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Agent Q & A
Once you get THE CALL from an agent, you'll want to be sure to
ask a lot of questions, both about their business practices and the kind of
relationship you can expect from them. Here are the examples of what I
ask, taken from the AAR Questionnaire, my own personal experiences and the
experiences of other authors:
there anything specific that made you decide that you wanted to represent my
do you keep clients informed on your efforts on their behalf?
How often would we be in contact?
Do you prefer email contact or by phone? Generally what is your response time?
you willing to discuss career-building with an unpublished client?
What kind of career-building measures do you take for a published
you interested in your clients only on a book-by-book basis, or do you see
them as a whole writer (even if you only represent on a book-by-book basis)?
kind of relationship do you see us having?
do you think your greatest strength as an agent is?
does your submission process work? Do
you make phone calls to pitch full books or send proposals?
much input do you generally do on your clientsí work?
you issue an agent-author agreement or contract?
you a member of the Association of Authorís Representatives?
long have you been in business as an agent?
if any, experience did you have in the industry before becoming an agent?
any other people in your organization be handling my work at any time?
are your commission rates? What
are your procedures and time-frames for processing and distributing client
funds? Do you have different
bank accounts for agency revenue versus author funds?
you charge for expenses? If so,
is there a limit yearly or per book? Will
these expenses be paid up front or taken from any sale I make along with
are your end-of-year tax activities like?
What information do you send to your clients and in what format?
the event of death or illness, what provisions do you make for continued
are your policies if we should part company for any other reasons?
you have any questions or expectations for me if I decide to take you on as
- Do you need to
know about the work Iíve already done on my own behalf regarding this or
any other book? Would you like
copies of my query letters and responses regarding this or any other book?
Remember, if a potential agent answers these questions in a way that makes
you uncomfortable, charges you fees for reading, or does anything else that
makes you feel weird... DON'T HIRE THEM. A
bad agent can do more harm than good.
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