So far, I've only written one short story but I wish to write a novella. I'm worried, however, about the enormous work of marketing and contacting agents and publishers. I just want to focus on my writing and let someone else handle the that type of work. Can I hire a manager in my case? and how do managers get paid?

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    I was going to answer but there's no need, so far you have two terrific answers from Chris and raddevus. The bottom line is, write the novella first, then worry about shopping it out.
    – Cyn
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 0:43
  • Ok, one last thing: a manager is different from an agent, right? I hear singers, actors, and football players have managers and from what I knew before about agents is that they are hired after you finish a novel, not stay with you all the time even when you're in between projects.
    – Yostina
    Commented Jan 25, 2019 at 15:45
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    An agent is the person who negotiates on your behalf with publishers (or producers). A manager would do or supervise your marketing, appearances, finances, etc. These could be the same person, or the manager could work closely with the agent, if you had both. What you may want at this stage is a coach.
    – Cyn
    Commented Jan 25, 2019 at 15:53
  • @Cyn 23, The difference is clear now, thank you. A manager is actually what I was asking about, I don't want to do anything but write. haha.
    – Yostina
    Commented Jan 26, 2019 at 15:18
  • Perhaps what you need isn't an agent or a manager, but rather a spouse. :-D
    – Cyn
    Commented Jan 27, 2019 at 2:07

2 Answers 2


You certainly can --someone will always be willing to take your money --but there are multiple reasons this is a bad idea:

1) You're putting the cart before the horse: You're managing a writing career before you've produced much at all in the way of writing. Until you've done some more writing, gotten some feedback, and attempted some sales on your own, you won't have much idea what kind of writing suits you, how good you are, how your readers will respond or whether or not you'll want to stick with it.

2) You have nothing to manage: See above --you wouldn't be giving your manager anything to work with.

3) Most reputable people in the publishing world work on a percentage of sales not on a for-hire basis. And there's no way the percentage on what you're talking about would make it worth anyone's time.

If you're looking at this as something that will pay for itself, it won't, not on the back of one short story and a novella. But don't be disheartened. Selling is a part of the writer's journey, and it isn't so very horrible. Once you have an established career, then it might be time to revisited the idea of a manager.

  • These are all very good points and help to explain the process. Kudos!
    – raddevus
    Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 21:04
  • I like this answer but once you've established a career, you don't need a manager. I realize I would have to do most of the work myself -- no matter which path I choose -- but would love to have someone guide me through the process. Starting a blog is a good way to get a following going. Let me recommend How To Market A Book by Joanna Penn if you want somewhere to start.
    – Jennifer
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 15:57

Probably Thinking of a Literary Agent

The role you are describing is really that of a Literary Agent. Part of the question is, "Would a Literary Agent take on an unknown and begin representing her/him?"

Great Resource For Leaning About Literary Agents Expectations

That is where the Writer's Market (Writer's Digest Books) will come in very handy. It lists agents who are willing to work with new(er) authors. There's also this one that focuses specifically on literary agents (Writer's Market Guide to Literary Agents 2019)

But you will need a body of work to use as samples to entice any agent since the agent's pay will be dependent upon making sales of your work : the agent will have an understanding if 1) your writing is good 2) your writing is marketable.

Those are two distinct things and the agent will need to be convinced of both to take you on.

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    Aren't there any free blog posts or articles about that?
    – Yostina
    Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 20:20
  • @Yostina Good question. There is a vast amount of data to compile (contact names and addresses of agents) so very rare to find it online. The Writer Mag does have this resource (you have to supply your contact info to them): writermag.com/resources/free-downloads/find-a-literary-agent
    – raddevus
    Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 20:47
  • @Yostina Also found this 1-month subscription to all Writer's Market content which is only $5.99 and does not auto-renew : writersdigestshop.com/writers-market-monthly-subscription
    – raddevus
    Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 21:02
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    By the way, every library I've ever visited has had copies of the Writer's Market books available for free in the reference section. It's worth checking there. Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 23:10
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    If your library has Hoopla, Writer's Digest magazine is free on your computer or e-reader and so are all the books. (Other e-book companies may also partner with libraries and have those resources.)
    – Cyn
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 0:42

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