Thursday, January 29, 2009

Selecting An Agent (Part 2)

Once more, I’m looking at Mike Hyatt’s list of literary agents. I’m asking myself what criteria I would use to decide whether I want one of these to represent my work. There is one criterion that is etched in stone and it is related to something Mike says, “While all of them represent Christian authors, they themselves may not necessarily be Christians.” Is that acceptable? No. See II Corinthians 6:14. Thought that was only talking about Christians not marrying unbelievers? Afraid not. If an agent can’t tell about when he accepted Christ, then a Christian is better off without him.

Agents receive about 15% of the contract amount. If the agent is asking for more, the agent had better be able to show why she’s worth it. If an agent is asking for less, it might be good to ask what’s wrong with him. If the agent wants money before the publisher pays, I will very nicely tell the agent that she is out of her mind.

I’m not sure how many clients an agent should have, but it should be more than a few and less than a lot. Having few clients means the clients get more attention, but it also shows lack of experience. Having many clients shows the agent has a reputation, but some clients won’t get the attention they need.

An agent needs a good personality. I’m not sure what that mean, but I know it when I see it.

An agent needs a good reputation with publishers. What good is an agent that can’t get anyone to talk to him?

Are there other criteria for an agent? I’m sure there must be, but like I said, an unknown author can’t afford to be too picky.