So you think you want an agent…

In today’s publishing market you have multiple options of what to do with your book once it is Depositphotos_34766553_xsready 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.

6 thoughts on “So you think you want an agent…

  1. Finding the right fit is the MOST important part. I’ve had an agent… and now I have the RIGHT agent, and world of difference doesn’t begin to describe how I feel having the right agent for me and my work.

    The right agent brings you into a partnership for your career, a helpmeet to navigate the often murky waters of the literary world. And you are so absolutely on the money, Amy, with knowing the author’s strengths AND limitations and treating each with respect.

    1. I completely agree. Far too many indie authors “want” but dont take the time to really research. I know personally that overwhelming feeling of gratitude when someone FINALLY wants you but basing business decisions that could impact you for years down the road solely on emotion is dangerous.

        1. The first place I would start is to ask for personal recommendations from other authors who are with agents. Ask them the pros and cons as far as what they have experienced. Google is a great source to search wide and broad but speaking with authors personally is better in my opinion. Some may not be willing to share the information so find those who are happy to share. Attend book signings where agents will be. This goes for meeting small press or publishers in general. Speaking face to face is a great way to get a feel for someone. Then you can do the normal way of querying agents who work with authors who promote books similar to your own. Many agents also spend a lot of time blogging about the industry so by reading through their previous posts you can get a feel for them and what they are looking for. Many agents no longer accept queries. They are simply too busy with the clients they already have. Others are still building their client base.

  2. interesting points. Haven’t gone the agent route. It’s something I’ve considered in the back of my mind. I’ve done the self publishing and tried a small house, which I currently hate being part of. I’ve been sticking to self publishing but perhaps I’ll reconsider the agent idea.

    1. Agents are no different than small press. You need to find one that aligns with the direction you want your career to go in. Many agents have a long list of clients but sit back and wait for an opportunity to cross their path. The best agent is the one who sees potential and makes something from it. I highly suggest if an agent is something you are interested in to do some research and find an agent who will compliment your vision.

Leave a Reply to linda Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s