Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Finding An Agent

Finally, I squelched my fear of submitting my completed ms, my baby, to agents. Imagine my happiness when one of the agents I submitted to sent a letter asking to read the full on an exclusive basis. I immediately sent the book no questions asked. I am a novice - no really - it is stamped on my forehead! Anyway, apparently exclusives are not the smartest idea. I had no idea I could not even query other agencies while this one was reading my ms on an exclusive! i still don't understand this. What's a girl to do? I should have read an agent hunting book before delving into the fray! After submitting to the agent with the exclusive read, I got another full request from another agency, also wanting an exclusive read. Is this normal or is it just me?

Another problem is that I don't know much about either agency besides the fact that they were both on RWA's updated agent list. What if the first agency actually wants to rep. me? I have no idea what to do. Should I ask them for time to think about it and send it to the next agency and try to query some more? I know this may not sound like a problem to some of you, but I have been told a bad agent is worse than no agent. I don't want to make a mistake! Now, I can add this to my list of worries. The list is LONG!!

These are good worries. At least someone has wanted to read more. Yea!!! Does anyone have any sound advice?


Karen Beeching said...

Having had an agent that wasn't the best one for me, I'd advise you to research and take your time when making a decision.

Just my two cents.

Congratulations! Two requests! Wow!

Christy Reece said...

Julie, I agree with Karen. You need to do research and homework. Here are some suggestions:

1) Yes, you have to buy a subscription, but it only cost $20 a month and you can cancel any time. So, if you want to do a month's worth of research, $20 isn't too bad.
2) This is free. You can search different agents and see who their clients are and their most recent deals. Only problem with this one is, I don't know how often it's updated. Last time I checked, the information seemed a bit old.
3)Go to bookstores and look for debut authors. In the acknowledgments section, if they're agented, more than likely they'll acknowledge their agent. I certainly did!
4)Check books by authors who write in the same sub-genre as you do. If they don't mention their agent's name, check out their website. Many times they'll mention them there. Or you can do searches in publishersmarketplace or Agent Query for this.

Having an agent is important, but having an agent you can trust and is totally behind you is the key.

I'm sure there will be lots of other advice for you, but that's my two cents.

Good luck and have fun!

Julie J. said...

Thanks for the great advice!

Carla Swafford said...

All good advice. May I also suggest starting a new book? :-)

Christy Reece said...

Great advice on writing another book! You'll want to be ready when that dream agent says, "What else do you have and how fast can you write?"

Also, waiting for responses can drive you crazy. Defeat the craziness by writing another book.