Look Before You Leap

As I have mentioned before I have been in the process of trying to find an agent for my writing, especially my last novel, “In The Company of Legends.” I had one lead that seemed promising and pursued it.

Lo and behold, I received an offer of representation. But there was a catch. The agency asked for a retainer of $375. I thought that was a little strange. In my research on getting an agent one thing that had been stressed was that any good reputable agent would not ask for money in advance to represent you. They rely on getting you the best contract with a publisher for their money.

Checking a site for writers, I found a number of reports that this particular agency and literary agent did get publishing contracts, but they were with companies that prints books for people that want to self publish.

My guess is that they send the manuscript to the publisher and use the money from the retainer to pay for the publishing. This particular publisher would do nothing for the author but print the book. The publicity and marketing would have to come from the author, leaving him or her with skimpy sales and little to show for their effort. In other words, a scam.

That is not what I am looking for. If I do decide to self publish, I find a place on my own. At least then I’ll know that I’ll have to supply my own marketing and publicity. But it will be my own choice and not a surprise.

Which takes me to my other point. The Internet can be a tremendous tool for information and opportunity. However look before you leap. There are many charlatans out there, ready to separate you from your money. Be careful; check everything. It may take you longer to find what you want, but, in the long run, you will succeed and not be sorry.

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