Blogger: Rachelle Gardner
Many of you might be looking for an agent… and it can be hard to know exactly what to look for in your literary representation. So I wanted to give you a few tips.
First, it’s all about the relationship, so it’s important to find someone you click with, someone who seems to “get” you. Beyond that, you’ll want to find someone who’s working style fits with yours. Some agents are more hand-holding and nurturing, others are all business. Some are interested in career-building, others prefer to focus on your current book. Which style fits your situation best?
Beyond all that, I recommend you look at your representation as an issue of stewardship. You want an agent so that you can be the best steward of your own talent and time. A good agent understands this and has the same goal for you.
Here are some specific traits you might look for in an agent:
1. Someone who understands books, literature, and the power of words.
2. Someone full time (versus a dabbler).
3. Someone who knows people in the industry, particularly editors.
4. Someone who knows contracts and the business side of publishing.
5. Someone who’ll tell you the truth (you may have to deal with rejection and career roadblocks that are difficult to deal with).
6. Someone who will be president of your fan club, and you can be president of theirs.
7. Someone diligent and responsive.
8. Someone not just trying to get a contract but interested in your career & future.
9. Someone who will help you grow as a writer.
What do you think? What are some traits you’ve looked for in an agent? If you’re agented, what are the traits you most appreciate?