Blogger: Rachel Kent
Getting an Agent (Part 2 of 2)
Yesterday I wrote about four qualities I look for in a client. Today I’m going to cover some red flags that would potentially cause me not to represent a writer either because the person isn’t ready yet for an agent or has shown that he or she isn’t a good fit for me. The writer:
1) Has been working on the same project for more than three years. This person might very well be stuck. I look for clients who will work hard on a project, try to find an agent for it, and then will move on to the next book if that one isn’t finding a home.
2) Isn’t careful online. Be very careful what you tweet, blog and post on Facebook. Making fun of others, gossiping, or posting links that could be offensive are big turnoffs. I won’t want to represent someone who doesn’t think carefully before posting online.
3) Hasn’t completed his or her fiction manuscript. This is a sign that the novelist isn’t ready for an agent. Nonfiction can usually be sold on proposal only. I always ask that a novelist complete the manuscript before I even look at a proposal because it proves that the writer is dedicated to writing and can complete a manuscript. In the past, when I requested proposals before the project was finished, I ended up wasting my time. I’d read the proposal and then request the rest of the manuscript, and then a number of times the writer never finished the project.
4) Hasn’t had critique partners look at the manuscript or won’t do revisions. If a writer hasn’t had anyone look at the manuscript, I have to assume that he or she isn’t ready to have that project published for the world to read and critique. Also, smart critique partners can bring your manuscript to the next level and make it easier to secure agent representation. I have also run into writers who won’t revise the book based on my feedback. This shows a lack of trust in my abilities and shows me that a relationship won’t work with that person.
Let’s help those who don’t have a critique group to find one. If you have a critique group:
Where did you find your critique group? What do the members of your group have in common?