Did you know that there are no licensing requirements in order to be an agent? No really, I’m serious – none. But don’t go out and buy you a nice little laptop then set up shop in your office/bedroom closet just yet. Realize what is required first before you assume you can take this career.
Some great candidates to be an agent are successful writers or someone who worked at a publishing house. Not great candidates: Pookie from down the street, an unpublished writer, a football coach or a ballerina! An agent needs to have knowledge in what makes a manuscript hot! A strong knowledge in the terminology that is in contracts is important too. Have you seen a contract? Sheesh, I swear it’s in Swahili! A great set of contacts as well as some good manipulative sells skills tops off what an agent should be blessed with.
If this is something you still would be interested in the first place you should check into is a literary agency. Obviously you can’t walk up in one and expect this bomb agent position. I know you’ve heard this before; work your way up. Pick a mentor and watch what they do. Slowly show your skills. Don’t bombard them because they will figure out your reason for being with them and may find a way to terminate you. They hired you for a specific position and if you’re paying more attention to moving up to an agent’s position you will neglect your current one running a chance of you losing that job all together. Know when to shine. And when you get that opportunity make them realize how important it is for them to be on your team.
Peace and Luv!