New literary agents are often thought of as a last resort by authors, a “second option” that should only be considered after striking out with more established literary agents.
But that kind of thinking is shortsighted.
Read this article to learn about the advantages of working with new literary agents. This article is part of a 15-part series called Finding a Top Literary Agent.
Established literary agents have a lot to offer authors, but so do new literary agents. Take a look at the benefits of working with new book agents below.
And make sure (if you haven’t already) that you read the other article I wrote about the pros and cons of working with established literary agents.
Now, some of the advantages of working with new literary agents…
New book agents are all different, but they also have one thing in common: they’re hungry.
Some new book agents are hungry to establish themselves financially. Other new book agents are hungry to become well-known. And other new book agents are hungry to prove that they can make it in New York. Whatever their reasons, new book agents often have a passion and desire that has left more established literary agents.
What does that mean to you?
New literary agents are more likely to be deeply committed to your success over a longer period of time, because they need you to be successful. New literary agents are still trying to get established, and they need to sell books to earn respect and build relationships.
If you want a book agent that’s more committed, consider new literary agents. They’re much more likely to work with you long-term (for several years if needed) to get your book sold. New literary agents will sometimes even guide you through additional rewrites on your book after failing to sell it, if they really believe in you and the project.
I hate to put people in boxes…
But new literary agents are much more likely to be humble, kind, and collaborative. In short, new literary agents are easier to work with. They’re more pleasant to work with. And they’re more patient.
It’s human nature.
New literary agents don’t have the same experience that established literary agents have. That makes them a little less confident and a lot more eager to please. New literary agents are more likely to be sensitive to your opinions and feelings.
Another reason that new literary agents often make better agents, is that they view the author/agent relationship as a partnership. New literary agents understand that you bring as much to the table as they do with your talent.
And they need your business.
Many established literary agents don’t need your business. And it shows in the way that they treat their authors. Instead of treating them like true partners, they treat them like their employees.
You might not realize this is a common problem, but lots of established literary agents drive their authors crazy because they’re simply not available. Many authors have reported going months (many months) without getting any updates or having their emails and phone calls returned.
New literary agents are a lot easier to get a hold of for book status updates, to get questions answered, and sometimes just to talk shop.
Publishing agents aren’t obligated to spend lots of time with their authors, but that time can be valuable. New literary agents are more likely to give you extra time that could be spent: educating you about the publishing industry, helping you strategize your publishing career, improve your manuscript, build your author platform, and more.
So keep this in mind if these things are important to you and/or you’re the kind of author who needs a little extra handholding.
I know that I make a convincing case for considering new literary agents. But I feel just as strongly about the benefits of working with established literary agents (for different reasons, of course).
So, what’s the best choice?
Most of the authors who work with me in my 1-on-1 coaching programs ask me that question. I always tell them that it’s an individual choice. You have to consider the pros and cons yourself and then decide what’s most important to you.
To me, the best literary agent would be an established agent who used to work with a large literary agency… but just left to start his own agency.
Then you get the best of both worlds.
Click here to read the next article in this 15-part series,
about The Cons of New Literary Agents.