Advice to Authors
1. Your relationship with your agent is both profound and important. Only go with one you genuinely love, like, respect and trust, and make sure they are experienced in representing books in your field and genre. It’s also critical that they should be communicative and responsive.
2. The most important things an agent brings to the table are their relationships, credibility, and a great reputation. Publishers receive dozens of proposals daily and they generally prioritize which ones they will give their attention to based on who is submitting them. A good agent will greatly influence publishers’ perceptions about which projects will be worth their time, effort and money.
3. Do your research. Look on Publishersmarketplace.com under the Dealmakers tab (left hand column of homepage) and you’ll be able to search a huge database of agents and agencies by genre and subject. This will give you a good sense of who has successfully represented books similar to your own.
4. Another great way to discover agents who may be a good fit is to look in the acknowledgements section of books you’ve enjoyed that are similar to your own. Very often the author will mention their agent. Once you have a name, you can search for them.
5. Agents want to know you’ve knocked on their door because you are keen to work with them specifically. Typically, this means you know which books they’ve done, you understand their style and you’ve done a little research on their agency. They are not likely to get excited if they feel that you have just sent out a form letter to anyone and everyone. Use the tips mentioned in point 3 to search for the top 3 – 5 agents in your genre. It’s especially useful to see who has closed the major deals (6 figures +).
6. A really powerful way to get an agent’s attention is to find out which authors they have represented and get one of those authors to recommend you to the agent. Agents generally trust the judgement of their authors and are likely to look at your submission based on the referral.