Author Rachel Hauck was kind enough to offer some advice about finding and working with literary agents. Thank you so much Rachel!
Here she is:
I wasn’t looking for an agent when an author and friend called after reading the opening chapter of my first chick lit. Enthusiastic, (don’t you love those calls?) she suggested I submit the work to her agent. After learning of the agent’s reputation and client list, I whole heartily agreed.
Up to this point, I wasn’t confident I was ready for an agent. I had one Heartsong published and wasn’t working on anything bigger, like a trade book. Then I started writing a chick lit in late ‘03.
There’s a tendency to get in a hurry. Seeing other authors pick up agents, sell trade books out of the gate, win awards. “What, am I wood? Am I standing still?” you may ask yourself.
Don’t be in a hurry.
My prayer has always been and remains, “Lord, You’re my editor, agent and promoter.”
I signed with my first agent in early ‘04. She really challenged me to go deeper in my writing and to keep reading and studying.
I sold my first chick lit six months later. I sold another one a year later. In between I wrote two more Heartsongs. I was on a roll.
Yet, by mid 2007, I felt I was losing some momentum. I knew I needed help on how to increase my brand and visibility. Speaking? Writing articles? Joining forces with… someone?
I began to pray about what to do, willing for God to end my writing season, when I came across an agency that seemed to be keen on marketing and branding.
Maybe that’s what I needed? Could they help with ideas, partnerships, other avenues of promotion? I prayed. Tried not to decide based on worry or jealousy of authors finding more success than me. Tried not to “force” something to happen.
In the meantime, God opened a door for me to write with country artist Sara Evans. And I changed agents. Closed my eyes, breathed in faith and jumped.
It was an interesting season. But a short one.
Through a series of interesting and fun events, the Lord led me to my next (and final) agent, Chip MacGregor.
I never set out to have more than one agent. I never wanted to agent shop or get disgruntled and change for change sake. An agent/client relationship is a living, breathing thing that must be maintained and treated like all relationships: with good communication.
Me: How are you with communication? Do you prefer to write e-mails or talk on the phone? What kind of communication would you prefer to engage in with your future agent?