Friday, 6 June 2008

How to Be Your Own Literary Agent - Richard Curtis

This month I've decided to post reviews of some of the resource books I've read in regards to the writing business.

Most of us know that we need agents to get anywhere with the major publishers. But is an agent really necessary? Richard Curtis says yes. Then explains how you can do the job yourself, if you so choose.

Filled with tips on how to bargain for a larger advance (agents tend to get more as you'll be inclined to say 'yes' to anything, simply to see your book in print), lots of tedious contract information (did this convince you to get an agent?), information on how payment is made - and not made (helps to have someone who will pressure the publisher to give you some of that money your book made), and insights into the world fiction market (helps to have an agent who knows what different countries look for and can get sales that go directly into your pocket rather than to pay off the publishers advance), plus so much more. In other words, the book is a goldmine for all those tasks you didn't realize your agent would do for you, which you probably don't have the skills or time to do yourself. But it also teaches you what you need to know to be your own literary agent.

Pros: if you want to publish a book, with or without an agent, this book is invaluable.

Cons: it's already in its second edition and could use a third as some of the information is starting to go out of date again

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