When your book needs an agent

Jane Friedman offers advice to aspiring authors on literary agents — when you need one, when you might not, and how to avoid missteps in etiquette: "Virtually no New York publisher accepts materials directly from authors; it has to be agented. If you try to submit without an agent, your work is most likely to go straight into the trash can (either literally or digitally). But this question can be a little more complicated than it first looks."