Dear Agents Everywhere

Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I've seen lots of posts by agents in what they love/hate from potential clients. So I thought I'd turn the tables. For all agents, here's an author's Do's and Don't list from all those unagented authors (many of these are from personal experience--not from my agent ((love ya, Al)) but those other, nasty, no good stinkers).

1. Do: Be nice. It's really very simple. No one likes rude people. Newbies might make a mistake and fail to follow your guidelines. Shrug it off and move on. Don't post and rant about it on your blog. There really is another person on the other side of the computer. Be polite and professional.

2. Do: Post your guidelines. If you're a stickler for how, when, what, etc: POST IT on your website, blog, guidelines on all the different agent search sites (agent query, publishers marketplace, etc.) The harder it is for us to find you and your guidelines, the more random your queries are going to be.

2.5. Do Post your preferences. ie--If you're not taking any more epic fantasies, post that on your guidelines. You'll save us both time and money. (This one happened to me).

3. Don't: Get our hopes up only to smash them into the ground. Really. You may think you're being encouraging. You're not. If you're loving a book and you tell an author that 3, 4, 5, or 6 times and then end up not taking it, it's like counting down for Christmas and then telling your six-year old Santa decided to cancel this year (yes, this happened to me).

4. Don't: String us along. Either take the MS or don't. I'll relate it to proposing to your girlfriend and her answer is: (drum roll) MAYBE. It's really not fair. I understand that there may be exceptions, but understand, you're on precarious ground (Please see #1). And yes, this happened to me.

5. Don't offer to take on a client if you plan on moving to another agency or quitting altogether in a week (Yup. Happened to me.)

So what to you all think? Did I forget something (when don't I ;) ).

Next, I'll post Do's and Don'ts for your agent.


  1. Sounds like you have had quite the realm of experiences with agents. Now I am counting my blessings.

  1. Wow, yeah, some experiences there under your belt. Yikes. Now, to get all the agents over here to read this...

  1. Josi said...:

    Sounds like you're an expert :-) Great list.

  1. Becky: It was hard, but it all worked out in the end (I hope).

    Glamis: I know. But I seriously doubt any of them read my blog. :(

    Josi: Makes you kinda glad you're in the LDS market, huh? I tried, they wouldn't take me.

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