Unlike the USA, you do not need to have a literary agent in order to approach a publisher in Australia.
However, some publishers do not accept unsolicited manuscripts and this means they will only see proposals from agents, commissioned titles or their existing authors.
Even those publishers that do accept unsolicited manuscripts are more likely to consider something that's been sent to them by an agent.
If a publisher that you are interested in does not accept unsolicited manuscripts, then you will need to approach an agent first.
Getting an agent can be as difficult and competitive as getting a publisher. Check out our tips on how to approach a literary agent for more info.
A literary agent is not always necessary. Some writers negotiate for themselves, but others find that an agent is an invaluable asset to their team.
Even if you don't have an agent, you can still get legal advice before signing a publishing contract. For advice on your contract, contact the Australia Society of Author's Contract assessment service or Alex Adsett.