10 Traits of a Good Agent
This is the first in my new “10 Things” series to (hopefully) appear weekly, for awhile anyway. If you have ideas for future “10 Things” posts, please let me know.
Many of you might be looking for an agent… and it can be hard to know exactly what to look for in your literary representation. So I wanted to give you a few tips.
First, it’s all about the relationship, so the it’s important to find someone you click with, someone who seems to “get” you. Beyond that, you’ll want to find someone who’s working style fits with yours. Some agents are more hand-holding and nurturing, others are all business. Some are interested in career-building, others just want to know what book you have to sell right now. Which style fits your writing personality best?
Beyond all that, I recommend you look at your representation as an issue of stewardship. You want an agent so that you can be the best steward of your own talent and time. A good agent understands this and has the same goal for you.
Here are some specific traits you might look for in an agent:
1. Someone who understands books, literature, and the power of words
2. Someone full time (versus a dabbler)
3. Someone who knows people in the industry, has contact with editors
4. Someone who knows contracts and the business side of publishing
5. Someone who’ll tell you the truth (you’re going to have to deal with rejection—get used to it)
6. Someone who will be president of your fan club, and you can be president of theirs
7. Someone diligent and responsive
8. Someone not just trying to get a contract but is interested in your career & future
9. Someone who will help you grow as a writer
10. Someone whose name is Rachelle (okay, that one is obvious)
What do you think? What are some traits you’ve looked for in an agent? If you’re agented, what are the traits you most appreciate?
This list is courtesy of Greg Johnson, agent extraordinaire and illustrious president of WordServe Literary.