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”

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 What “sets her apart from any other candiates” is that she works hard and her marketing ideas to build my career are amazing.