So I’ve finished basic revisions, sent the manuscript to beta readers (both in my writing group and out), and I’m looking ahead to publishing options. I have a basic blurb and info about my book to build a query letter off of. Now, I have to make a decision.
An agent, or an independent press?
With an agent, there’s a greater likelihood of signing a contract with a traditional publishing house. Not a big one, mind, but bigger than if I tried to do it on my own. An agent would do a lot of the fighting for me, if I could get one interested, and I’d have advice on any contract I’d sign.
The usual 15% cut seems a small price to pay, when I examine my own talents (which definitely fall short of an agent’s).
Then again, independent presses have more freedom than traditional houses to begin with, they specialise in certain genres, and I’d gain more money in royalties. Plus, they prefer authors submit works themselves, as opposed to agent representation, so that 15% would be mine.
The New Leaf Literary Agency has a good reputation, especially among WriMos. They would be fair and honest with me, and I’d expect them to be very good at what they do.
Impress Books is one of the first independent presses I’ve looked at, and one I think would be a good test for my novel. I’ve no doubt they have excellent business, and the types of books they sell are varied.
So, my dilemma: submit to an independent press first, and hope that the lack of an agent doesn’t hurt my chances? Or secure an agent first, and never find out if I could have done it on my own?