Signed up for a new readers site today Library Thing. (http://www.librarything.com/topic/134466) Here’s my first post.
Obviously, all writers want professional assistance, but my position is along these lines:
– It’s hard to get a “good” agent who will take on an unpublished writer. That leaves agents who are new, old, or well…not that very good;
– If you do get an agent who tells you she wants you to do this or that and she doesn’t know anything more about what acquisition editors want than you do, you can spend a lot of time and go down a lot of wrong tracks meeting a useless goal of pleasing that agent.
– Even if you do get published, unless you are the beneficiary of a publicity budget and professional promoter, you are going to have to do the same amount of publicizing of your book and yourself as the unpublished writer.
– What you get with the professional deal is:
– A spot in the stream of new books that flow through “brick and mortar” stores and are given about a week on the shelves to see if something happens before being replaced;
– Chances of reviews in mainstream press;
– Chances of being purchased by libraries; and
– The great joy of saying “I’ve been published by…”
The stigma of being self-published is quickly fading, and warning to the newly published author who thinks their work is done.