If you are looking to be published by a major publishing house, having an agent is essential. Most
of the large publishers don’t accept submissions directly from authors. However, the agent is
more than just a middleman. The agent represents the author, presents the author’s work to the
appropriate acquisitions editor, and handles contract negotiations for the author’s rights over
the work. The agent does all of this in exchange for 10% to 15% of all advances and royalties
earned by the author. Avoid “agents” who ask for reading fees or any money up front—they
shouldn’t make money until you do.
How do you get an agent?
Start by researching agents who represent your genre. This is important. You waste your time and the agent’s time if you send queries to someone who doesn’t represent your genre. You want an agent who is passionate about your genre and who will know the best place to send your work. It’s also good to go after a new agent—they’re more receptive to new authors. You can locate agents through the following resources: