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Five Questions Indie Authors Should Always Ask An Agent

Perkins literary agency contract wouldn't suit indie authors

The great Max Perkins. But traditional publishing contracts won’t suit indie authors.

As more and more self-publishing authors make a success of our endeavours, more agents and publishers come calling. But too often they come with a traditional publishing contract in hand. This fails to recognise that an indie author’s situation is different to that of a tyro,  unpublished author.

As self-publishers, we have built our readership and already have a following. Our e-rights are very valuable to us and we’re not keen to bundle them with other rights. We expect publishers to understand that our situation is different — and to reflect this in their contractual terms and conditions.

Here are four questions that an indie should ask before signing any deal with an agent. (Please note, the first three questions pertain to signing with agents for English language rights; only the fourth to translation rights, which is a different proposition, requiring a different set of questions).

We’ll have a blog post on that, and on questions to ask if you’re considering signing directly with a publisher, soon.

1. Will my self-publishing income be

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An Indie Author Is Not An Island

International rights agent for self-publishersOur decision here at The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) to hire a rights agent to represent our members’ books in translation markets has raised the hackles of those who think an indie author is not allowed to make publishing partnerships.

Snarky comments emerging across the Internet, of the indies-admit-they-are-not-so-indie-after-all variety, show that there is still fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to be an indie author or self-publisher.

Here at ALLi, our definition of an indie is one who recognises the writer as the primary driver of the book, not just in getting it written but also in

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