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.

Published by Carly Watters

Carly Watters is a SVP, senior literary agent and director of literary branding with the P.S. Literary Agency. She is a hands-on agent that develops proposals and manuscripts with attention to detail and the relevant markets. PSLA’s mission is to manage authors’ literary brands for their entire career. Never without a book on hand she reads across categories which is reflected in the genres she represents and is actively seeking new authors in including women’s fiction, commercial and upmarket fiction, select literary fiction, platform-driven non fiction and select memoir. She occasionally represents children's book projects. Carly is drawn to emotional, well-paced narratives, with a great voice and characters that readers can get invested in.

2 thoughts on “Finding An Agent: The head and the heart of the matter

What do you think? I love hearing from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: