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. Continue reading Agents aren’t just signing your first book
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?
Continue reading A New Digital Dialogue for Agent Representation
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.
Continue reading Finding An Agent: The head and the heart of the matter
So, you’ve got an offer of representation. Now what?
When you played this scenario in your head perhaps you thought it would be simple or one of a few situations:
- I submit to my first choice agent and we connected.
- I go through a few months of rejections and land the agent that really loves my work.
- Or, I go through months of rejections and suggested revisions and get an offer, but I don’t know whether I should take it or something else will come along?
There are countless scenarios that involve rejection, revisions, unsure feelings, emotions you haven’t yet felt about your work or even want to feel.
You thought the hardest part was writing the book? Wrong. What comes after is so much harder. Continue reading What to do when your offer of representation isn’t as simple as you thought