Most agents aren’t looking to sign your first book, we’re looking to work with you for your career. We look to your first book (and need to love it) to fall for your writing and take that as a precursor for what’s to come.
What we expect/hope for
We want you to connect with your editor and find a home in your publishing house.
We want you to grow over the course of each book.
We want you to find a core audience.
We want you to find success.
We want you to keep writing.
How the partnership gets started
This is the ideal situation and why we invest our time. We want to be the ones to help you kick-start your career and help you navigate through it while working on some fantastic books! Now, sometimes it gets complicated (the first book doesn’t get picked up, an author takes their career into a new genre, trust starts to erode) and not every client is the success story we both hoped for when we signed on together, but getting an agent is incredibly hard because we’re looking for more than what’s on the page.
We first get interested in you based on the work you submit. Then we check out your social media pages, website, and other online sources. If you’ve been published in magazines, journals, or a previous book we’ll search those. Then we’ll ask some questions via email and/or by phone trying to get a) if we can work together and b) if our ideas for your career match.
Things start with that first query and manuscript–that’s what gets our attention. But, we’re looking for so much more than that to ensure that this can be a long-term partnership that is best for both parties.
This is why agents always say to ask all the questions you need from us and think about your decision before jumping to say *yes*. We want to be the person you expect in an agent and the one that meets your needs as a writer. Because, if we’re not the best fit the facade will quickly erode. We choose our clients carefully, and you need to choose your agent carefully too. There is a lot of blind faith involved, but there is an implicit trust that both parties will deliver what they set out to do–and have a successful and fun time doing it!
I know that the ‘finding an agent’ hurdle seems to get higher and higher, but you want the champion of your work to be there for you and the be the right one to sell, negotiate, project manage, and problem solve on your behalf.