Are you looking for a literary agent? What have you learned in your search?
Five things that might be useful to know are:
1) They are avid readers. Non-readers need not apply to be a literary agent. Any agent you submit to LOVES books. They open your submission wanting to find a read they can’t put down.
2) They are real human beings. This one is obvious, but easy to forget when finding an agent is so difficult. It’s important to remember in your submission though, and – as with all people – a bit of genuine thoughtfulness, kindness and professional humour goes a long way in an email.
3) They often read submissions in their spare time. Important to know for two reasons: a) because they’ll possibly be tired or distracted, which is why it’s so important to have a clear, exciting pitch. And b) because they’ll possibly be reading your submission on an eReader or tablet. Pay attention to your file names (keep them simple and descriptive), and don’t include special images, characters or fonts unless it’s integral to the story.
4) They make their money by making you money. If they reject your submission, it’s because they can’t see a way that they can make a return on their investment. It's not personal (although it’ll most certainly feel like it). For them – it's a livelihood.
5) They all talk to each other. If you’re thinking of being rude to an agent – think again. Literary agents do talk – and not just within agencies, either.
What five things have you learned about agents? Share them below!