Monday, June 30, 2008

Reconsidering The Agent Search

All the recent discussion about the future of the publishing industry, the reasons I write, and all that stuff got me thinking a bit more about my recent decision to look for an agent. I've reconsidered, and I'm not looking for an agent anymore.

I've actually got a pretty good query letter put together (well, let's say it's 90% finished). But I haven't gone back to put the finishing touch on it, I haven't sent it to anyone... I think my heart just isn't in it. Philosophically and practically, I'm just not terribly interested in getting an agent and pursuing a big publishing house. I want to explore digital, Web 2.0, distributist approaches to books.

I really like the freedom and flexibility of Lulu's print-on-demand approach. I even like the small-scale-ness of it all. I like being able to use a creative commons license and give away free PDF's of my books. I like designing my own covers, writing my own titles, picking my own illustrators, and generally handcrafting the books to be the way I want them to be. I like being in control - that is, I like the fact that other people aren't in control of my stuff.

An agent and an editor and a publisher would probably help improve the quality and increase the scope of distribution of my books. I know that. But there's something about that approach that doesn't feel right. I can't quite put my finger on why. I won't rule it out forever and ever, but I need to trust my gut on this one.

I'll hang on to that query letter. Maybe I'll send it to someone someday. But not today. Probably not tomorrow either.

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