The Moment I Thought About Getting An Agent After The Fact: Having received the offer of a two-book contract from Red Dress Ink for The Thin Pink Line and A Title To Be Named Later, a best-selling author in my acquaintance strongly recommended I get an agent to handle the deal. He recommended two agents and I also approached a third who’d passed on a previous book, If You Should Die Before I Wake, but in an incredibly positive fashion. The first two agents were nonstarters. Even though my situation represented an automatic two-book sale for them – without them having had to do the work of advising, pre-editing, submitting etc! – their attitudes were not what I was looking for. Given that I was arriving with an offer in hand, I didn’t want to engage agents whose attitudes were that they’d be doing me a favor and that I’d somehow be working for them in a submissive position. I wanted an agent who would work with me in partnership and these were not those people. So I called up that third agent, the one I’d liked so much. She said that she was going to pass but not because she didn’t want to work with me. Rather, what she said was, “In a lousy publishing climate, you’ve managed to do what a lot of agents can’t right now: you’ve landed a two-book deal...and on your own behalf! Since you already have an offer on the table, it’s entirely possible that any agent who gets involved right now could only screw something up for you.” She advised me to negotiate my own contract, further advising, “Just look out for the option clause and reversion of rights...and don’t forget me when you make it to the top of the best-seller list!” Well, that last part never happened. But I did manage to take the rest of her advice in that I decided I would negotiate my own book contract. How hard could that be?