Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Saturday April 8th - MOVED to THURSDAY the 13th from 6-8pm
10am to Noon Central time
Saturday May 6th
10am to Noon Central time
What is covered?-Basic agent proposals
-Is a bad agent better than no agent?
-How do you pick the right agent?
-Marketing yourself to fit the HOT NOW target areas
I will look at as many proposals as I can with the class and offer as much one on one as we have time for so bring your proposals ready to show if you want to!
A few tips about finding and picking agents!
These are all things I go into more detail about in class:
I have had the opportunity to assist some of my promo clients with agent proposals(I do promo work and write) and , of course, I have seen some succeed in getting an agent and even a NYC deal, and others not. It's such an exciting and scary step. Exciting is the key word though!
I try to offer suggestions and hope they help..
-One -Know the agents you are querying. Pick a target list and have a reason for picking them. Don't just send out tons of letters and not have a plan. Remember a good agent is the goal not just AN AGENT. I did the get a bad one thing. I lost a year towards my career. RESEARCH. Also why beat yourself or your pocketbook up sending out queries to for sure NO'S? That just beats up your confidence for no reason.
-Two- Do a letter. Do a bio that is about your writing not about your gardening habits and the movies you love and PROOF it. Get it proofed. Make it shine. The agents and the publishing houses are effected by a bad economy. Most are doing more with less staff. Why get ruled out because you didn't proof or format properly. It would be the pits to get ruled out for being too much future work in their eyes when your writing is wonderful! Go to Charlotte's site and look up NYC formatting. It's a great detailed write up of how to format.
-Three- THE HARDEST ONE OF ALL - Be patient - Send out some letters. If you get no's revamp. What did you change? An example...I have a book my agent is going to shop. When we first talked about how to pitch it we talked it out.. There were two options. One brought out the kick butt heroine theme rather than just the paranormal theme. Maybe your pitch is off just a little..If you send them all out at once you can't adjust. You have lost. I know its hard not to rush at things. We are forced to hurry up and wait and its torture. I've decided writers have to pass a WAIT test and prove we can do it before we succeed. I sadly believe I walk the line of failing the WAIT line often lol!
-Lastly - Interview the agent if you get an offer. BELIEVE you are good enough because you are! Don't feel like the lesser. This is easier said than done. We are soooo happy to have our agents, we don't want to rock the boat. It feels so big to get one. BUT believe me, its painful to live a bad one. Ask your RWA group, the lists, other writers, WHAT you should ask and make a list. AGAIN, I failed at this the first time! It is so darn discouraging to feel you take a step back and leave. And some people don't leave. YEARS pass and they stick with that first choice fearful of being without again. Fearful it puts them on a different level of closeness and success.
Some things you MIGHT put on your interview list ...
-What is the agent’s vision of your career and future and does it match what you want?
-How does the agent keep you informed and like to operate. I can tell you lots of my friends would say this point becomes a big one with their agent.
-One thing, is how fast do they follow up on queries? If the agent is going to let months and months go by, this is a sign of concern for me. Most aggressive agents have a fast response to this. That doesn't mean they never feel they HAVE to wait longer but on the norm, they feel they can follow up when?
-How do they feel about writing in different genres and how will they keep that door open for you if you want to do it. Having an agent sign your options for all genres, short and long fiction, and so on is extremely limiting. What if they are very against more than one genre but you really want to do more? Where will that leave you?
These are just a few that come to mind. How you approach it matters too! Nice and polite and educated makes you a good client not a bad one. Pushy and demanding is a flag. Most agents respect you wanting to know these things. Presentation is always important. This is business.
Find out what you can from others too. Talk to current clients. My bad agent is at lots of conferences and has been pretty high profile. She is NOW on predators and editors list with a warning. This after I wasted a year and found out editors didn't respect her! I SOOO wanted an agent. That was all I could see back then. Time two, I interviewed and was picky. I want no one to have the same experience I had lived!
Again, I had a bad agent so I find interviewing the agent more important than some might!