Agent Wants Me To Pay For Editing And Illustrations?!

Hi Angela,

Sorry to bother, but you’re the only one I know who might be able to answer my question.

A literary agent wants to represent a children’s picture book that I have written. However, I am required to get it professionally edited at my expense plus have an illustrator draw up some sample pictures, also at my expense. They will provide me with an acceptable list of editors and illustrators. From there, the agency will try and place my work with a publisher.

Something doesn’t sound right here. It’s my understanding that a reputable agent shouldn’t charge a reading fee but what about a professional edit and sample illustrations?

Any light you can shed would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks.

Sounds like a rip-off, especially since you have to use one of their approved editors and illustrators. I’d be willing to bet they’re getting a kick-back.

Traditional publishers have editors on staff and almost always want to use their own illustrators as well. Any agent who wants to jump the gun on these items, especially one who’s “referring” you to these “professionals” should be avoided.