In the new Business of Writing class, we’ll be discussing how to land that dream agent. My definition of “dream” is an agent who’s a) recognized in the industry b)is actively selling books and/or adding clients c) makes money by selling books, not by suggesting and charging for editing and d) loves my work and has some editors in mind who are looking for my type of work.
Writing Tip for Today: When you begin the agent-shopping process you will feel overwhelmed. There are hundreds of agents, both credible and not-so credible. Although it’s tempting to sign on with an agent who is just starting out, beware the agent who is overly enthusiastic about your work or can’t really say they have sold any work which required an agent. Many small or regional presses will still take nonagented manuscripts. Be sure to check out a name you haven’t heard of, and be willing to ask that agent about the client list, works sold in the last year or two, and which publishers the agent hopes to target. Most credible agents in the secular industry still maintain close ties with New York, where most of the big pubs are located. The Christian market is a bit more spread out, but Colorado Springs, Michigan and Tennessee are where the big pubs are located. Do your homework.