One factor I’ve been considering is the amount of money it’s likely to take to get my manuscript read by the right agent. I wonder how many agents have the time to read e-mail submissions. If I pay for a pitch or critique at a conference or workshop, at least I can be confident the agent or author is reading part of my work. The question then becomes how many I have to pay for before finding the right agent. Am I better off spending the money on professional editing and self-publishing? At least that way I can work out some sort of a budget.