Advocate for Yourself

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Apr 05 2022

You hire and work with an agent to have someone to advocate for you and your career. Agents negotiate contracts and due dates. They fight for marketing and publicity and give feedback on covers and cover copy. They provide inside knowledge on how publishing works, and on what works in publishing. But having someone in your corner, advocating for you, does not mean you no longer have to advocate for yourself.

In order to best advocate for my clients, I need to know what they need, and that only happens when they’re willing to tell me, to advocate for themselves. It doesn’t mean they need to go directly to the publisher if they’re not comfortable, but if they don’t like the cover they’re given, for example, there’s no way for me to know unless I’m told. There’s no way for me to fight for something better unless I’m included in the conversation from the beginning.

Advocating for yourself can be difficult, especially if you’ve been taught to not make waves. But it’s also essential to success, in publishing, and in life. An agent’s job is to advocate for the author and we want to do that. But every author is different and helping us know when and how makes for a better partnership.