Author Expectations

By: Jeff Herman

What’s most important is that you, the author, feel sure the agent continues to believe in the project and is actively trying to sell it.

For his work, the agent receives a commission (usually 15 percent) against the writer’s advance and all subsequent income relevant to the sold project.

Although this is an appreciable chunk of your work’s income, the agent’s involvement should end up netting you much more than you would have earned otherwise. The agent’s power to round up several interested publishers to consider your work opens up the possibility that more than one house will make an offer for it, which means you’ll be more likely to get a higher advance and also have more leverage regarding the various other contractual clauses.

The writer-agent relationship can become a rewarding business partnership. An agent can advise you objectively on the direction your writing career should take. Also, through her contacts, an agent may be able to get you book-writing assignments you would never have been offered on your own.

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