Check this out: I just wrote a brand new "Confessions Of A Literary Streetwalker" piece for the always-great Erotica Readers & Writers site - all my previous columns, of course, have been collected in How To Write And Sell Erotica by Renaissance Books. Here's a tease:
The world of professional writing can be ... no, that's not right: the world of professional writing is - without a doubt - a very frightening, confusing place.
Not only are there only a few diehard rules – to either slavishly follow or studiously avoid - but even basic trust can be a very, very rare: should I put my work on my site, or will it be stolen? Should I even send my work out to other writers, for the very same reason?
What about editors or - especially - publishers? Does my editor really have my best interests in mind? Should I make the changes he or she suggests or should I stand my ground and refuse to change even one word? Is my publisher doing all they can for my book? Are they being honest about royalties?
Back in the days of print - before the revolution – a lot of these questions would have been answered by an agent: a person who not only knew the business but would actually hold a writer's hand and lead them from that doubt and fear and, hopefully, towards success ... however you want to define that word.
Agents spoke the cryptic language of rights and royalties: they could actually read – and even more amazingly - understand a book contract. They'd be able, with their experience and foresight, to say when a writer should say yes or no to edits.