Baby Evil Writers 101: Finding a Reputable Agent Step #1
Once you’ve finished a manuscript, it’s easy to jump right into sending hundreds of letters to literary agents. Maybe you get a list from a friend, or sign up for a website that lists agents who represent the genre of book that you write. They’re an agent and so inherently have the evil goodness that you’re searching for, right?
Not so my sweet minions of evil.
I personally know many writers who lost YEARS OF THEIR LIVES by signing with an agent who was so not the cream center of the Twinkie. I know it is hard not to grab the first agent that says they like your work. Querying is a horrible, mind and spirit breaking process, but it needn’t make your brain leak out of your ears, or your lack of common sense flush all of your hard work down the toilet of fail.
What you write may be art but, this is a business guys, and you need to know stuff.
Today, I’ll focus on one way you can positively know that an agent is honest, and that they’ll have your best interests at heart. (There are lots of different checks and balances you can do, and this is just the first.)
Is this agent a member of AAR? (Association of Author’s Representatives)
The literary agents of AAR are the super-agents of the publishing industry. They have a Cannon of Ethics and strict guidelines that they must adhere to in order to stay a member. Because of the difficult membership requirements, an AAR agent is more likely to be in publishing for the long haul, and not someone who informs their clients of a career change on Facebook. (Yes, this happened.)
So, before you query everyone and their dog, start with the AAR list of agents.