This is the question facing all budding authors and there is no straightforward answer.
Before you decide you are willing to share at least 10% of the earnings from your published book, ask yourself: ‘What can an agent do for me?’
Some of the key things an agent can do are:
· Make sure you only submit polished work for consideration by publishers
· Pitch your manuscript to publishers (knowing which publishers might be interested, working their networks to bring your manuscript to attention and keeping it out of the ‘slush pile’)
· Act as an intermediary between you and the prospective publisher
· Negotiate terms (not only for the book rights, but also potentially for other forms of reproduction as well as add-ons like merchandising and film rights)
· Help you keep to deadlines and publishing schedules
· Act as your advocate and help manage financial affairs connected with your writing.
Even if you decide you want an agent, being able to secure one is not guaranteed. You will need to be persistent, shop around, and make sure you know something about the agent, their experience and the types of manuscripts they handle before you approach them.