Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Is Your Agent On Your Speed Dial?

How often do you speak with your agent? What's a standard level of communication between an agent and a client?

Standard? Well, I'm not sure. But I can tell you about my own experience. When my agent and I were on submission, we were talking or emailing every day, often a few times a day. As I mentioned in a previous post, I like to be kept in the loop, and we had fun calming our nerves and swapping "fingers crossed!!!" emails. Once the book had sold, our daily correspondence slowed - after all, she had other clients to deal with or else she'd never be a successful agent with juicy deals to post on Publishers Marketplace.

These days, we probably email about once a week, but this is almost always related to the book - blurb getting, potential film news, etc. Occasionally, one of us picks up the phone just to catch up, but I'm well-aware of the demands on her time. That said, I do think it's important to have an agent whom you trust will get back to you within a day (or so). Mine almost always does, and to me, at least, it's a sign of both her professionalism and her respect for me as a client.

I should also note that I'm fortunate enough to consider my agent a friend. I really do like her as a person (and vice versa). Now, not every writer wants this in an agent, and certainly not every agent wants this in a client (see: Snark, Miss), and while it wasn't a requirement for me, I rather like it. Are we friends enough to do girls' poker night every Wednesday? Of course not. But we're friends enough that I know what's going on - to a certain point - in her life (and vice versa), and it's bred an intangible camaraderie that makes me value her more as an agent. Certainly, some authors and agents will caution you against this. First and foremost, the agent-client relationship is that of business. Without a doubt. But it's always nice when you actually enjoy the company of those with whom you work, is it not? That's no crime.

So how often do you hear from your agent? Am I the norm?


Sara Hantz said...

My agent contact varies depending on what's going on. Even when submitting we weren't in contact as often as you were with your agent. But anytime I email she responds immediately, and vice versa. So it works well.

I trust her implicitly to work hard on my behalf, which is hugely important, because having an agent means you're giving up an element of control. I've had one bad agent experience, and it's not one I wish to repeat!!

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Great that you scored an agent with whom you've developed such a rapport! And it's nice to see agents that are as excited as authors are about their books. I really want to find that!

Amie Stuart said...

I'm with Sara--contact varies but she usually responds immediately to emails. She's my second agent and the difference is night to day--I ADORE HER