Check out this great post on the publishing process.
HAVING WRITTEN A full length manuscript and awaiting beta feedback, there’s a real emptiness as an almost-writer. I thought I’d be overjoyed at finishing a solid piece of work, but apart from occassional back slaps to myself in moments of reflection (no mirror involved), until I send the manuscript into a literary agent’s inbox, I won’t be satisfied, and even then I know I might face a lot of rejection until finding an agent who wants to work with me.
If you want to be published in print a literary agent is essential. First off the ‘bad’ news; they take 15% of earnings, but they deal with contracts home and abroad, they have industry contacts and knowledge of how it all works. By having a stake in you they have a vested interest in getting the best deal possible from a publisher. From what I can gather, you need one
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