Agents and Indies

One of the major reasons many readers turn to Indie authors is to find unique work as they get tired of the “fashionable” reads flooding the bookstores. In my opinion, it was no coincidence that vampire stories seemed to be all published within the same time frame.  Actually, most were most likely programmed to come out at that time, from even before they were being pitched to the big publishing companies by literary agents. The fact of the matter is that before Indies broke in to the publishing industry, the decision of what people read was made by publishers programming and what literary agents thought would sell.

Once the Indies showed the world that they were here to stay, the industry’s dynamics began to evolve within publishers, agent, and writers. The traditional publishers found their niche, as well as the writers who ventured into the Indie publishing adventure, so the agents had to get creative as the structure of the industry changed.  Currently we still find the traditional literary-publisher relationship, but as many traditional successful authors want to explore the Indie side many literary agencies were forced to adapt to giving birth to a new kind of agent: the hybrid. The hybrid is a traditional agent who allows the author to explore Indie publishing on some projects while still representing the author with the big publishing companies.  There is also another type of agent making appearance within the publishing world: the Indie agent.

Now, the word Indie next to agent, by definition should never be together, but the quantity of writers going Indie with little or no knowledge on the publishing processes, created a need for guidance that could easily be filled by agents or former editors of publishing companies. So, when is hiring an Indie agent a wise idea?  Below are some points to consider:

  • Publishing processes knowledge. Let’s face it publishing books is a for-profit business, and requires a substantial investment of effort, time and money. So if the Indie author has no knowledge of the business, it makes sense to hire an Indie agent to walk them through the process to minimize error and the chances of sales failure.
  • Time availability. Many authors jump into publishing without realizing the time involvement it requires. Because of this, many books don’t get to the readers as they find themselves overwhelmed with lack of time to keep writing and working on their next project while trying to launch, promote, and sell their book. Having an agent to coordinate those aspects of the published book might make sense.
  • Is an agent what the author needs?  Since the Indie agent is still evolving, many authors are not sure of what type of help they need. Hiring the right type of help can make the difference on whether or not a project is successful. So it is imperative to make sure that what the agent is offering and matches what the real needs of the author.

Indie Authors are first and foremost hands-on writers, navigating an unknown ocean. Getting navigation help to get to the right place is wise, as long as the Indie author continues to be the captain and the agent, his navigator.  For more information about Reader Views click here.