As an author, you may be wondering whether you should work with an attorney or an agent. An attorney can help you draft and negotiate contracts and can also advise you on intellectual property issues. An agent, on the other hand, will act as your advocate and liaison with editors and publishers. An agent will take an active role in helping you prepare book proposals and manuscripts and will be there with you throughout the process of submitting your book as well as negotiating a contract and figuring out how to monetize the rights to your work.
The disadvantage of an attorney is that he or she may not have the kinds of relationships with editors and publishers that will help you sell you work. An attorney can help you negotiate a contract, but when it comes to promoting and selling your work, you’ll be on your own. An agent can help you promote and sell your work and will have extensive knowledge of the publishing market. Most agents also should have experience working with intellectual property rights and negotiating contracts, but obviously they aren’t likely to have the same level of expertise in those areas as the right sort of attorney.
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