Literary Agent v.s. Manager

As the saying goes, “You need an agent to be published, but you need to be published to get an agent.”

I’ve been an author a very long time, but never got used to the idea that authors need to go through many “rejection” letters in the traditional publishing industry. To be honest, that is a tradition most authors could do without.

When Martin Levin (Publishing Lawyer) gave me his book, “Be Your Own Literary Agent” back in 1998, I prepared myself to have a career as an author, without the help of traditional publishers or literary agents. It was obvious that the industry was about to go through a change and I wanted to be a step ahead. 

Most actors have both an agent and manager. How come I never hear about authors seeking a manager? Do managers exist for authors? You bet. I have one. And since the first day we starting working together, she has built my career. I just have to match her intensity, which is not easy to do.

Let’s compare Literary Agents and Managers.

Literary Agent:

* Seek publication for your manuscript.

* Send your work to editors.

* Negotiate terms of your contract.

* Represent film, foreign, and subsidiary rights.

* Stays in contact with publisher.

* Helps prepare your next submission.

* Assist with all financial and legal aspects of your book after publication.

Here is what my Manager does for me:

* Review and polish’s my manuscript.

* With my participation, developed marketing plan.

* Manages my business and finances.

* Created a web site for me.

* SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to drive traffic to my web site.

* Set me up with social media and assists in promotion.

* Set up a blog for me.

* Press releases when needed. 

* Help’s me write power descriptions for my books. (One line, one paragraph, one page.)

* Target audience report.

* Update on traffic to my web site and fan pages, along with gender and age of audience.

* Created a printable version for my novels for marketing purposes. (Not a self-published book, just a printable version to build an audience.)

* Devlops all my book covers.

* Develops interior of my books.

* Network’s with those in the publishing industry. (Agents, publishers, authors, readers.)

* Always updates me with the latest publishing trends.

* Query letter and synopsis review.

* E-blast’s.

* Paypal setup.

* Ad design.

* Plans future events.

* Event promotion.

* Professional head-shots.

* Paper marketing: bookmarks, postcards, flyer’s.

* Ancillary products: Posters, T-Shirts.

* Book Trailers.

* Public Relations.

* Seeks publishers that best fits my needs.

* Negotiates contracts.

Actually, I could keep going. The point is, my manager does quite a bit. She is my advisor and my friend.

Not sure if I would be able to say the same thing about an agent. Think about hiring a manager and watch how fast your career takes off.

Ron Knight

Author of “2-10”

www.upauthors.com/authors/ronknight

Ron Knight

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  1. Hi Ron,

    Wondered what steps you took in finding a manager to help you, because she sounds wonderfully helpful! Could you comment on what you looked for, what experience you believe a manager needs to deliver quality service, and what factors set her apart from any other candidates? I’m just starting out as a writer and collecting my own fair share of rejections along with a few successes, but I want to minimize the struggle and frustrations if possible. Thanks!

  2. Ron Knight says:

    My manager is named Melissa Link. You can email her at melissa@scbranding.com. What “sets her apart from any other candiates” is that she works hard and her marketing ideas to build my career are amazing.