Share it Please
You’d think it would be a nice straightforward process, but to be honest it’s a little like finding a wife or husband; it's important that you as individuals gel and understand each other.
It's for this reason that you must do the searching yourself and make it a thorough process.
Do I really need an Agent in 2015?
That’s a valid question given that there are many avenues available down the self-publishing route, but just bear in mind that around 80% of the books that the big New York publishing houses go on to produce are sold to them by agents. Agents know their clients and markets inside out and can achieve much more in a shorter space of time than an aspiring author with “no name” can. They will negotiate, protect your rights, ensure you are paid and save you a lot of time, money and effort.
That said it does depend on what you are selling; if you are going for one of the major publishing houses then you clearly need an agent, however if you are going for a more niche market you may not need one, or even struggle to find one willing to deal with you.
PublishersMarketPlace.com is a really good resource as you can search their many listed publishers by category, niche, genre or keyword; you should be able to find some good matches. You might also want to consider the following sites:
Making the Right Choice
There are a couple of sure-fire signs that you’ve chosen the right agent:
Their enthusiasm. Do they share your passion for your work? Do you get the feeling that they believe in you and your work? Your agent has to really get where you’re coming from and understand the specifics of your work to be able to sell if effectively and passionately to publishing houses.
Their track record. You should find out what their sales track record is like; this is a rough and ready way to know whether you’ve found the real deal or not. Look at their client list and the publishers which they have recently made sales with; you’re looking for good numbers, but also the types of genre, author and publishing house. These should closely match your own work; if you find that they do then you may be on to a winner with that particular agent.
That said, it can sometimes be beneficial to get an agent who is up and coming; they may be more likely to spend time on you if they have fewer clients, but are ambitious.
Communication style. You’re looking for an agent who is timely and courteous in their responses, i.e. they are professional; you should be treated like a business partner and they should be open and transparent in everything they are doing for you. A good agent will give you feedback about any rejections as well as acceptances and will often make suggestions regarding the marketing and positioning of your work to make it more appealing.
Lola Smirnova is an author from Ukraine. Her novels are inspired by real-life events. Lola’s debut novel Twisted was released in 2014. The book placed as Honorable Mention in the General Fiction Category of The 2014 London Book Festival’s Annual Competition.
Lola released Craved, the highly anticipated sequel to Twisted, in August 2015.
Lola lives in South Africa, and is currently working on the third book in her trilogy.
To learn more, go to http://lolasmirnova.com/