SURVEY: Who Do Authors Need More, Agent or Publisher?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

In the age of DIY, who can really help an author the most?

By Edward Nawotka

author writing

I like to tell aspiring authors that to get a book published is simple, since you only need three people: you (to write the book), an agent (to sell the book), and an editor (to buy the book). Mind you, there are as many writers, agents and editors out there as there are stars in the sky and getting three into perfect alignment is a difficult task.

Now, of course, things are changing. Digital tools have enabled a far greater number of writers to do things for themselves, from self-publishing to self-publicity. As a consequence, the very necessity of whether or not a writer needs the publishing industry at all is being questioned.

These days, the roles an agent and editor are often similar. An agent edits and publicizes an author much in the same way as does a publisher, and they can help generate additional revenue for the writer through rights deals and further sales. A publisher does much same, while taking care of the production, distribution and sales of the books. At the same time these are all things authors can ultimately do for themselves, some better than others.

So, for our latest survey, we’d like to know — who do you think an author needs more, an agent or a publisher?

[poll id=23]
About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.