Bad Agent Sydney. I have a new love-read. Whoever is behind this blog, you are a genius and I love you.
While I do think there are a few good agents out there who work really hard and go to bat for their clients like heroes, I think they've always been a rare breed and are getting rarer all the time. It's still Gospel Truth in certain corners of the internet that real writers have agents--that real deals come from agents, that you don't really have a good shot at the big-time big leagues without an agent.
Oh, Aspiring Novelist, there are so many Gospel Truths in so many corners of the internet that aren't really truths at all. Not even remotely close. You need look no further than my own career to see several of them being kicked over and trampled on right before your eyes.
Gospel Truth: If you self-publish, no publisher will be interested in you. Wrong, sorry. I self-published six novels, and then multiple publishers came knocking at my door. They were all definitely interested.
Gospel Truth: Okay, but give up all hope of your already-self-published book being picked up by a publisher. They're only interested in first rights and won't touch anything that's had its first rights "ruined" by indie publishing. I published Tidewater in July 2014. In October 2014, I sold it to a traditional publisher. So much for that well-known fact, I guess.
Gospel Truth: You can't provide your own cover art to a publisher. They'll think you're a total loser if you even bring it up. I did it. Shazzam.
Gospel Truth: You need an agent if you want to take your writing from the realm of hobby into the realm of career. I had two agents, and neither one got my career to go anywhere. When I stopped working with them and turned to indie publishing instead, I very rapidly obtained the full-time writing career I'd always dreamed of. Hell, I even have contracts now with a traditional publisher! (Though I still make most of my money from indie books, and probably always will.)
This is why I love the blog of Sydney T. Cat, Agent so much. It debunks this last Gospel Truth and educates aspiring full-timers in the best way possible: via cats on the internet. Sail on, Sydney. My hat's off to you.