Picking an agent #5—How to know if they’re interested?

For some houses like Heartsong Presents and Steeple Hill, a writer doesn’t need an agent to sell to them. Some writers who have targeted those houses worry an agent is just taking them on for an easy sale.

As a writer, you can tell if an agent is truly interested in you and your writing. Did they read your manuscript? Offer suggestions or feedback? Do they plan which specific editors to send it to because they know the editors’ specific tastes? Do they communicate with you quickly and consistently? Is their communication thorough?

And for goodness’ sake, if an agent requests your proposal or your full manuscript, SEND IT! They don’t have time to request those things if they aren’t genuinely interested in your story idea. It’s not like they have nothing to do but log in manuscripts and then send a rejection letter. They have a lot of other things taking up their time, and they’re not going to waste any of it by asking you to send something they intend to reject later.


  1. Camy, this has been a good series of posts. I've been going 'round and 'round about the agent thing, and I've realized that I really don't need one...right now. (All this after spinning my wheels and having an agent request a full at a conference two years ago, which I never followed up on, in my ignorance, not realizing she wouldn't ask of just anyone.) Maybe I'll try again one day when I have my "bigger book" concept nailed down... :)


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