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Sometimes I'm asked if it is possible to bypass a literary agent or book publishing agent by using a contract lawyer instead. Theoretically it is, but I can think of only three reasons why you might want to.
This isn't true of mainstream publishers, who seldom look at unsolicited manuscripts. They rely instead on the recommendations of trusted agents and literary scouts to bring them only the most remarkable work.
The relationship between agents and authors exists because of supply and demand. Millions of writers want to publish, all of them vying for the attention of far fewer agents, and even fewer publishers. This puts agents in a position of power, able to pick and choose their "employers."
Any decision to bypass an agent and hire a contract lawyer is only possible once a publisher has expressed interest in your manuscript.
When you have a publishable manuscript, and have sent it to many agents with no luck, the next best course of action is to attend conferences.
In the end, most writers would rather secure an agent than bypass one.
Conferences provide the best possible chance of meeting an agent because most have "pitching sessions." You usually apply for these sessions beforehand and if you're accepted, you will meet briefly with an agent to pitch your finished manuscript.
If the manuscript isn't yet ready to publish, there's a good chance the agents you meet will tell you. They may even provide some tips on how to get it ready.
Even if you're not successful pitching your manuscript, at conferences you'll get current information from the publishing world and you'll make good contacts that may help you later.
So, in most cases, you won't need or want to use a contract lawyer. If you're fortunate enough to find a publisher before you find representation with an agent, then you can weigh the costs and benefits of choosing a lawyer over a book publishing agent, but in most cases, you will want the services of a good agent.