Should You Choose a Literary Agent or Self-Publish Your Manuscript?

It may seem that the most difficult part of getting your book published was writing the manuscript in the first place, but think again! Once you have finished your first novel, you have to make the important decision between getting a literary agent or deciding to self-publish.

In the high-tech and innovative new world of publishing, the Internet makes it easy for you to take matters into your own hands through self-publishing. In fact, many companies have jumped on the trend to create self-publishing websites where you will pay a lump sum to have your book printed and publicized on a number of online book websites, like Amazon.com.

Before you make the big decision, start by doing your research of both literary agents and self-publishing agencies. Many first-time authors will pay the money to a self-publishing company because they are sick of dealing with traditional literary agents, but you do need to keep in mind that it takes time and commitment to see your work come to fruition. You only need one literary agent to be interested in you, so prepare yourself to receive rejection after rejection after rejection. It’s normal!

From there, decide if your book would be read by a large or very limited audience. Yes, you probably want your book to be read by anyone and everyone in the country, but you do need to be honest with yourself about whether or not your book has a very narrow audience. If it is a narrow or niche market book, self-publishing may be the better choice since literary agents will often invest only in book projects that are geared toward a mass audience.

Last of all, decide if you perhaps need to write another manuscript and begin on your quest again. If you are considering self-publishing only because you want an easy hit book on your hands, that is most likely not going to happen. Instead, you may want to try it again with your second book to get more experience through fine-tuning your craft so that a literary agent may be interested in your next work!

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