hustler with a Literary Agent.”
Well, that may have been true back then, and it probably still is right now. But, will that always be the case? So, in my recent blogs #cloudsanddirt and #elmsandoaks I stated that I had decided not to keep agent-chasing anymore and I wanted to discuss my reasoning behind it here. Maybe you have been asking yourself lately if you really need one. If so, you may find the reasoning behind my decision helpful for you, too.
I stumbled across this quote recently and two words really got me thinking. Here’s why…
Agent. Traditionally, it is the agent’s job to bridge the world between author and publisher in order to reach the readership. But the world is changing, very quickly and it isn’t going to stop. And I fundamentally believe that authors can be their own agents if they have the…
Awareness. You see, back in 2014, Publishers Weekly printed stats from the US Author Earnings report. It stated that Indie books represented 31% of e-book sales and that self-published authors were “dominating traditionally published authors” across many genres like sci-fic, fantasy, thriller and romance. It stated that the #indieauthor movement was here to stay. You can see the report here: http://authorearnings.com/report/july-2014-author-earnings-report/
Fast forward four more years and consider that within the social media stratosphere that dominates our lives, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. Websites like www.ingramspark.com and www.selfpublishingadvice.org along with the Alliance of Independent Authors are all shouting loudly about #indieauthors and #selfpublishing because more and more authors are doing just that. The latest authorearnings.com January 2018 report shows that the combination of indie authors and indie publishers in terms of market share has grown. So, be aware of the Ether that I talk about because it is the space where the internet and social media platforms exist.
Clouds – big dreams – book launches – the macro – the ultimate goal
Ether – awareness – time – online community – social media – apps – blogs
Dirt – the hustle – content production – the micro – the getting stuff done day after day – the slog
In traditional terms, the agent still exists in the Ether to some extent, but agents are, I truly believe, being metaphorically blown out of the Ether because the internet is the Ether. They aren’t or won’t be needed any more. They are being replaced. Authors can and do exist in the Ether and that online environment is giving authors oxygen – breathing space – to engage directly with readers, fans, followers, reviewers, influencers.
Personally, I have been trying for quite some time now to get my first middle-grade novel Hannah and the Hollow Tree picked up by an agent or publisher. It is hard out there. Let’s be honest. See the link below for a very interesting article. I didn’t realise that the target we writers are aiming for to be agented and published in the traditional sense was so damn small! A lot of people want to be writers and that’s fantastic because we all have stories in us that deserve being read or listened to and there’s currently an audience of over 7bn of us ready to consume!
I realised recently, after a period of disappointment that I wasn’t bitter about not being snapped up by an agent. I am truly grateful. Hand on heart grateful…because I honestly think there’s a different way of doing things now…and that has replaced what once existed in the Ether.