In today’s publishing market you have multiple options of what to do with your book once it is ready for publication. You can go the self publish route and take on the task of being your own business owner (open 24/7). Or you can choose to go with a small press that can help guide you along your way. Then there’s a third option, usually the most highly sought after, in landing an agent.
Let me start by saying that having an agent is great…if they are the right fit.
Agents are like anything else. There are top class ones, some mediocre ones that will do just enough to keep you hanging around in the hopes that they will land you a big deal and then there are those that you should turn tail and run away from as fast as you can.
Here are a few of my personal recommendations in what to look for when you are on the hunt for an agent.
Signs of a great agent:
1. Works harder than the author.
2. Actively hunts out new opportunities.
3. Partners strengths with inspiration.
4. Knows the market and uses it to their advantage.
5. Knows an authors limits and respects that.
6. Doesn’t take the first deal offered but negotiates better terms.
7. Has a virtual “open door” policy
8. Thinks outside the box
9. Plans long term
10. Understands and respects the heart and soul you invest into a project.
If you are hunting for an agent to represent your work these are a few of the things I would consider before approaching. Just because a big shot agent looks impressive on paper doesn’t mean they are right for your career. And the ones who seem a bit too pushy usually have a motive behind their actions that won’t be in your favor.
Trust your instincts. Do your research. Don’t jump into bed with the first agent who shows an interest. Writing may be your passion but if you want to be successful you need to think with a business mind.
And remember you are interviewing them to make sure they are a good fit for YOU. Don’t be afraid to grill them on what they intend to do for you. In fact, I highly recommend it.