You’ve Got the Power
Blogger: Rachelle Gardner
Authors working with a traditional publisher can sometimes find themselves in situations they feel are out of their control. Fortunately when you have an agent, you’re NOT powerless. You have someone to whom you can turn—someone who knows the publisher, knows the process, and has almost certainly seen your situation numerous times before.
What kinds of publishing situations am I talking about? You can contact your agent about anything that happens with your publisher that confuses you, or doesn’t align with your vision, or causes any kind of problem. We’ve recently helped clients through various thorny issues including:
- The author doesn’t think any of the proposed cover designs suit the book.
- The editor suggests changes to the manuscript that seem overly aggressive or inappropriate.
- The author is working with a freelance editor (hired by the publisher) who doesn’t do the work in a timely manner, causing the author to miss their editing deadline.
- The publisher is ignoring the author’s emails.
- The author’s checks are not arriving on time.
- The publisher is not forthcoming about marketing plans.
While your agent can’t always fix every situation, at the very least they can walk you through it, handle communications with the publisher, and affirm that you’re not crazy for sensing a problem. Many times the agent can solve the problem and smooth things over with the publisher.
“But I didn’t want to bother you.” We agents don’t want to hear that! We don’t want you feeling powerless and suffering through problems on your own. This is why you have an agent. Always bother us if you feel things aren’t going right. You’ve got some power when you have an agent—so use it!
What are some publishing situations you’ve experienced (or envisioned) in which you’d feel more comfortable having an agent partner?
When you have an agent, you don’t have to feel powerless working with a large publisher. Click to Tweet.
Don’t worry about bothering your agent! That’s what they’re there for. Click to Tweet.
Problems with your publisher? Always talk with your agent first. Click to Tweet.