What About Agents? by Christine Duncan

I just read that a hotel in the U.K. is putting The Nook in each room. Downloading the Bible, a hotel drawer staple, will be free but anything else you will have to pay for.

The Gideons who have been the folks putting Bibles in hotel rooms all these years, are non-committal about the project. They are sticking with paper Bibles.

News stories like this, make the changes in publishing more and more evident.

I haven’t tried to get an agent in years. I never liked the idea of an agent, partly because it seemed to me that if my writing was good enough, it should sell itself. And there is a part of me that really doesn’t like the middle man concept. But I know plenty of people who still think agents are necessary to get “New York” published.

I know people who were e-book snobs back when I first got e-pubbed. They asked me why I didn’t wait until I was good enough to get paper pubbed, even though I have always had a paperback edition of my books. They tried to imply that my books were less somehow.

I don’t get those questions anymore. The talk when writers get together is more around what an e-book should cost, and how much a writer should make off of it.

It’s easier to get published. We can all acknowledge that. But finding your audience seems oddly harder, despite all the writers out there hawking their books on Facebook and twitter.

So I am asking you: have the changes really reached you as a writer? Do you make more off of your books now? Is it easier to have a writing career now? Do you still need an agent to get published? Is self-publishing more accepted?

Lot of questions, but I’m guessing the answers are complex.


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