Thursday, April 9, 2015

Finding an Agent Is Like Online Dating

This is not a scientific approach to selecting an agent or an online date, but a more visceral method. We’re going with the gut! I’m having a little tongue in cheek fun with this post.

1. Do they pass the stink test?
  • Does the agency have a website? Does it list an address, clients, book sales, submission information, contact numbers?
  • Is the online date always asking about your bank account, investments and how much cash is in your wallet? When you ask for his/her cell number, you end up calling a fast food restaurant or an adult only number.

2. Do they promise more than they can deliver?
  • Does the agent tell you “you are the next Stephen King or J.K.Rowlings”? If so, run away. Seriously, you’re not that good!
  • Does their picture scream beauty queen or handsome beefcake, but make you scream when you see him/her?

3. Do they take more than they give?
  • Does the agency charge reading fees, submission fees, a higher than standard percentage for representation?
  • Is the date high maintenance? Does he/she always complain about the movie, dinner or your appearance along with a hundred other objections? Is the date always late, never happy, a “what-have-you-done-for-me-lately person”?

4. Are they what they represented themselves to be?
  • A legitimate agency with real clients, book sales, etc.
  • Is the date as active as his/her bio say he/she is or is the date really a couch potato who claims to sky dive, BASE jump and wrestle bears with their bare hands? (Former lives don’t count.)

5. Do they cause more grief than pleasure?
  • Do you have to make repeated phone calls about royalty payments to the agency? Do they return your calls or emails?
  • Does the date’s negative attitude about everything have your friends on a suicide watch?

6. Final words of caution:
  • Beware of agencies that send snail mail correspondence with flowery fonts, multicolored inks and envelopes full of confetti (so you can clean up the party after you open the envelope).
  • Beware of gents or ladies who keep an overnight bag in their trunk.

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