Could Your Self-Published Book Benefit From Literary Agent Representation? | Self-Publishing Relief

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SPR Benefit From Agent

Self-publishing a book allows indie authors to be in charge of every aspect of the business, from selecting the cover design to marketing the book itself. But the continuing demands on your time and energy can become overwhelming, especially when you’d rather be writing instead of dealing with the marketing aspects of promoting a self-published book. Wouldn’t it be great to get a little help and guidance from a seasoned publishing professional? At Self-Publishing Relief, we know that sometimes a self-published book can benefit from literary agent representation.

How To Determine If Your Self-Published Book Would Benefit From Having A Literary Agent


Are You Making A Profit With Your Self-Published Book?

Is your self-published novel rising respectably in the rankings of your genre? Have you received a coveted orange “bestseller” flag on your Amazon listing? Are you raking in a considerable profit from your efforts? Are your reader reviews glowing, and accumulating?

A self-published book that has already shown success in the marketplace is a book that literary agents will love to represent. Make sure you have the numbers that prove your success, and include those specifics in your query letter.

Do You Have A Strong Platform?

How many social media followers do you have? How active is your indie author Facebook Fan Group? How big is your Twitter following and your e-mail subscription list? Have you received any notable attention in the media for your self-published book? Has a prominent author in your genre offered up a glowing blurb?

Having an active fan base for your self-published book is a definite positive when you’re querying a literary agent for representation.


Are You Willing To Offer Up Future Works For Traditional Publishing?

Literary agents make most of their living from earning 15% from advances and royalties of negotiated book contracts with traditional publishing houses. Would you consider venturing into traditional publishing for future projects? If so, you might consider mentioning this in your query letter.

What Rights Do You Want The Literary Agent To Sell?

Often a self-published book that is doing great can still benefit from a traditional publishing run. However, if your self-published book is already selling well in e-book and even paperback form, you might want to only use a literary agent for other subsidiary rights. These might include:

  • Foreign language translations
  • Library editions
  • Paperbacks
  • Film rights
  • Audiobooks, etc.

Some savvy indie authors tackle these ventures themselves, but the prospect can be expensive and time-consuming. A literary agent may be willing to negotiate contracts just for these subsidiary rights, thus freeing up a lot of your time and saving you from headaches. Be specific in your query letter about the details of rights representation, and then make sure these are included in the agency contract agreement.

If your self-published novel isn’t rising in the rankings, or your platform isn’t growing by leaps and bounds, it won’t be easy, but you can still try to land a literary agent for your book. If you’re determined to interest a literary agent in your project, you should still send out queries. It may be that all your book needs is a literary agent who believes in its potential!


Question: What subsidiary rights have you, or your literary agent, negotiated for your self-published book?

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