New writers are being told that they need to have an agent in order to get published. Many publishing houses are no longer accepting proposals from authors unless they are represented by an agent.
Looking for an agent is much like proposing a book to a publisher. You must know what genre the agent represents and what their guidelines are. This information can be found on their website.
I spoke with some agents asking them what they look for in first time authors. Sally Apokedak with the Les Stobbe Agency said that they first must have a high concept book that has a fresh twist. It needs to feel as though it hasn’t been done before. She also recommends that the author makes friends with agents. Subscribe to their blogs, meet them at conference and take their classes, friend them on Facebook and like and share their posts. Build a relationship.
Linda Glaz with Hartline Agency says to follow the guidelines on the agency site TO THE LETTER. Grow your social media platform, and she also says to go to conferences, join a critique group and read in the genre that you write.
Diana Flegal, also from Hartline Agency, looks closely at the proposal to see if the author presents themselves in a professional manner. Show that you’ve followed the agency’s guidelines. Make sure that you know what genre(s) they represent. She also checks to see if you are active on Facebook and Twitter. If the writer isn’t active at least on these two sites, she feels she doesn’t have time to teach them these skills. She wants to know how much speaking the writer does, and if they have strong affiliations with organizations related to their topic.
These are just a few things new writers need to consider when looking for an agent.