Divining a Literary Agent Agreement

Pen on the contract papers

I’ve spent the last week knee-deep in research for my soon to be finished book proposal and a draft literary agreement from a successful agency. Fortunately, there are lots of articles about contracting, courtesy of generous editors, publishers and writing consultants.

My biggest stumbling block right now is whether to commit to a single firm for all of my future works rather than signing on the dotted line for one or two imminent projects. My preference, based on years of experience as a start-up company CEO and later on, a consultant, is to start small with someone and grow the relationship over time. This approach has been a repeated winner.

I’ve now read multiple literary agent contract templates and more than a dozen articles about what to expect. One that I found especially helpful is by Rachelle Gardner and entitled “What’s an Author-Agent Agreement?” She rightly points out that both parties seek protection as they join together on what will hopefully be a prosperous voyage in writing land.