Tough questions. Let’s look at the answers!
So, first off, where can you find an agent? These are three fantastic resources.
- Literary Agent Undercover: This link will take you a list of the top fifty agencies. Once you’ve got the perfect query, start at number one. You never know if you’re going to be accepted or rejected unless you try!
- Agent Query: This is sort of like an agent search engine. You type in your genre and a number of other factors and it will give you a huge list of agents that fit your needs who are looking for new clients.
- Writer’s Conferences: These places are crawling with agents! Attend as many as you can, and have a short spiel about your book prepared. You’ve already written your query, so just put it into spoken form, and keep it short. If the agent is interested, they’ll ask you to send them more. When send your stuff, be sure to mention that they met you and requested your work. Goodbye, slush pile!
Once you get that magical call from an agent who wants to represent you, how do you decide that they are really the right one for you? It’s soooo tempting to just say yes, but there are some big, red warning signs you should watch out for. A bad agent is worse than no agent at all.
- Warning Sign #1: Your personalities clash. Talk to them over the phone and get to know them a little. Do they seem like someone you could work with long term?
- Warning Sign #2: The agent is a noob. New agents will have a teeny tiny client list and next to zero experience. Don’t say yes to them. They do not have the connections you need to succeed at publishing.
- Warning Sign #3: The agent has a bajillion clients. They like your work, so they’ll say yes just so they can stick it on their shelf and come back to it when they have time.
- Warning Sign #4: Do they have a plan for submitting your book to publishers? If the answer is vague or just a flat out no, a red flag should be waving in your brain.
What resources have you used to find agents? What other questions can you think of to ask when an agent offers representation?