Friday, 17 March 2017

3 Wh-Questions About Finding Literary Agent

On the quest for the Holy Grail, every writer is bound to make mistake. Have you made your share of mistakes? Okay, I was trying to be funny there. On a serious note, let’s talk about literary agents.
When I started my literary career (read, I thought, “Okay, I have written a novel, what do I do now?”) I had not heard about the parallel careers of the literary agent. This was March 2015. Around 2 years back. In last 2 years, I have tried to find an answer of a few of the Wh-questions about this profession.
This is what I learnt.

Who are they?
Myth: Gods/ goddesses who can salvage your writing career
Truth: You are a writer. Think of yourself as the CEO of a company. Literary agent is your first point of contact with the industry. Your go-to person. They don’t write your book for you. YOU write them. With or without a literary agent, you are the writer. Literary agent aids you in meeting your career goal of becoming a selling writer. 

What do they do?
Myth: They make a writer an overnight success
Truth: A BOOK makes a writer a success. Your career depends on your book. Literary agents present your book to editors at the publishing house. This editor acquires your book. Literary agent takes 15% money from the money you make.

When they are right for you? (Or Should I work with a literary agent?)
Myth: I am a hybrid/ self-published author; I don’t need a literary agent.
Truth: You are an author, right? Do you aspire to make money writing books? You need a literary agent.

Reason: No career is an island. Think of writing as any other career. Say, you are a sports person; will you need a coach? Yes. Even the best of the sports people have a coach they work with. Same. Ditto. If you are a writer, you need a literary agent.

Kirtida Gautam is a clinical psychologist, screenplay writer, and the author of yet to be published psychological thriller I am 16 I can. The novel questions Juvenile Justice System of India and raises opinion AGAINST rape culture. Follow her on Twitter @KirtidaGautam 

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