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Any agent who routinely gives your publisher world rights is not a good agent.
Typically publishers don't do as good a job selling subsidiary rights: film & TV, games, audiobooks, theatrical, foreign language etc as your agent does.

Even the biggest agents have fewer authors than publishing houses. Agents keep on selling rights long after publication.
Many new authors are just thrilled to be represented, so they'll go with agents who don't do a good job. They don't know any better.

Longtime authors, who've been with one agent for years, they love them, and don't understand how much better off they'd be with a competent agent.
You are in a business relationship with your agent. Staying with them out of loyalty when they're not doing right by you? That's a terrible business decision.

It's nice when your agent is your friend and a sympathetic ear but if that's all they're doing for you? Get a new agent!
I cannot tell you how many authors will not leave terrible agents out of loyalty.

Agents who have such a bad rep several editors won't take submissions from them. Agents publishers like negotiating with because they make little effort to push up advances and give up rights etc.
Authors are terrified they'll never get another agent. They don't want to hurt their agent's feelings. Finding their first agent was such a nightmare they never want to go through it again.

I get it. I broke up with my 1st agent. It was hard.

But my 2nd agent? *Chef's kiss*
To be clear: my first agent is an excellent agent. We broke up because we weren't a good fit.

You shouldn't stay with an agent who isn't a huge fan of your work. They have to love your work to sell you well.

Never stay with an agent who just isn't that into you.
It hurts my heart to see authors with agents who aren't doing right by them.

This business is hard enough without the additional hindrance of the wrong agent.
And, yes, no agent really is better than a bad agent.
But a good agent is best of all.
There are occasions when giving a publisher world rights makes sense. For instance if they're overpaying for them.

But if your agent always gives away world rights? That is a huge red flag.
And if your agent doesn't handle foreign rights or know enough to have someone else who handle those rights?

Then they shouldn't be an agent. They're not doing a huge part of their job.

For those starting out, asking me how to get an agent, I'm sorry, I'm so not the one to ask.

I've been in this business sixteen years. When I started out you had to use paper and stamps. Manuscripts were delivered by horse and cart.

Twitter was a mispronunciation of titter.
Folks who know best what the process of getting an agent is now are the newbie authors, and the folks in the trenches, striving to get an agent.

They've done the research, figured out which sites and accounts give the best advice etc. They've honed their query writing skills.
I can't remember the last time I wrote a query letter. And I was never very good at it.
I do have advice for Aussies looking for an agent: If you write commercial fiction which is likely to have appeal outside Oz you're better off with a US agent.

Few Australian agents have the clout to sell into the US market, which is the biggest English language book market.
Breaking into the US market also makes it likely you'll break into non-English language markets. It means more sales and more money.

That's all much easier with a good US agent.
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