I know a lot of you who read my blog are already agented. (Some of you by me, go figure.) So here’s something I want to say.
Please, please please. If you are unhappy with your agent, and if you are thinking about making a switch:
DON’T talk to a bunch of people about it, and…
DON’T talk with other agents about representation…
UNTIL you’ve talked with your agent.
Most people find it so much easier to simply end a relationship rather than try to talk out the issues and improve things. But chances are that if you talk with your agent about what’s bothering you, the switch might not be necessary. It’s kinda like being married. You have an agreement, you know? It’s nice when you at least try to work things out.
Even if your agreement was verbal, still. You’re only as good as your word.
If your agent is the last to know that you’re firing them, particularly if you’ve spoken with other agents already, well, it just hurts. This is a relationship business, as you know. It’s also an extremely small world and everybody knows everybody. Yes, agents talk to each other. So make sure you’re being courteous and following protocol. Don’t burn bridges. Don’t make people think less of you.
There’s nothing wrong with firing your agent if that relationship isn’t working for you. I just want you to make sure switching agents will really solve your perceived problem; and I encourage you to do it the right way.
And if you’re agented by someone else and you want to talk with me about representation, I will tell you straight up: I don’t talk about representation with people currently represented by another agent. If you formally terminate that relationship, feel free to contact me.
As much as we might need the business, agents are also wary of writers who agent-hop. Be careful of getting a reputation as fickle.
Be smart. Be polite. Nice guys don’t finish last.