Thursday, February 01, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #3: Agents

Agents and Authors alike have compared their relationship to a marriage. There's the courting, the (hopefully) long-term relationship, (but always with the "professional" caveat).

I found my wonderful DH after I figured out exactly what I wanted in a partner. And so, today I'll set the laws of the universe in motion and see if the same thing works for agents. (Okay, I'm not ready to query yet, but ... in a couple months.)

Below are 13 things I wish for in my dream agent. We're talking dream here. My dream DH didn't fart in his sleep and was a little more perfect, but I don't mind. He more than makes up for it. :-)

I'm curious. Did I forget anything? Did I put anything on the list that I *should* forget? What's your dream agent like? (Speaking of which, I have to nod to BookEnds blog for inspiring this post!) If you have an agent, what do you like most about him/her? What about the relationship was unexpected?

Thirteen Qualities in my Dream Agent
  • 1. Someone I click with.
  • 2. Someone who has my back, (or side, or front).
  • 3. Someone who wants to sell my career more than my book.
  • 4. Someone who loves making deals AND being a part of my book (whether it be editing, or problem-noticing, or whatever).
  • 5. Someone who is smart about what makes a book work (or not work).
  • 6. Someone who is willing to read everything before it goes out, forever and ever.
  • 7. Someone who would never be inclined to think anything was good 'enough.'
  • 8. Someone who is up front and clear about what they expect and want.
  • 9. Someone who is professional, yet can be friendly.
  • 10. Someone who is positive, and is a person I genuinely like and respect.
  • 11. Someone who likes and respects me, too.
  • 12. Someone honest, of course!
  • 13. Someone who doesn't mind weighing both sides, and explaining to me all the things I don't know or understand.

Is that a lot to ask? Too much? Unrealistic? What should I expect?

14 bonus scribbles:

Mark 2/01/2007 02:43:00 PM  

Seems to me that you left out responsiveness. To me this is a big deal. I had an agent that did return calls, but not necessarily all that quickly. Same with e-mails.

My current agent, and I would say I'm quite pleased with her, is very, very responsive. I have her cell phone number and she answers it when I call, which is rare. If I e-mail, she gets back to me the same day or later in the day. (She's rather disciplined about e-mail and seems to check it at the beginning of the day and the end of the day. How the hell does she do that? I check mine every 2 minutes!)

And although this is something of a mixed blessing, if she doesn't like something of mine, she'll tell me so. She won't hem and haw or dance around it, she'll say, "I hated it" or "it didn't work for me."

Maybe if I become a bestseller that won't matter so much, but I have to trust her taste just as she has to trust me to regularly supply her with salable material.

Best,
Mark Terry
www.markterrybooks.com

Rashenbo 2/01/2007 02:51:00 PM  

Great list! Yup - responsiveness is good. You want someone to follow up with you at least within a decent time period...

But, I want someone who loves my writing. Someone who genuinely enjoyed reading my story and loved the plot and wants to read my next book! I want someone to be passionate about my stories. They won't be as passionate as I am... but a little passion helps :)

Janet,  2/01/2007 04:48:00 PM  

Sounds awesome! Good luck :-)

spyscribbler 2/01/2007 06:10:00 PM  

You're right, Mark! Responsiveness! Hah! Sounds to me like communication would be number one most important. Leave it to me to forget the most important one!

Rashenbo, passion is a wonderful thing, for sure!

Thanks for stopping by, Janet!

Vicky 2/01/2007 06:30:00 PM  

Great list! When you find a wonderful agent like that...let us know! ;)

Amy Ruttan 2/01/2007 07:22:00 PM  

Great list. I have yet to find an agent, but those are all important issues when looking for an agent for sure.

Happy TT!!!

Edie 2/01/2007 08:11:00 PM  

Spy, love you list. I made one too, also one for a publishing house. My agent will love my writing voice, that's number 1 on my list. I also want her to be responsive, like your friend Mark.

Bailey Stewart 2/01/2007 08:19:00 PM  

Great list and wonderful follow-up comments. I haven't made a list, I haven't thought that far ahead. I know, shame on me.

Thanks for dropping by my blog. I thought I would answer your question about the kitten here. His name was Devlin and he was about 1 week old there. His mother abandoned him on our back porch the day he was born and I became his mother. Unfortunately, I lost him 5 days after his first birthday. In the back of our minds (the vet and I), we always knew there was something wrong with him for the mother to abandon him. He was my first child, the closest to a baby I'll ever have and I still miss him terribly, even after almost a year. This is my way of remembering him.

Once again, thanks for coming by. Drop in any time. I'm having a Shalvis giveaway around April (Smart and Sexy) so be sure to show up for that.

spyscribbler 2/01/2007 08:31:00 PM  

Thanks, Vicky! LOL, I sure would! In the end, I'll probably be lucky to have a competent agent. That would be cool, too!

Good luck, Amy! Congratulations on your call! I've heard one can get a better agent after getting a deal, so ...

Edie, yes, that would cool! I should do one for a publishing house, too. Get good energy flowing, LOL!

spyscribbler 2/01/2007 08:32:00 PM  

Awww, Bailey! You know, I added you to my blogroll on account of the picture, even before I read and found you had great content!

That's so sad! I lost a cat, once. Sad, sad, heartbreaking. He looks so precious!

Heather in Beautiful British Columbia 2/01/2007 09:11:00 PM  

Hey Spyscribbler - I hope you find your perfect agent :) Your list sounds realistic to me! Good TT.

Christine 2/02/2007 07:15:00 AM  

I think we have the same dream agent! I have to agree with responsiveness as well. I need to know that I can fire off an email and get an answer sometime that day. I start to freak (mentally) if I feel I'm losing touch.

Great list and thanks for stopping by my site yesterday!

Therese Fowler 2/05/2007 05:06:00 PM  

This is a well-conceived list, and realistic too. I'm with you on deciding what I want before I go looking; saves so much time and heartache and headache in the long run!

Maybe this sounds implausible to some, but I have an agent that meets your criteria--well, except I don't know whether or not the two of you would click...and I don't know if what you're writing matches what she's looking for.

But in any event, I can say with assurance that there ARE agents like this. Always remember, no matter how desperate we writers feel when we're querying, agents can't make their livings without us! Your dream agent's out there, just waiting to hear from you.

spyscribbler 2/05/2007 08:35:00 PM  

You made your agent sound so awesome, Theresa, that I had to check! She doesn't like my genre, LOL. Too bad! I'm so glad you found an awesome agent!