Finding An Agent: The head and the heart of the matter

Finding an agent is a great balance between using your head and your heart. Your head tells you to ask all the hard-hitting questions when you get an offer:

  • Which publishers/editors will you submit the book to?
  • How many deals have you done in this genre?
  • Do you see the need for revisions upon signing?
  • What’s your preferred method of communication?
  • Can I get a recommendation from a current client?

While all those (and more) are important questions to ask, you also need to follow your heart. Did the agent make you feel comfortable? Can this be a person you can hear the good and the bad from? An agent and client engage in a long-term partnership that needs a mix of affability and professionalism. You’ll know it when you find it. There’s a lot to be said about gut feelings and emotional reactions.

Agents’ public persona is something intentionally or unintentionally developed online through their website, agency listings in directories, social media like Twitter and Facebook and their blogs. Is the agent you were querying the person you thought they’d be once you got on the phone with them?

When you get an offer the way you lean–logical/methodical, emotional/sensitive, or anywhere within the spectrum–needs to be carefully reflected upon to make the best decision with the information you have.

Get the facts, but also gauge your reaction and feelings towards your offer. It’s a happy problem, but one that needs to be the best decision for you.

Looking for more questions to ask an agent when you get an offer? See Rachelle Gardner’s post here.

Looking for the protocol about what to do once you get an offer? See this BookEnds blog post.

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