When an offer of representation comes in, some authors ask to speak with an agent’s clients. I don’t know that this is a requirement, depending on your comfort level with the agent, but it can be helpful when making a final decision.
If you are subscribed to our YouTube channel you might have already seen this video, but there’s always something new from one to the other.
Know Your Goal
Knowing why you’re speaking to clients is important in knowing what to ask. It should be some other reason than simply because you’ve been told that’s what you’re supposed to do. It also doesn’t have to be done if you feel confident in your decision. I’ve hired a lot of agents at BookEnds based on my gut and without making any referral calls.
Everyone’s perfect agent is differently depending on what you need, who you are, and what you write. Knowing intimately how each agent works is helpful in understanding better if they are right for you.
Can you talk about the agent’s editorial feedback? Whether or not you want a editorial agent, understanding their style when it comes to feedback can be helpful in knowing if you mesh.
What is the agent’s communication style? We all have preferences in communication, some like email, some prefer phone. Some of us are long-winded and like to chat while others are short and to the point.
Do you feel like you’re part of the process? Each author has a different vision for the type of business partner they want. Some want to be involved every step of the way, while others are more comfortable sitting back to write while the agent does their job on the other end.
Any tips or tricks that have made your partnership successful? When starting a new relationship we all need to learn about the other person and make adjustments. Getting some tips from those with experience can be helpful in settling in faster.
This is not meant as an exhaustive list and James and I definitely covered more in the video, but this is a good start if you are an author looking to talk with other clients.