How Do Authors Benefit From Agents?

Many times on my blog, I’ve answered the question of why you, a writer (singular), might need an agent (also singular). But today I want to answer a slightly different question. How do authors, collectively, benefit from agents (plural)? How does the existence of agents in this business help all authors?

Read the complete post on the Books & Such blog.

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!


  1. Jennifer Major @Jjumping on August 30, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    I’m just going to copy and paste my B&S comments here. Yes, the L in my middle name is for ‘lazy’.

    When I read this, my mind wandered to the concept of a cartographer. Back in the days of seafarers, unknown lands and vast expanses of ocean, cartographers had an important, critical job. Each map that came back was more accurate than the preceeding one. One hopes. I’m fairly certain that the Vikings (hello HDG!) and then later the likes of Magellan, Cortez, Columbus and all those French guys who came up this way were depending on the artistic and mathematic skills of the cartographers.
    Now it’s all GPS and cell towers.
    An agent’s job 5 years ago must have been a whole lot of different than now.(And that’s only, what, 10,000 queries?)
    As a whole, just the collective knowledge and experience of the women at Books and Such alone would be worth its weight in (Canadian chocolate ) gold.
    Which translates to the best deals possible for writers, publishers and agents.
    I’m fine with a compass, great with a map and awesome with telling my husband to turn left or right. But pah-leeeease don’t ask me to navigate the Sea of Publishing alone!
    Thar be monsters afoot!