Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Questions to Ask a Potential Agent Part 1

Are you agent hunting yet? Here are some questions you should ask an agent BEFORE you sign with them.

1) How do you approach career planning? Every agent is different. You want one that will fit with your style and expectations. How does the agent in question go about building your career? Is he/she looking for a career author? Do you have more than one book in you? If you write in multiple genres, will this agent be able to represent all of them? If not, you might want to reconsider. Having two agents isn’t the ideal situation.

2) What are your strengths as an agent? How much (if any) editing will he/she provide? How confident is the agent? All agents should be able to talk about themselves in a professional manner. How they answer this question can tell you a lot about their personality and whether or not you’ll click.

3) How involved are you in the developmental stage of your clients’ work? Some agents will shop anything you give them. Others will go over future ideas with you and help you decide which book would best fit your career plan. Some will assist you in writing your proposal and some will edit your manuscript before it’s sent out. The most important part of this conversation is to discover what kind of working relationship you’ll have with the agent. You don’t want to assume he/she will do all of this because not everyone does. Every agent is different.

4) What is your communication style? Does the agent prefer phone or e-mail discussions? How often should you expect to hear from the agent? What kind of response time do they anticipate after you’ve left a message for them? Some writers need to chat with their agents on a regular basis while others are content focusing on their writing. What kind of client will you be? Will this agent accommodate your style?

Come back tomorrow for part 2.

Have you thought about questions you'd ask an agent or were you planning on saying yes to the first one who offered representation?


  1. Oooh, these are some great questions. I'm going to have to bookmark this post!

  2. I haven't started hunting for an agent yet. These are good points to take under consideration.

  3. Very good questions. I plan to be doing this shopping around this fall. Thank you!

  4. Very interesting & useful advice. Thank you. kat :-)

  5. very good questions. Thank you!

  6. Oooo, I'm bookmarking this post. I'm not ready yet, but I will be someday!

  7. Thanks for leaving a comment on my post. Your blog's topic sound really interesting. I'll be sure to check back often.

  8. I'm not ready to submit to agents either, but I'm planning ahead.

    Lynnette Labelle

  9. These are great! Thanks, Lynnette!