Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

RJ Blain's Tips for What to Look for in an Agent #WriteTip #AmWriting #SelfPub

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Most authors start their publication journey by trying to find an agent. With far more writers than agents available, this is an uphill battle, pitting you against thousands of others looking for representation from the same individual.

It isn’t easy.

It isn’t uncommon for an author to resort to taking someone who wasn’t their first agent just because they have an offer of representation. That begs one important question: Is having any agent better than having no agent at all?

That’s up to you to decide.

The Role of an Agent
An agent’s role in the marketplace is gradually shifting from contract negotiator and securer of traditional publishing houses to more of a career manager. With so many self-publishing options open, and more and more authors joining the publication fray each and every year, the jobs of agents have also shifted.

An agent is more than someone who can put your manuscript in front of someone at a publishing house. They’re your cheerleader, your career coach, and often, your mentor in the publishing world.

What to Look for in an Agent 
Because the roles of agents are shifting, you need to know what you’re looking for in an agent before you start your search. This will help you limit the number of agents you query, but will also ensure that you have the highest chance of forming a solid business relationship that will last for years to come.

Remember, just as an agent wants to cultivate a business relationship with someone who is a good bet for them, you want to cultivate a relationship with someone who will work for you. Agents aren’t the only ones who get to decide how a partnership works. You need the agent working for you as much as the agent needs you working for them.

You and your agent need to have similar interests. If you write Science Fiction, a Romance agent isn’t going to be a good fit for you. While you both share the same publication goal, the Romance agent wants to bring new, exciting Romance novels to the market.

One of the top reasons agents reject authors is due to the clash of interests. Agents who work in the Romance field do not have contacts in the Science Fiction editorial departments of publishing houses. This won’t help you sell your book.

You and your future agent need to have similar goals. If you enter in a relationship with an agent who is only interested in their share of the commission and you’re a new writer, chances are you’ll be dropped as a client in short order because you won’t be selling like the agent wants. For a new author who is interested in building a long-term career writing books, you need an agent who can take the time to help you grow and find you a contract that offers you the maximum chance of breaking into traditional publishing and forming a career.

If you’re interested in self-publishing novels that you can’t find an agent for, you also need to work with an agent who is willing to release those novels to you for that purpose. Agents often have a first right to claim a project in their contracts with you. You need to be aware of what freedoms you have with your agent. After all, whenever you self-publish a novel on your own, that’s a part of the pie he or she is missing out on.

Mutually Beneficial Relationship
Whenever you work with someone in the long term, it is important that you have the sense of having a mutually beneficial relationship with your business partner. Your agent is your partner. Not your superior, not an overlord, not someone hired beneath you. You have to work together, possibly for years.

When you pick your agent, don’t just pick them because they’re willing to work with you. You need – and deserve – someone who wants to work with you as much as you want to work with them. It’s hard work to find an agent.

It’s even harder work to find an agent who is ideal for you. Don’t worry if you don’t get lucky or find the perfect fit right away. Keeping working at your writing and your query until you get the perfect agent for you.


Kalen’s throne is his saddle, his crown is the dirt on his brow, and his right to rule is sealed in the blood that stains his hand. Few know the truth about the one-armed Rift King, and he prefers it that way. When people get too close to him, they either betray him or die. The Rift he rules cares nothing for the weak. More often than not, even the strong fail to survive.
When he’s abducted, his disappearance threatens to destroy his home, his people, and start a hopeless and bloody war. There are many who desire his death, and few who hope for his survival. With peace in the Six Kingdoms quickly crumbling, it falls on him to try to stop the conflict swiftly taking the entire continent by storm.

But something even more terrifying than the machinations of men has returned to the lands: The skreed. They haven’t been seen for a thousand years, and even the true power of the Rift King might not be enough to save his people — and the world — from destruction.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Fantasy
Rating – PG - 13
More details about the author
Connect with RJ Blain on Facebook and Twitter


Post a Comment