Sunday, March 16, 2008

Jinxing it

I want to write a book.

I won't be telling you what it's about here, except that it's a non-fiction book on the same topic as the most rewarding magazine article I've ever written. (Y'all who know me: that should be enough information). I wrote this article about a year and a half ago, and the article was published about a year ago. This past summer was devoted to the new house and the new job. This summer, I think I want to, you know, actually get stated on this thing.

But I do NOT want to write it if I don't think anyone is going to publish it.

So today--my first day back from State (nobody broke except my Public Forum team who made the first cut...but hey, we're a new team, and I'm damn proud of them all)--I decided it's time to research exactly how the hell one gets a non-fiction book published.

A trip to Powell's and $90 later, I'm stuck on the question of whether I want to have an agent or not.

Money is nice, but it's a nagging need to write this book that's driving me. Even so, I think there's a small niche of people out there who will buy it. We won't make the best-seller list, but I'm 100% certain I can make some money for a publisher and/or agent. But of course, I don't have any real idea what I'm talking about.

Arguments for an agent: He/she will have a good sense of who would be receptive to my proposal. This would mean I would not have to expend energy on this part of the process, and could have more energy towards, you know, writing the damn book. An agent would also get me in the door to some larger presses, in case I'm underestimating the appeal for the book and could make more books and more money.

Arguments against an agent: Maybe I don't want a larger press...maybe I want a smaller one with more individualized attention. And with a little bit of time and energy, I could research and find an appropriate press for myself. If they don't require an agent, I could save myself some money by skipping that part of the process.

Anyway, I need to do a little more research--and soon, because ideally, I'd like to be traveling, interviewing people, and writing as much as possible this summer.

1 comment:

Paula said...

My agent is part of a "boutique" agency, so she works with small presses sometimes. I love my agent, don't know what I'd do without her. She knows so much more than I do about the industry and contracts and sales. If you were asking me, I'd say get an agent if you can.