An author asked my opinion the other day about how long he should wait for his agent to sell his book before pulling it away from her and publishing it himself. Here's what I replied.
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This one is easy:
I'm semi-serious about this. If you've been fortunate enough (more like "blessed") to land a legitimate, hard-working literary agent who took on the work of a first-time author (whom you seem to be), you'd be crazy to dump that agent simply because you can get your book into print sooner yourself. If that's all you wanted, I doubt you would have taken the time and effort to find a literary agent willing to take on an untested author in the first place. Besides, self-publishing is not only a quick way to publish your book but also a sure-fire way to get you branded a "loser" within the publishing industry.
Also, self-publishing is a great way to spin your wheels and end up with very little to show for your time and effort. Most self-published books earn their authors less than $100 in their lifetimes. Far less!
Now, if you have a questionable agent—one you're not sure is actually working at selling your book at all—my question to you is why? Why didn't you check out the agent before signing on the dotted line? Asked for a list of some of her clients for you to contact? See what books she's sold for those clients? To what publishing houses? Every agent worth her salt should be willing to provide answers to questions such as those. If yours can't, it's safe to say you don't have a legitimate agent, and you need to get free of her ASAP. Read More