Blogger: Rachel Kent
Getting An Agent (Part 1 of 2)
This past week, I have taken on two new clients. I’m excited to be working with both of them! They both are unpublished writers, but certain qualities made them stand out to me and showed me both writers were ready for representation.
Here’s a list of the qualities that these two share and are qualities I look for in clients:
1) They can write. I am listing this first because I’d say it’s the most important to me. Even if the writers is unpublished but the manuscript blows me away, then I’m more likely to represent that person. If I see writing that should be published, I’ll want to take a chance on getting that project contracted.
2) They are friendly and work well with others. I was lucky to get to meet these two new clients at writers’ conferences before I represented them. We also had phone calls together. I always want to at least speak to an author before offering representation because you can tell a lot about a person by how he or she acts on the phone. Meeting in person is best, but phone calls work too. A really demanding person or someone who comes across rude or disrespectful is not someone I need on my client list. I want to feel happy when I’m doing work for that writer, and I want to know that I’m bringing the editors someone who will respect them and work well with the team at the publishing house.
3) They are hard workers. I want to represent clients who are going to work hard to get proposals and manuscripts in on time and who are going to follow agency guidelines for formatting. I’m happy to work with an author on a proposal that’s clean and well thought out, but when I get a messy proposal, I’d rather not read it at all. The writer is creating unnecessary work for both of us. I also want to know that the client will do everything in his or her power to meet the deadline established by the publishing house when a book is contracted. Plus, a hard worker is going to work to promote his or her book after it is released.
4) They are emotionally secure. While I don’t mind spending time encouraging and counseling my clients (this actually comes pretty naturally to me), my main job is to pitch projects. If I’m spending all day helping my clients to deal with rejection or insecurities, then I can’t effectively do my job. I look for clients who are going to trust God’s timing for publication and not let each rejection eat away at their confidence. Rejections do sting, but they shouldn’t break a writer down. It is a very good idea for every writer to have a support team beyond just his or her agent to help with encouragement and dealing with rejection. Find someone who will be there for you to pray with you–and you can return the favor!
Do you have a support team? If not, do you have someone in mind who could help to encourage you? Is there one of these areas that you could work on to make yourself even more desirable to agents?
Tune in tomorrow for a list of red flags that would discourage me from representing an author.