I have been considering the idea of an agent search more and more frequently the past couple years. Initially, I kept asking myself what I might have to offer an agent.
In case you are wondering, that was the younger, more pessimistic me (yes, I’m older now and I’m still occassionally pessimistic – on the whole I have a great deal more self-confidence in myself and my writing now)
As I have grown more comfortable in my own writer’s skin, I’ve changed that question from what to how much? As in, “How much time do I realistically have to look for an agent?”
It even goes one step further too and this is where the cold chills often grip me. I’m busy now. If I were to find an agent, would I have time to properly work with him or her (this is where the self-doubt still occasionally surfaces)? Then I remind myself of the old saying which says, “if you want something done (right), give it to a busy person.” I know I’m a busy person and I always seem to hit my deadlines.
So, does that mean now is the right time?
That is usually where I manage to step back from the ledge and not take the leap.
Then, I met Alexander Pierce virtually on Twitter. Alexander has been taking that very leap for a while and only a few weeks ago he was successful in his agent search. I read his post about it and got thinking about agents yet again.
And the question came up…again. Is now the right time?
I look at what 2015 has in store for me and I think the answer could be yes (btw, “could” is one of those hedging words for when you don’t want to commit to something).
I mean, I have a book I co-authored with JR Murdock coming out either late this year or early next. I’m working on the next Mik Murdoch which should be out next year. I’m publishing an anthology and Boyscouts of the Apocalypse. AND I should have at least two short stories coming out.
If I’m not ready now, when will I ever be? Sometimes a little fear is a good thing, but you cannot let it rule you.
All that being said, I will start my agent search this month. I will do that by crafting the best agent query letter I can and gather the list of agents I have been compiling. Then, I will unleash the dogs of war…or at least the dogs of querying.
I think the real question you have to ask yourself is: why do you NEED an agent? What are they going to do for their percentage? What are they going to help you do that you’re not already doing? What kind of plan will they have to help your career?
I too was looking for an agent at one point. Hell, I even spoke with a few at Balticon. However, not only were they not interested in what in representing the kinds of fiction that I write, but I began asking myself more and more questions about why I needed one.
If you think they’ll help, great. But as with all things in this business, you need to go into any agreements with great skepticism. They should have to earn their percentage. Make sure whomever you choose will do so.
You are absolutely right, Paul. I am approaching this with eyes wide open and questions at the ready.
I know you have done the research. I hope you find what you’re looking for.
Thanks JR. Time will certainly tell. 🙂
I’m with Paul on this one. It only makes sense to get an agent if you think they can take your work beyond where you’ve taken it. If you think they can get you a book deal with one of the big six (or is it five now?), then go for it!
Either way, good luck with your search. I’m sure you’ll land an agent.
Thanks Nila. I totally hear what you are all saying.
I have a couple properties that I would like to find homes for. There are many days when I think that search would be easier if I had an agent to help with it.
Regardless, the support of you and others like Paul makes this journey an interesting and rewarding one. 🙂