In the previous post, we discussed the importance of finding a good and reliable literary agent. In this post we’ll continue with a few tips on how to find the best agent for you.
Since many authors do not have extensive knowledge of book marketing or of shopping a manuscript around to publishers, this area is where a good literary agent can be very beneficial. Finding an experienced and reliable agent can take some time and effort, but new authors can simplify this process by keeping a few criteria in mind.
Tips for Finding the Best Agent
The following questions are suggested for authors to ask when searching for a literary agent:
- Does this agent regularly work with books in my genre?
- How many years has this agent been in business?
- What is this agent’s track record of success with other authors?
- How much experience does this agent have with book marketing, promotion, editing and negotiations with publishers?
Past author testimonials are excellent resources to start learning this information about a specific book agent. Contacting some of an agent’s past clients by email is another option for a writer to determine if a given book agent would be a good fit.
What Makes a Reliable Book Agent?
The most reliable book agent is one who focuses on developing a writer’s career and on formulating strategies for meeting those objectives. An experienced agent is able to take detailed notes of each author-client’s goals, preferences, writing style, current career stage and any other similar factors important for promoting a book successfully. This type of book agent is also able to provide concrete advice on each step of the process, from rewording book passages to negotiating royalties to planning a book tour at a future date.
Hiring a good literary agent is so important for an author because it can mean a big difference in his or her book’s sales numbers. A skilled agent can also help an author craft a relatable public persona that will capture potential readers’ interest.