Wednesday, April 21, 2010
How to pick a good agent.
Who cares if you can’t remember the particulars about this agent? YOU SHOULD CARE!!! You wouldn’t have sent your manuscript to someone you hadn’t thoroughly researched would you? Not even at midnight while crying after receiving yet another rejection. Oh, yea, you did do that. Is it too late to backtrack and ask a few questions? NO, no, and no.
Compliments of the RWA Pro site here is what they say you need to ask before accepting any agent:
1. What do you like about my work/book?
2. What is it about me or my work that made me stand out as someone you wanted as a client?
3. How would you market it?
4. What is your commission?
5. Are any of your expenses charged to me?
6. How much does this generally run?
7. How often do you bill me, or do you take it from the advance?
8. May I have the ability to first approve any expenses that will total over $50?
9. Would you advise me when the expenses reach $100 or whatever?
10. Will I sign a contract with you?
11. What are the contract terms? WHEN YOU SEE DOCUMENT ASK MORE QUESTONS.
12. Do you work on a project-to-project basis or will you be representing my career?
13. How do you work with your clients?
14. Do you send copies of all letters from you and/or about the project that are sent to you?
15. Do you prefer snail mail, e-mail or phone?
16. If phone, is there a particular time of day you prefer to be called?
17. How soon do you generally return calls/e-mails?
18. How do you keep me advised on progress?
19. Do you send out a 1099 at tax form time?
20. How quickly are advances, royalties paid after you’ve received them?
21. Will you sign anything on my behalf without first consulting me?
22. If you are ill or on vacation, will somebody else handle my account while you are gone?
23. Will my contract be with you, or with the agency? What happens in the event you leave the agency?
24. Can you tell me how many clients you currently represent?
25. Can you tell me the number of sales you’ve had in the past year?
26. Can you tell me how many of these were romances?
27. Can you tell me what publishers and/or editors you have worked with?
28. Would you be willing to give me some client names as references?
Go print out these questions and keep them handy because I just know you are going to get that call very soon!
Julie Johnstone, Marchioness of Mayhem