I have three published unagented fictional books. And I'm very proud of all of them. The royalties are nothing for me to talk about. But at least the books are published. I could publish a book about every year without a agent. And I'm sure that most writers can. However, real compensation will only come with having an agent. I had a friend who said he was rejected by literary agents 400 times. And then he sent an already published manuscript/book to same agents. The manuscript had been written and published by a author that has been ten or more times on New York Times bestselling list and the agents turned it down flatly. This book was actually number one on an early NY Times all times bestselling lists. Go figure!!