STATUS: Working all morning. Talking all afternoon.
What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? CRAZY by Icehouse
The Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conference kicks off today. I’ll be there all afternoon chatting about digital changes in publishing (starts at 2 p.m.). And I’ll probably need all afternoon given there is a lot to talk about.
Last night RMFW had their opening cocktail party and I was chatting with an author there. She mentioned that she had to switch agents recently and it was one of the more agonizing things that she has done in her career. Not having been on that side of the fence, I asked her what she thought was the most important factors to keep in mind when going through the process. I thought it would make a good blog topic!
Here’s her list:
1. Make sure the agent loves your work.
Kristin commentary: I agree–especially if you are looking for someone to rep your whole career. An agent should love your writing–not just one book.
Or, as we continued our chat, have an agent take you on simply because you already have a deal on the table. This author said that for the fellow authors she knew, if that was the reason the agent took the author on, the business partnership didn’t last.
2. Ask the agent what their career vision is for you.
K commentary: This would seem like a straightforward thing but different agents might have very different visions for you. For example, you might be a genre mystery writer and the agent sees you evolving more into literary mystery. Now if the author is aligned on that vision, great. But if the author is happy with straight mystery, this particular person might be a good agent but not right for you.
3. Meet the agent in person.
K commentary: During our chat, the author stressed how important this is. It does make sense because you get a general feel for an agent and his/her style when meeting in person more so then just a phone convo. It happens for me when I meet editors in person. Why not agents? But this author was really adamant on how helpful it was to her when making her decision.
So there you have it.
I mentioned to her that in the last year, I’ve taken to skyping with my clients and any new people I’m interested in representing.
I totally feel the difference. It’s like having a face-to-face meeting–even if the client is half way around the world.