There's a saying that having no agent is better than having the wrong agent. It's hard to accept as a member of the unagented masses and I'm not totally sure it isn't just something people say to make other people feel better, but I am absolutely sure the right agent is hands down better than the wrong one. And by wrong one I don't mean a scammer or an incompetent, I mean a respectable agent who simply doesn't mesh with me. There's more to being a good fit than trying to sell my books and not ignoring me.
So, what am I looking for? Beyond obvious things like the agent representing my genre and liking my stories, what would make someone mesh with me? My ideal agent personality list, in no particular order...
- Ideal Agent is not insulted by this post. He/she is more likely to respond with an Ideal Author list than to be miffed by me. Ideal Agent isn't offended easily or often.
- Ideal Agent doesn't take him- or herself too seriously. Or me, I certainly don't take me too seriously.
- Ideal Agent has a strong sense of humor. Preferably a wonky one. Preferably one compatible with mine.
- Ideal Agent is loyal and wants to work with me for a very long time. Because I don't plan to stop writing. Ever.
- Ideal Agent gives me straight answers to questions, even if I won't like them. Ideal Agent isn't mean about it though.
- Ditto on career advice.
- Ideal Agent gives good answers and advice because Ideal Agent is freakishly smart.
- Ideal Agent knows when to tell me, “Stop whining and work,” and when to tell me, “Stop whining and ski.” And recognizes the skiing is a part of work because it makes my brain function.
- Ideal Agent sends emails if there's something important I need to know, even if we talked about it on the phone for three hours, because Ideal Agent accepts my learning style.
- Ideal Agent accepts my obsessions, even the ones based on sports they don't understand or TV shows they've never seen or weather patterns they dislike.
- Ideal Agent is liked by my kid and likes my kid back. (Or at least pretends to.)
- Ideal Agent likes animals and will go to the zoo with me should we be in the same city at the same time. And welcomes my kid to come along.
- Ideal Agent loves me even though I'm quirky. Ideal Agent is likely quirky too.
- Ideal Agent is someone I would want to know even if I weren't a writer.
Anything else I should add to my wish-list? =)