November 2, 2010 | By: Tracy

Do You CARE Who Your Agent Is?

Participating in NaNoQuerMo has gotten my focus back on the query process and targeting agents, etc. Which has gotten me to do some thinking (my most favorite--and dangerous--pastime). Do you ultimately care who your agent winds up being?

Now, of course we all know we don't want to end up with one of those Agents From Hell we sometimes hear about. It's a given that any who's serious about a potential career in writing wants an agent who is on the up-and-up, professional, etc. But beyond that aspect, do you really care WHO your agent turns out to be?

I believe it was Janet Reid, who once made the statement that a dream agent is the one who's selling your work. (I can't find her direct quote, but I know it was something close). Basically, it's along the lines of "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with". Or maybe the spin is a little more positive than that, but hopefully you get my meaning.

The reason I ask, is because even though I'm in a situation where I can't afford to be too picky, I still kinda am a little bit. I have the proverbial Dream Agent -- the one I would give almost anything to have respond with an offer of representation-- in mind. However, I also know the odds of making it in this business are slim as it is, so the odds of me landing my dream agent on top of that are ... well, I don't have to say it. And I'm okay with that.

But still, I don't JUST look to see if an agent reps my genre. I mean, that is the FIRST thing I look for, but then I read around to see if I get a good vibe about that person. If they have a blog or twitter account I do a little stalking.

Believe it or not, there have been agents who -- by all accounts -- are legit and have a good track record, but there's something in their manner that leads me to believe I wouldn't be able to work well with them in the long haul.

Just curious to see if I'm getting in my own way (not that I've passed on that many because of the "vibe" thing) or if personality, etc is something you all take into consideration when/if you query agents for your work.

Later this week I'll start posting my query stats for NaNoQuerMo. Just getting the first one out of the way is the hard part. It should be smooth sailing from here.

5 witty remarks:

Anne Gallagher said...

Yes, I ultimately care who my agent will be because I'm hoping to spend the rest of my writing career with that person. I think it needs to be a good match. Which is why I only target those agents who I think will be good for me.

Justine Dell said...

Yeah, I care. There are some people that, after I've researched them, I don't think I could work with them. Those are few and far between, though. i would be happy with any else! ;-)

~JD

Matthew Rush said...

Well of course I would really love to get that dream agent who I can be very best friends with and hand out with, and discuss awesome stuff with, but realistically? As long as someone is professional, successful, and we can communicate with each other and share the vision, anyone will do.

Pk Hrezo said...

Seeing as that you hope to have a nice long career in the biz with a motivated and decent agent, yeah... I'd say you want the RIGHT one. Why would you want someone you can't stand selling your work... or even someone who just gives off bad vibes?
I've seen agent comments on Twitter and such that made me glad they weren't my agent. It's a really important and professional relationship... you're not looking for a best friend. You're looking for someone who can and will sell your book and help plan your career. And it sure would be nice if they were nice too. ;)

Anne R. Allen said...

Pk, I've seen those Tweets too. Some are snarky and others are just brainless. Who wants an agent who's obsessed with cupcakes, or judging people who dress badly on the subway?

The ones I'm impressed with are the ones who have lots of interviews and blogposts talking up their clients' work--who talk more about how great their clients are than how great THEY are.

And I queried an agent today because she said she's "kind of in love with slush" and enjoys getting queries. Amazing.

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