7 Ways To Make Yourself An Easy Author to Work With

guardianpostAfter query letter tips, the second most popular question I get asked is: “How do I make myself agreeable in an agent’s eyes?”

It’s a great question. This is a personal business that’s all about great working relationships.

Firstly, you have to write a great manuscript, but secondly, how does an agent decide to work with someone after that?

7 Ways To Make Yourself An Easy Author to Work With:

1. Open to revisions

Right away, I know if an author is going to be a fit for me based on how they react to revision ideas. Agents are looking for writers that are open to feedback and collaboration. If I gave you an R&R did you connect with my notes? Did you ask questions that take my notes from suggestions to big picture changes that make the novel better?

2. Always wants to get better

A line I like to use is “trust your future self.” What that means to me is if you can write good novel, you can write many more. Getting defensive about your novel means you are holding on to it when really you should be willing to let it go and work on the next. Agents are looking to represent authors for the long term, so what we need is the faith that you want to be the best writer, every time you write a new book. We know there will be ups and downs, but it’s that drive to succeed that will separate many writers from the ones that don’t make it.

3. Treats assistants and senior industry members alike

From time to time we get people who respond to our query letter auto-response with condescending and mean emails. It doesn’t matter who is on the other end of those emails, our principal agent or our assistant, you have to be friendly to everyone–not just the people who influence your career. Those mean emails just reinforce our decision to pass without a second thought.

4. Asks questions

I love it when authors want to know more about the process. Don’t be shy about wanting to know how the business works. Whether it’s a Twitter #askagent session or when you’re on ‘The Call’ with an agent, make sure you ask the important questions that help your understanding.

5. Trusts us

The number one way to work with an agent for a long period of time is trust. I know this isn’t built over night, but you have to trust your agent to have your best interests at heart. This is one of the most important long-term author/agent relationship requirements. Only query agents that you see yourself working with and that you already trust (whether it’s a referral, their taste or client list).

6. Communication

This is part of trust, but authors have to be up-front with agents. Did you self publish before? Have you had an agent before? Can you share your sales numbers from your previous book? It’s the little things that add up when it comes to communication. We need to know everything if we’re going to represent you well.

7. Professional on social media

As easy as it is for authors to Google agents to see if we might be a fit for you, when we fall in love with a query or manuscript the first thing we do is Google you back. What agents love to see on social media is a personality (not just link blasts). You don’t have to have a ton of followers (but points if you do!) to get our attention. It’s all about the balance between promotion and personality. We love it when authors are part of writing communities and support other authors. That means, when the time comes, those other published writers will support you too.

***

 Image via The Guardian

 

Deal News: FOREVER, INTERRUPTED to be a feature film starring Dakota Johnson

9781476712826_FINALDakota Johnson—star of the upcoming movie version of Fifty Shades of Grey—is attached to star in Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Forever, Interrupted (Atria Books/S&S 2013).

Gidden Media and Good Universe are teaming to make the movie, about a young woman whose whirlwind marriage is cut short when her husband dies. In coming to terms with the loss, she forms an unlikely relationship with her mother—who doesn’t know of her existence.

Read more at The Hollywood Reporter.

Congratulate Taylor on Twitter.

Read the book before the movie!

Deal News: Jael Ealey Richardson’s THE STONE THROWER Picture Book to Groundwood

jael_richardsonGroundwood Books publisher Sheila Barry has acquired world rights to Jael Ealey Richardson’s picture book THE STONE THROWER, with illustrations by Governor General’s Literary Award winner Matt James.

The book, based on Richardson’s memoir of the same name, is due out in February 2016. Congrats Jael!

The book will be inspired by her dad’s personal story of becoming the first African American Rookie of the Year in the CFL.

Congratulate her on Twitter.

Happy Book Birthday: Taylor Jenkins Reid’s AFTER I DO

Reid_After I Do cover revHappy Book Birthday to Taylor Jenkins Reid and her new novel AFTER I DO!

From the author of Forever, Interrupted comes a breathtaking new novel about modern marriage.

When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. There is only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goesAFTER I DO is a love story about what happens when the love fades. It’s about staying in love, seizing love, forsaking love, and committing to love with everything you’ve got.

It’s the story of a couple caught up in an old game—and searching for a new road to happily ever after.

***

Continue reading