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Title: Publishers vs Agents
I give the Insecure Writer's Support Group permission to use all or part of this blog post.
When signing with a small to medium sized publisher (or self-publishing), you will most likely design your own book marks, plan book signings and school appearances. Be prepared to do a lot of work. You must make contacts with other writers, libraries, book clubs, bloggers and organizations to promote your book. There were many things I enjoyed about having a small publisher for my debut novel, but many things I'd do differently. Publishers represent your book (to some degree) while agents represent you, your book and your future books.
For my current, finished novel, I am seeking a literary agent. My experiences have left me feeling like I just won the lottery to losing the State Championship game in sudden death overtime. Let me warn you. You will be forced to play the WAITING game. This game is NOT fun. It freaks you out every second of every minute that you WAIT for them to read your requested full. (And the dozen or so other ones they've requested from other writers.)
Don't settle and don't quit. Put your best work out there. Follow agents and Writer's Digest on Twitter. Don't forget to be professional with agents. Always address them by name. Always include some of the qualities that match your book to their #MSWL (Twitter hashtag for "manuscript wish list") or go to their website. And for the love of all that is holy, follow submission guidelines. If they are closed to submissions, DO NOT QUERY THEM.
BE PATIENT. This is not for the faint of heart. You must be strong--warrior strong, line-backer strong. Paint your game face on and race to the line of scrimmage and WAIT for the big game to start. You CAN do this!
(I tell myself this every morning.)
Tell me about your experience with publishers vs. agents. What do you like/dislike about both? Do you enjoy self promotion? How do you handle the "waiting game"?