As we wait for the ACFW conference registration to open, I’ve been thinking about literary agents and who I would like to meet while I’m at the conference. I don’t have an agent. The publishers for shorter Christian romance novels usually accept submissions from unagented writers, which is how I submitted my novel.
Now, that I’m looking at submitting a young adult novel (if I can get beyond editing the first chapter, but that’s a post for another day), I’ve been looking at agents. I’m trying to decide who would be a good fit, and who should be at the top of my list for appointments. Here are some questions I’ve been asking when deciding.
1. What is his or her style? I’ve been reading blogs written by the agents on my list to get a feel for how the agent works. I’ve learned that some agents are more aggressive. Some agents love to work with new writers, while others prefer seasoned authors. I’ve also found interviews that give some insight into what they’re like.
2. What genres do they represent? I’m not only looking at if they represent what I’m working on now, but also, things I may be interested in later. If they say they would never represent science fiction and that’s the next book you want to write, maybe it wouldn’t be a good fit.
3. Who represents my favorite authors? I’ve spent some time on the agency websites and using google to figure out which agents represent authors I love. If we like the same writing style and genres, there might be a better chance that the agent would like my writing.
There are a few big names that make me nervous. I’m still trying to decide if I need to step out of my comfort zone and get some face to face time with these agents. At the last conference I attended, the agent I was most nervous about meeting gave me some great advice that led to big revisions and ultimately to a contract.
What research have you done or questions have you asked in your search for an agent?