Tuesday, August 11, 2009

101 Questions for the prospective Agent

You’ve got that agent hooked and they want to represent you. Now what? Well, it’s always wise to do you homework and ask a lot of questions before you settle into a contract.

Do I have 101 questions? No – just 16 at this point that I’ve collected through my own experience and that of some very astute authors - but if you have questions that are not on the list and should be, I would welcome any thoughts you may have on the subject matter:

1. How long have you been in the business?

2. Latest significant sales in the same or similar genre?

3. How many authors do you represent?

4. May I contact any of them as references?

5. Fees – what are your customary contract fees? Do you have any other charges that I should know about up front? (copying, mailing, editorial service fees – beware of the last one).

6. Can you tell me the extent of your experience in negotiating publishing contracts?

7. Do you have any experience with publicity and what do your recommend an author do in this space?

8. Are you associated with any literary organization – for instance AAR?

9. Do you sign a client agreement? If so, is it for one book or all work?

10. What other services does your agency offer?

11. How do you handle film and foreign rights?

12. When it comes to editing and generating ideas with your clients, how active are you in the creative and editorial processes?

13. What makes you want to represent my book?

14. What publishing houses do you have contacts with? And which ones were you potentially targeting for my book?

15. Do you think the book is ready to go out on submission?

16. If it needs revisions, how does that process go? What revisions do you suggest?

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