Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Agent Search

So, some of you know that I am on The Agent Search (TAS™). It is amazing how tough it can be to find that good fit with someone you kinda have a personal relationship with, and you kinda don't. Here's some of what I'm looking for:

~ For me, it's important to sign with an agent, heretofore known as WunderAgent, who responds to my emails promptly, even if it's just to say, "Hey, super busy, but got your email and will respond by week's end."
~ "Gets" my work and is excited about it.
Not excited about this *one* book, but excited about my writing, my blogging, my website . . . basically, WunderAgent truly gets what I'm about, what I'm trying to do, and wants to be my partner in crime.

~ Has some sort of vision for where I could go, career-wise, and that vision aligns with mine.
I know where I want to go, generally speaking: I want to be a full-time writer with a significant pile of published titles. I would love for WunderAgent to provide some insider knowledge and information so that I don't make foolish detours (like decide that since I was great in art in third grade, I should try my hand at graphic novels, or that an Indian-American TWILIGHT is *just* what the world needs right now).

~ Possesses an honest and open style of communication, and does not take things personally. I'm always working on this, myself, so I've come to expect it from those around me (sometimes to my own colossal disappointment, alas).

Since we'll be engaged in a business relationship, most of the things WunderAgent and I will discuss will likely be about the Work -- how we approach the Work, how we relate to the Work, directions to take the Work in, contracts about the Work, etc. Therefore, it's unlikely that either of us would be throwing out personal insults intended to wound the other. Ideal WunderAgent understands this and, while there may be misunderstandings, finds it important to keep lines of communication open so that any discrepancies are quickly cleared up on either end.

~  Trust. I have to be able to trust that my WunderAgent will be professional, stick to scheduled appointments and phone calls (barring unforeseen circumstances, of course), and keep me informed and updated on the whereabouts of my work (again, within reason -- and "reason" is something that both agree is good. See aforementioned point on "open and honest communication style").

~ A good follow-upper. WunderAgent respectfully nudges folks who said they'd get back to us weeks, or months ago.

~ And MAJORLY important: WunderAgent loves being an agent, and plans to stay an agent for a long time!

Okay, those are the biggies, I think. I am both excited, and nervous. It's always nerve-wracking to try to find the right fit in any kind of relationship because we're talking about personalities. Everyone puts their best foot forward in the beginning, and then the relationship gets tested when there is revision after revision, or when there is no (good) news for a year or longer, or when there is some sort of communication breakdown. But to me, the mark of any strong partnership is not that nothing goes wrong, but how both partners work through it when something does.

So, I will keep you posted on how things turn out. If you're on TAS yourself, please comment and we can journey together. If you have tips, suggestsions, or recommendations (or if you spot WunderAgent!), please leave those as well.

Happy travels, all!

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