In this seventh part of CarinSiegfried’s series of posts, Carin explains what authors should do when they get an offer of representation.
Carol: What questions should a writer ask when she gets “The Call” from the agent?
Carin: Find out the agent’s standard agenting terms. (15% is standard for book sales). Specifically, ask about:
1. The agent’s style (editing strengths, etc). How many revisions do they anticipate before going out, do they have revision ideas
2. Who are they thinking of submitting your book to
3. Who else do they represent? What have they sold recently?
Keep in mind that a reasonable minimum standard is the AARs’ requirement for new members is at least 10 sales within the past 18 months
A young or new agent isn’t a bad thing at all – in fact older, more established agents are often not taking on new clients, and similarly their publishing contacts (older, established editors) aren’t either, whereas a hungry, eager agent who knows hungry, eager editors can be perfect. In addition, ask:
4. How often do they meet with New York city editors if they’re not located in NYC?
5. Who represents their interests abroad/in Hollywood?
Carol: Is there anything else an author should do?
Carin: When you get an offer, email everyone else you have a query out with and let them know. Tell the first agent you appreciate it and need a week or two to think things over. Let the other agents know your time frame and that you need to hear back from them ASAP.
In Carin’s last post, she will discuss when you should look for in an independent editor and how to find one.
Here are the links to the previous posts:
As informative as these posts have been, it is also fun to consider the humorous side of the writing/publishing/agenting process. Nathan Bransford's creative blog post provides just that.