Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mary's Rants - Agents

Most of the M&M's (the fabulous 4 of the Mysteries and Margaritas) are represented by Christine Witthohn of BookCents Literary. However, for those who do not have an agent, finding one is a concern.

How do you know who is right for you?

I liken searching for an agent to finding the perfect pair of shoes. Compare the list I have:
  1. I want a pair that has good quality construction. Sturdy and durable.
  2. I want a pair of shoes that are attractive and matches the majority of my outfits. 
  3. I want a pair that fits, not too tight or lose, doesn't flop when I wear them, nor do they pinch.
Now change the wording, and you'll see what I mean about the perfect agent.

  1. I want an agent of good quality one that will stay with me and be my partner through the good and bad times.
  2. I want an agent that loves the majority of everything I write
  3. I want an agent who understands my voice. Gives me constructive criticism, to bring the best out of my writing. But understands my creative process and respects it.
You may or may not see the similarities, but to me they're the same. Those of you who are searching, what are you looking for in an agent? Those of you who found your dream agent, how did you find them?


Kari Lee Townsend said...

I agree Mary. Choosing an agent who is right for is so hard. It really is like a marriage and if you don't fit, then it won't matter how amazing you think they are.

But I remember before I signed with Christine, I was so desperate, I would have signed with the Devil himself.

thank GOD I got lucky the first time around!!!!

C is a perfect fit for me.

Mary Martinez said...

LOL, Christine is great and she sure has come through for you! I can't wait for your books to come out. And your next cover so I can add it to the Blog!

Lindsay said...

Thanks for the hints and tips. They'll come in handy on my continued agent search.

Liz Lipperman said...

Mary, great analogy. A good agent has got to fit like a comfortable pair of shoes. I have friends who are hesitant to call their agents when they have a question. That shouldn't happen.

Sometimes, even the best shoes cause blisters, but hopefully, they can be healed and the shoes can be worn comfortably.

An author's relationship with her agent is one of the most important things in a career. It has to be nurtured. And yes, she definitely has to love your writing. Notice I didn't say - your manuscripts, because there are some stories she won't like or won't feel she can sell right now for you. I have two manuscripts that fit that bill. But I trust she will sell them one day.

Nice, thought-provoking post. Sending you lots of great "on the hunt" vibes.

Cassy Pickard said...

Mary: Fun! Thanks! It is a complicated relationship and one that is incredibly important. Christine has been fantastic. I hope others will find their match as well.

Mary Martinez said...

Good one Liz about the worn to be comfortable shoes.

We all need our favorite shoes to be comfy. As with an agent we have to be comfortable.

Taryn Kincaid said...

Very, very useful.
Terrific analogy.

You gave me much to think about, and I'd like to share that.

(Would you mind if I forward it to my HVRWA chapter newsletter editor?)

Mary Martinez said...

Taryn, I'm glad you found it beneficial.

Katt said...

Hi M&Ms
Waving madly as I only get to touch base once a week now... until Christmas Vacation.

I love the shoe-fit analogy.

So far I've identified a half dozen agents I'd love to have on my team, purely from contact I've had through contest feedback, twitter, blogs and other writers such as M & Ms.

The drawback, is that these are agents I like and respect so when one of them turns down an ms, it stings a bit more than it would if it was just a 'random' agent.

However, a kind and encouraging word from one of my choice agents?... goes an awful long way!