When having conversations with prospective clients the conversation has changed. It now revolves around asking plans for digital, ebooks, whether the author wants the agent involved editorially or contractually. These questions weren’t an issue 1 to 5 years ago, but are at the forefront of conversations agents are having with writers in 2012.
Questions emerge like:
- How long are you committed to a traditional publishing deal until you may want to self publish?
- If you do want to self publish projects do you want/expect an agent to help edit structurally, substantively, and copy edit?
- What communication style do you prefer? Email, phone, Twitter, text, Facebook?
- What are your feelings about agents venturing into self-publishing their own authors?
- Are you comfortable with submitting your projects to digital-only imprints?
In some cases agents may need to make the case to authors why they need representation, but if you are going to query traditionally (ie. to agents with query letters in the hopes of them reviewing your full manuscript to represent it) then agents assume you want to pursue traditional publishing contracts.