Do you need an agent?
This was the penulimate question asked at the BlogHer07 Blog to Book and Back Again session. There were two authors on the panel and one agent. The answers were ok, but they negelected one very important point. Depending on what you want to write, the answer may very well be YES. There are some categories at some houses that will not look at your proposal unsolicited, for issues ranging from time (so many proposals, so little of it) to legal (can’t take the risk of being sued for “stealing” an idea). I know several categories at Wiley that function that way. And since so many of the amazing soon to be authors in that room were probably looking to publish in those categories, that’s a bit of information that would have been helpful.