Two posts ago, my girl Tempest Knight, from the always fun and inspiring Midnight Moon Cafe, asked me what I look for in an agent. I didn’t get a chance to answer her question, since I was all extra psyched by my book release and all, but I think it’s a very good question, so today, I’m going to take a few minutes to answer it to the best of my ability.
For starters, when searching for an agent, I always make it a point to look at ones’ whose work I recognize. What I mean by that is, very often, I’ll look for authors in similar genres or with similar styles as myself and then see who they work with. For instance, I would like an agent who doesn’t specialize in just one genre. Yes, I LOVE to write fantasy and science fiction, in fact, most of my current WIPs are in those categories. However, I am not a genre specific writer. I’m actually pretty all over the place. My muse is fickle and distracted very easily. I write whatever currently tickles her fancy. So I would need an agent who could represent anything I wrote. An agent who can look at my currently published 1950s comtemporary books and then at my 3 book epic fantasy series and not go, huh? What am I supposed to do with this?
I know that’s not always a good career path for some authors. It’s often suggested to find a niche, something you excel at so that you can more easily market yourself. And I totally understand that. But – well, I just don’t work that way.
I also think it’s important to have an agent who understands you as an author. Someone that you click with on a creative level. The agent/author relationship is one that will (hopefully) span an entire career. They will be there to see you grow, see you change, see you improve and become all you can be. They know the market better than we as authors do so they can give us some of the best guidance and direction around. For authors like myself, who tend to bleed genres, they can help you sharpen your skills so that no matter what masterpiece you whip together, it can sell.
In the end, I think when an agent is right for an author, you can just feel it. There’s a certain chemistry present, a certain magic that happens when they read your work and just understand what it is you’re trying to do. Those are the ones you want to stick with because those are the ones who are going to always be honest and up front and demand only the very best from their authors.
So that’s my little schpeel for today. Ha ha. As you can tell, I’ve thought about this a lot. I’m on an agent hunt myself. And although I have a small list of names, I truly feel that when the match is right, I’ll now.