When you finally receive the call you have been waiting for from a potential agent, you might want to sign immediately. Many writers have to wait a long time for that call, but you might want to slow down a bit. As much as excitement might take over your logical mind, you have to make sure that it is a right fit. At this time, you don’t even know if the agent is right for you. We give agents too much of power over our work. If you believe in your own writing, you might want to take back that power.
A lot of work goes into a novel for example. Are you just going to give it to an agent you don’t connect with? You had to proofread and paraphrase online to make sure this book is just right. Now it’s time to make sure that you sign with an agent who understands what you are trying to achieve. Here are some questions you need to ask to make sure you get the right agent.
Agents make a pretty decent amount of money from successful writers. You need to ask about the fees structure so that you are sure what you’re in for. There are of course agents out there who are looking at their own pockets first and this question should give you a clear idea of who you’re dealing with. Make sure that you do some research beforehand. Once you and your agent agree on the fees, you have reached a good place.
You want to sign with an agent who has had some success in the industry. There is nothing wrong with flipping the coin and asking the agent about the success ratio. It’s senseless signing with someone who does not seem to be doing a good job with the current writers. Ask about the plagiarism stats the agent had to deal with. This just shows if the agent is thorough and will do so with your own work.
Many writers miss this one, but it might be the most important question. What happens if you want to end the relationship with your agent? If the agent does not sell your book, what options are available to you? The agent should provide you with a clear contract that states all these facts. Even though verbal agreements stand up in court, I would advise you to get a written contract with all the terms and conditions.
When your book hits the shelves, you want to make sure that it is free of any language errors. How many revisions will the agent do, or will the agent do any? If the agent does not go through any revisions, you need to find an editor who will. This is going to be extra costs to you as the writer. Nothing is ever assumed and everything must be discussed. If it means you have to find paraphrasing software academic writing, then you need to know that from the start. The good news is that most agents have processes in place to help with revisions.
Like mentioned before, nothing should ever be assumed. You may think that your agent is going to answer every call you make when you have a great idea. The agent might not be that available to you. Ask about this so that you have a clear understanding of when to contact and how to contact the agent. Does the agent prefer calls or emails? You want this relationship to work, so details like these are very important.
This should not seem daunting to you at all. It is a great feeling when an agent gets back to you, but you also want to make sure that it is the right agent. Asking the right questions allows you to be on the same page. Do not ask these questions to an agent who did not show any interest in your work. This is merely for those agents who want to represent you. DO not think that by asking these questions that you are grilling the agent. It is perfectly appropriate and might show the agent that you are a professional.