Bringing an Agent on Board

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Feb 10 2011

I am a two time published author and was wondering if you represented work that had all ready been signed by a Publisher. I just need help with promotions and help to get other stuff signed too, so would you be interested in doing something like that?

Once a contract has been signed an agent doesn’t legally, in the eyes of the publisher, represent those books. However, it is possible to bring an agent on board later in your career, before the next contract, to assist in career planning and in the next steps for your career, as well as future book contracts. The trick is that you will still need to have a plan to pitch to the agent.

As for promotions, an agent will typically guide you and help brainstorm ideas when it comes to publicity and promotion, but except for a few larger agencies, most agents don’t directly handle publicity or promotion; that’s something you would hire a publicist for.


7 responses to “Bringing an Agent on Board”

  1. "Publisher" with a capital "P"… yikes. That publisher's not qualified by "America", is it?

  2. Avatar Laurel says:

    For titles already under contract, I would think this person should go to a publicist since an agent would have no stake in those works. It might sound mercenary, but I don't like to work on projects where I won't get paid, especially when I have other work to do where I will.

  3. Avatar Kristan says:

    I don't have any personal experience with this situation, but I remember Maggie Stiefvater blogging about how she had started without an agent, and after getting one book published she realized she could probably be doing better (contract wise) so she queried agents with a new book in mind and used her past publication experience to entice them. (Her book had been doing decently, after all.) That led her to sell LINGER, and the rest is history.

    Oh, I found the link!

  4. Avatar ryan field says:

    It's a great question, even though the author seems very new to the business with regard to PR.

    And a very good answer.

    As far as Laurel's comment about sounding mercenary. It doesn't sound mercenary at all. It sounds very practical and smart. Most pubbed authors without agents do, in fact, consider this before they query an agent. And they are thinking more about the future than the present, not about PR. I know I'd never query an agent for PR work. I control that myself. My query would be about getting new deals.

  5. Ha ha ha, Josin, that's awesome. 🙂

  6. It becomes clearer every day that an agent is necessary to wade through all the steps of publishing.

  7. Josin, that was my first thought, too. I hope I'm wrong and that this person is actually in a good publishing situation.