Should I consider hiring a Literary Agent?
I'm a self publisher with a debut novel called Trapped and a sequel coming out January, 2018. My question is should I try my hand in looking for a Literary Agent? I've read so many articles where its said that most Literary Agents will not even consider taking an author on unless they are well established and/or has published with a traditional publishing company. The daring part of me wants to give it a try but the cautious part of me is holding me back. My book has garnered favorable reviews (7) and I am developing my author brand. Any suggestions?
An agent is pretty much a necessity if you want your work to get to big publishers. If that's where you want to get to then I'd say you need one. But beware of the fake ones that will ask you for money just to read your work. And be careful of what contracts you may sign with them.
I'm not sure what value an agent would be to you if you wish to remain self-published. But that's not to say that they wouldn't be valuable, I just don't know how I would use one as a self published author.
I would say that they could be of value to you if you're planning on expanding your brand. I have used one previously for some ventures, but I would also advise making sure you're aware of what the one you select is capable of doing for you. They can be very costly and the ones with the most stretch will probably cost a pretty penny. Being self published will probably hinder you from doing some things (or at least it has for me), but until, unless you're ready to try your hand at being with a big publisher, you may just want to learn some of the industry ins and outs yourself for the time being and become versed in how to brand yourself.
My understanding is, for the great majority of legitimate agents (maybe all legitimate agents?), getting agented should cost you nothing but a percentage of what they sell for you. If they don't get you money, they don't get paid (with 15% being pretty standard). I think it can't hurt to seek an agent, it may not be easy to land one, but you never know. If you have material that appeals to them and they believe they have a market to sell into (i.e., an eager publishing company to hook you up with), then you may get signed. The main thing is to wonder whether they will be able to hook you up with a better deal than you could get on your own. I think it might be worth talking about the business specifically related to Urban fiction as a genre, so I'll try opening a thread on that to continue the conversation. Not that I know much; I'll have more questions than answers.