Here are some more questions to ask a potential agent before signing with them.
5) In the event of illness or death, what provisions have you made for continued representation? What if the agent has a sudden emergency and will be away from the office for an undetermined amount of time? What if he/she were to pass away? Who would take his/her place to ensure you continue to get paid or that your book doesn’t end up sitting on a desk for the rest of your career? Unfortunately, life happens. You need to know the agent has a plan in case something awful occurs. This is a business relationship. You need to protect yourself.
6) Can I contact a couple of your clients who write in the same genre I do? Most agents will be glad to let you interact with a client or two. Of course, they won’t send you to someone who may not be happy with them, but you can still get an idea of what kind of agent he/she is by chatting with a current client. How has this agent helped them with their career?
7) Will other people in your organization be handling my work at any time? Sometimes, you might sign with a big agent, but then his/her assistant is the one who ends up representing you. How would you feel if this were to happen?
No matter what, if you’re uncomfortable with an answer the agent gives you… DON’T HIRE THAT AGENT!!! There are other agents out there. Maybe it’ll be a while longer before you get an agent, but don’t settle. A bad agent is worse than no agent.
Are there any other questions you’d like to ask a potential agent?