What should I look for in an agent or manager?

Your agent and manager will help steer the direction of your career. Accordingly, you want to be sure your representatives are people who share the same philosophy and vision as you.

Some good questions to ask a potential agent or manager:

  • Who are your other clients?
  • Who are people you plan on sending me to meet with, both immediately and long term?
  • What is it about my writing that got me in the room today? What about it did you like? What can I improve?
  • Do you primarily communicate via phone or email? How often should I expect we’ll talk?
  • Can I talk to a current client of yours?

There are no absolute right answers here; you just want to be sure he or she gives the answers you’re looking for. (Except for the last one. That answer should be “yes.”)

Also, keep in mind you and your reps will talk often. You want to be sure your personalities mesh; you don’t want someone who will annoy you or make you uncomfortable.

A red flag: Be weary of people who talk poorly about or badmouth past clients. That could be you one day.

And never trust someone who asks for upfront payment, or who asks for more than 10% or a flat fee.