The other day, someone asked me how she could find an agent for her first, as yet uncompleted novel. I gave her the standard answer without even thinking about it: "Do your research," I said. "Find a copy of Writers Market, subscribe to Publishers Marketplace, get a list of agents representing the type of book you’re writing, then check them out online at places like Preditors and Editors."
But then, later that day, I began to think about the process of finding an agent – or rather, the process of finding the right agent at the right time. Sure, all of the things I mentioned above are important, but there are also a lot of intangibles that factor into the search. I mean, the agent that’s right for me when I sell my first book may not necessarily be right for me when I sell my tenth. Or when I switch genres. So, here’s the question for the day:
How do you know when you’ve found the right agent for this stage of your writing career?
How will you know when you've found "The One"?
Will she – or he – come equipped with a flashing neon sign that says, “Hi! I’m the right agent for you!”?
Will the ghost of Eudora Welty suddenly appear and give you a serene nod of approval? (Okay, that one probably only applies to other Mississippi writers, but you get the idea.)
Or, will you simply feel it in your gut the first time you two talk?
How will you how when you've found your perfect match?