STATUS: Had a slightly annoying afternoon when I couldn’t send out emails. Receiving them just fine. I know my website hoster is probably the culprit. The server must have gone down briefly.
What’s playing on the iPod right now? ALL BY MYSELF by Eric Carmen
(Come on. Admit it. You totally belted out this song in front of a mirror when you were a tween. Wait. That dates me doesn’t it?)
Something must be in the air (or on the blog circuit) because I’ve been getting a lot of emails lately where writers ask me what I think about so-and-so agent.
I know I blog and seem approachable and all, but I’m really not a good resource concerning whether an agent might be a good fit for you or not. And generally, I find it sort of unfathomable why somebody would want to ask me. I know some agents personally but I certainly don’t know more than 25 or so. Hardly a dent really in the number of agents out there.
However, I can point you in the right direction for how you can find out.
First off, check the agent’s recent sales. You can do a Google search. You can go to Publishers Marketplace and sign up to receive deal lunch (and do a deal search via their search engine). Agent Query doesn’t have a bad database (and it’s somewhat up-to-date).
I do think that checking an agent’s recent sales history is a big deal and to note types of sales as well because not all agents are equal. And they certainly aren’t considered equal in editors’ eyes. It’s the truth that proposals/submissions from certain agents are going to be read and considered more seriously than others. There is a hierarchy but if you’ve done your sales research homework, I think you’ll get a very good sense of an agent’s standing.
If you want to know how the agent will match with you personally, I have to say that information will probably only be revealed once you have a conversation with the agent and also interview some of that agent’s clients. (And trust me, you don’t need to worry about this aspect unless you have an offer of representation on the table.)
Even then you may not end up with your permanent agent. I’ve heard lots of author stories about how the agent gave up after one book or wasn’t in love with the second book and the author had to move on.
When you sign with an agent, you hope it’s love forever but if it’s not, you’ll need courage and support to move on to find that perfect match.