I’m itching to get back in to submitting to agents. I’ve got a good feeling this time around will be better than last round. This time I’m gonna get an agent. But, I am going to be patient and wait until everything it in order. I’m still shooting for April 4th as my start date. Actually, I think it is doable. I think I’ve got a really good chance of completing months of work on the query letter by then. Agents, here I come!
So, what exactly is my perfect agent? Who is my dream agent? Who do I want to represent me? I’m not like most authors. I didn’t go “This is my dream agent!” I created a list of things I wanted from an agent and scoured the internet looking for what published authors thought of their agents. (Okay, I stalked the agents.) Every agent I’m gonna query fits most of the criteria I have for my dream agent. What are these criteria? Glad you asked. Here’s my list.
Things I am looking for in my perfect agent:
1) The lovely $$ behind their name on Publisher Marketplace. Seriously, if the agent isn’t selling manuscripts to publishing companies, why am I hiring the agent? If an agent only sells to publishing companies that accept non-agented submissions, why am I giving the agent 15% for that? So, $$ are a must! (New agents with great backgrounds as assistants who are well connected may get a pass on this one.)
2) An agent who likes my manuscript. Let’s be serious. Once I get an agent it is up to the agent to get the book to the future editor. If the agent isn’t gung-ho on the book, the agent might not give the selling part their all. But, if the agent really, really, really likes the book they will really sell the book.
3) I’m not looking for a friend. I’ve got those. Don’t really need a beta reader. BR is perfect for me. Actually, all I need an agent for is to sell my book. If anything else happens (ie, friendship), we’ll go with it. If it just stays professional, I’m fine with that.
4) I’m 29, but I’m old-fashioned. Last names were invented for a reason, and it’s not just to go on your check. The perfect agent will understand that I am going to use their last name until I’m given permission to use their first name. No, signing an email with your first name doesn’t give me permission. Until I get “Use my first name” an agent will remain “Ms. Agent” or “Mr. Agent.”
5) Communication is helpful. No, I don’t expect the agent to contact me every day. I’m going to mention right now I’ll be a nervous wreck waiting for their emails and phone calls. Seriously, once the agent has my manuscript I can’t do anything but sit back and wait for the agent to sell the manuscript. But, I’d like to have some communication. Did the agent get a nibble? I’d like to know that within a week.
6) Ignoring me! I know. I just said I want communication. But sometimes I’m gonna blog or tweet about the fact I am going insane waiting for that communication. It’s gonna happen. In no way am I gonna complain that my agent isn’t working hard enough to get me a contract. Nope, it’s gonna be more like “Going out of my mind! Waiting is killing me!” The perfect agent will smirk at any such events and shake their head.
7) Wants a relationship. No, not a friendship, but a “more than one book will make me happy” professional agent/author relationship.
8) My DREAM agent would have a nice little list of bullet points on what they want in the perfect client. It’d make my life a lot easier if I knew what the agent expected from me.
There are my top eight qualifications for the perfect agent. I’ve got a list of questions for the perfect agent, too. Maybe next week I’ll toss those up here on the blog. What would you want in the perfect agent?