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Here's a clue.

You probably don't need an agent.

You can get your first book published without an agent, it's hard, but not impossible. Let's face it, agents are there to help you to publish a book, right? Partially. They're there for commission. They have to pay the rent. You, and only you, can get your stuff out there. Unless you find one that specifically specializes in "new" authors, your agent is gonna be looking into finding the really sellable stuff.

You have to be your best agent.

While I made a lot of this stuff up, the bold thing up there comes from Stephen King's essay Learn How to Write Successfully in 10 Minutes. An interesting piece.


Here's the actual quote:

11. An agent? Forget it. For now.

Agents get 10% to 15% of monies earned by their clients. 15% of nothing is nothing. Agents also have to pay the rent. Beginning writers do note contribute to that or any other necessity of life. Flog your stories around yourself. If you've done a novel, send query letters to publishers, one by one, and follow up with sample chapters and/or the complete manuscript. And remember Stephen King's First Rule of Writers and Agents, learned by bitter personal experience: You don't need one until you're making enough for someone to steal . . . and if you're making that much, you'll be able to take your pick of good agents.

--Stephen King