Am I Ready For An Agent?

I can’t imagine how many times new authors ask themselves this question? Am I ready for an agent? It’s like asking yourself if you’re ready to get married, or ready to have kids? Do you ever really know? Can you ever really be sure?

Photo by Olivander

Photo by Olivander

Or, do you just have to take the plunge?

Here are some things that I’m in the process of considering before I officially move forward in querying an agent:

  • Is my novel in the best shape I can get it? I don’t mean 15 million edits, that’s enough to make anyone go crazy, but is it free of grammatical errors (for the most part), am I happy with the story, is there consistency? Has it been through a beta reader, or two, or three?
  • Do I have a synopsis ready? Personally, I find writing a synopsis… difficult. For a marketing major, you’d think I’d have not only the elevator pitch down, but the 2-5 page version of my book. BUT, it’s hard to trim down 300 pages of novel into 2-5 pages without it becoming “then he did, then she said, then they went…” You get my drift. I want my synopsis to shine as much as my novel does (in my mind my novel shines!)
  • Have I done my research? I don’t want to query anyone and everyone. I want to make a shortlist of 10-15 agents who I think will not only love my book, but who will work well with me. Personality match is critical. Does this mean I’m being a little creepy and trolling potential agent’s Twitter accounts to see what they’re like? Um, yes…
  • Do I have an idea of what I want my writing career to look like? In the best case scenario, my prospective agent is going to represent not just my first novel, but my novels to come. Are they a long-term fit for me? What does my long-term look like? They will ask this question, so it’s best to figure it out beforehand.
  • Have I followed submission guidelines? This should just be a given. If I’m not submitting my work in the way that the agent wants to see it, STOP. Don’t hit send! Reread submission guidelines until you’re blue in the face, THEN hit send.

What items would make it onto your list?


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