I'd like to say based on my sales in 2012 that I've reached a certain level of success. I have 4 novels out and a 5th due soon. I've sold over 8,000 copies of said books. All on my own. (Okay, I think it's safe to say with the help of readers and fellow authors, I couldn't have done it all on my own!) My current stance at the moment is to continue my writing career in the self-published fashion. I get to keep my rights and have access to great royalties. I make all my own decisions, from content to book covers to release dates to price. I love what I do. It's great. I wouldn't change it.
But it's also a business. I can't help but think sometimes, and I do go back and forth, that having a literary agent would be a valuable addition to my business. It would be great to have someone who could sell my print rights, or my foreign rights.
My ideal situation would be one where I retain my ebook rights and the agent looks to sell paperback rights or international rights so the books can be published in other languages.
But finding these agents is like chasing a unicorn. They occasionally exist on a full moon or at the end of the rainbow, but for the average self-published author, we can't seem to catch one.
I wonder if the industry has developed enough to allow these unicorns to actually exist. I know of a few, but mainly they're repping people far more successful than myself or people they snapped up prior to the author's self-publishing experiments.
I'd like to think in the future agents will be more accessible to us self-pubbers. We're all in business here and there has to be ways we can help each other. As a self-published author I've proven that I'm a hard worker, I pay attention to detail, I'm motivated, and also that I can market myself. I feel like that gives me such an advantage over some of their other clients. I'm ready to hit the ground running and already have a platform ready to go.
They also have to understand us and what we're looking for. Intelligent business options that allow us to retain important rights, but exploit the products we've created to their fullest.
If these agents do exist, I'd love to talk with them, if not only for myself but for all of us so we can see if the unicorns are real. Are there agents out there ready and willing to work with the self-published? What are their thoughts on the process and is what we're asking for something they actually see as lucrative business moves for them? I'd love to see an agency site that includes submission/query info for self-published authors.
I'm going to do a little digging and see what I can find out...wish me luck! I'll report back anything I uncover!