You Dirty Rat

All literary agents are not created equal so one could pose the question, “How do I know if I have signed on with a legitimate agent?”

It doesn’t take much to qualify oneself as a literary agent and that can be dangerous to those seeking one but there are a few ways to protect yourself. Watch out for these warning signs and run the other way if the agent:

  1. is unwilling to disclose their client list OR a list of books they have sold to publishers. An honest literary agent will be proud to share their list of clients with you, even if they are a newbie with a short list.
  2. has limited knowledge of the industry. Even when people decide to become a literary agent they will still have extensive knowledge of the industry from prior experiences in other positions.
  3. charges a fee beforehand. Yes, you are paying them to work for you but they get paid on commission from the sales of your work.
  4. has typos and/or mistakes on their website. While a typo or two can be overlooked, their website should not be littered with them; this shows a lack of attention to detail.
  5. sells you instant fame. You are looking for an agent, not a used car salesman. Stick with an agent that believes in you and promises to work hard so that success is attained over time.

 

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