| I've been told
that an agent can only make a slight difference in the terms
of a college textbook contract. Aren't agents useful only if
one is planning on becoming a prolific textbook writer? What
if I'm planning to write just one textbook?
First of all, I would want to clarify what "slight" means? On average, there are between 10 and 14 pages in a typical college textbook contract. I typically negotiate between 15 and 20 changes in a college contract. In order for my services to have real value, I have to negotiate a contract with overall terms that are more than 15% better than what you could do for yourself. That doesn't seem like a slight difference to me.
Also, let's assume you write only one textbook that I agent, but that book is successful enough to be revised through four editions. That's at least a twelve-year commitment. Do you want to make a long-term business decision without professional advice? Do you want to make any business decision without professional advice? Deciding to write a textbook is as much a business decision as it is a creative/professional decision.
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