At our agency, we’re your partners, not your dictators.
An author can argue that there’s no point in hiring an agent if you don’t agree with their strategy. To avoid disagreement over where your work is submitted, discuss all your plans with your agent, not only when you decide to work together but throughout your career.
We provide counsel based on our knowledge and experience. That’s a good reason to sign with an agent whose background and past sales history match what you’re writing. For instance, while I enjoy reading biographies, life stories are not my wheelhouse as an agent. Novels, including romance, romantic suspense, women’s fiction, and select nonfiction projects are all well within my range.
Likewise, when you choose a literary agency, select one known for what you write. For instance, an erotica writer would be out of place with us. Believe it or not, we occasionally get submissions in that category. But an author with an excellent novel or nonfiction manuscript ready for the Christian or clean secular market would do well to sign with us.
Once you sign with the agent who’s right for you, whether that agent is with us or with a different agency, realize you are still in a partnership. I think back to when I was writing many books a year for publication. I didn’t seek a magical or mysterious process where I would send my book to an agent who would tell me nothing about any movement until I saw a contract. I can be magical and mysterious if you like; but so far, all the authors I know want every particle of information possible about what’s happening with their books as I market them. I keep my authors informed.
I also talk to the authors about where we’ll be submitting. More than once, an author has expressed appreciation for me sharing and keeping them in the loop. Some seem surprised that I don’t dictate every move.
Yes, there is a level of trust in asking an agent to manage your career. But if you’re worried that you’ll have no say about where your manuscript is submitted and why and what happens during the process, I hope this post has eased your mind.
What is the most mysterious aspect of hiring an agent?
What is keeping you from approaching agents?
What do you like most about your agent?