When it comes to literary representation, I've heard the phrase "shopping for an agent" a few times. Honestly, I didn't think much of it until it came time for me to "shop" for an agent of my own. But I've learned it's not really like shopping at all. There's no trying agents on to make sure they're a good fit. No 30-day return policies. No exchanges--at least not right away. You have to simply research it out the best you can, decide what qualities are most important to you, and hope you find someone with those qualities who also happens to like you in return.
Doesn't sound like very good odds, does it? I guess it's sort of like hunting for a spouse in that respect--not that "courting an agent" works either.
I'll admit that when I started this whole process, I wanted a top agent. Someone who had some big deals under their belt and could potentially sell my book to the highest possible bidder. I mean, what writer doesn't have that fantasy? But I've come to learn that a sweet book deal should be the cherry on top, rather than the entire bowl of a delicious brownie sundae.
So I've changed my way of thinking and am now looking for things that have become more important to me than an impressive background. I'm searching for an agent who is kind, professional, courteous. Someone who's okay with muddying the "strictly business" waters with a bucket full of personal.Someone who knows what they're doing. Someone who will want to represent both my YA paranormal AND chick lit books. Someone who recognizes good writing and can help me make make my books better. Someone who believes in me.And definitely someone who could get me to wear a T-shirt like the one pictured above with pride and confidence.
How's that for increasing my odds? :)
What about you? What sort of things would you or are you looking for in an agent?