I haven`t used an agent in the past - but may in the future as I start to do more books. However, with four additional publishers coming to me and wanting me to do books it may not be an immediate necessity. An agent is good in introducing your product/proposal to publishers, negotiating advances/contracts, and making use of their media contacts in arranging some promotional efforts if you have a book needing such services. One of my friends is a best-selling fiction author and an agent is a must for him in regards to coordinating huge contracts, movie options, television and public appearances, major magazine article writing assignments, and much more. I`m not at the point (yet) and I`m not willing to give up a big chunk of my meager book earnings. Maybe when I get my trashy novel completed...
I think you`ve run into Ilise Benun
online, or at least may be may be aware of her book efforts in regards to self-promotion and other topics. You might want to touch base with her through her blog, Stop Pushing Me Around
(the title of her new book), and see if she has any insight on this topic. I don`t know that she uses an agent or not.
The amount I make per book through my publisher is not that much. I more than double what I earn from each book sold through my associates links to Amazon. I`m not willing to give up a percentage of those earnings at this point. I do end up doing the majority of my book promotion myself. My publisher does some major ad placement in industry magazines, conference speaking engagement bookings and promotion of my book within other books they market. Still, their small marketing department is promoting a large number of books and mine is just one of many requiring their attention.
Hope that helps some...
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