Many people still have iffy feelings about whether getting an agent or go on their own. I’ve juggled with the idea for years myself and decided against it, not indefinitely but for now. For those who want to get one, here are a few things to know.
Agents job is obviously to get you signed with a publishing house and getting you as much money as possible. Agents have a foot in on what many publishers are wanting under their name. They do the lunch dates praising clients, sending emails, making phone calls and sweet talking to get you in. There are a lot who have a great relationship with the publishers; some actually worked for them before. They become your advocates, cheerleaders etc, because they don’t get paid unless you get a deal. Basically they do all of the legwork.
I learned a year ago that agents, at least most, do not read entire manuscripts or edit them. Shocking. That was a wakeup call for me because I feel like how can an agent sell my book idea if they did not read it? They won’t have that passion that I have for my baby! Sure they may have connects that I do not have but at the end of the day, I want someone who can truthfully co-sign my greatness.
Think about it, say the publishing house is having lunch with your agent and mentions this great scene but your agent is oblivious to what scene they are talking about and put on a screw face then bullshit their way thru the conversation.
Not all are like this of course this is just my way of thinking. I’m passionate about my work and so should you and you should collaborate with anyone you chose that has your best interests at heart.
Don’t get involved with an agent that has taken on too many clients; you’ll get lost in the bunch. Too many clients mean they are more concerned with the money you will make them (again they get paid when you get paid).
Do not fuck with an agent who you have to break bread before they put you on their team! Reading fees is what they call them, yeah okay, if you say so. Yes some will charge a menial amount for shipping or whatever but it’s next to nothing. Websites such as WritersDigest.com and AgentQuary.com gives you great resources on finding legit agents. Wordhustler.com allows you to submit your polished work and they submit your work to agents/publishers that fits your genre. Genius, uh? I know. Too bad I can’t take the credit but anywho…
My main point is to check, double check and weed out all agents. Like a fit glove, go with someone who will take you the farthest. If you choose to not to go with an agent that is fine. Whatever you decide, hustle like you have no plan B!
Peace and Luv!