Monday, February 20, 2012

Agents... screw 'em (for now)

I think I am going to STOP looking for an agent.

It's not because I think they are blood-sucking opportunists who only want you after you have proven you are successful and who only think of the profit a writer can give them and not about the life and desires of said particular writer or that they only have rear-view mirror advice on trending and couldn't pick a new hot novel if it came up and bit them on the ass...

No, that's not the reason.

The real reason I am going to stop looking for an agent is that, for the immediate future, I am more than capable of doing the job that they would do for me.

I can e-pub my books. I can do the street level promotions. I can scour the landscape for the book bloggers to review my babies.

And why not?

Here's some number breakdowns. After initial writing and during first/second/third edits I spend at least HALF my available/scheduled "writing" time searching for an agent.

Now let me be clear -- the term searching seems to suggest I stand on a virtual street corner with my skirt hiked up waiting for a pimp to notice my wares and take me in as a "business partner".

No, there is a LOT more to it than just looking pretty. Query letters, cover letters, synopses, chapter outlines, character summaries, first three, first 50, rejections... Query letters, cover letters, synopses, chapter outlines, character summaries, first three, first 50, rejections... wash, rinse, repeat.

Yea, the process of "getting an agent" is a full time job in itself.

So you know what I was thinking?

What if I took all that time I spend "searching" for an agent and instead apply it to self-publishing?

What's the worst that could happen... I finally have a finished product that my friends and family can tell others about without rolling their eyes and having to answer those all too familiar questions: "Oh he has a book? Where can I get it?"

The hardest part for me... and I do mean the HARDEST part... was getting past the term "vanity" publishing.

Because this is NOT vanity.

This is downright, true-grit, pick-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps, good old fashioned American ingenuity and self-starter-ism that got this country off the ground in the first place.

Screw that "vanity" crap. If this was vanity, I would make (pay to have) someone else do it and sit back and wait for the accolades.

Maybe someday, in a galaxy far far away in the distant future (but somehow in the past) I will look again when I have the extra income to pay a conscript  agent to do all that work for me.

Until then I will re-purpose the efforts I have spent looking for an agent and become my own agent.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed. Sometimes doing it yourself is the best way