What are the dos and don'ts of talking to a literary agent?
February 27, 2013 8:25 AM Subscribe
An agent from a very large, well-established literary agency contacted me to say he liked my self-pubbed sci-fi, that he'd seen all the glowing reader reviews, and to ask about my future plans and if I had taken on representation. I answered those questions directly (plans for new books and no, I don't have representation). Presuming he writes back... what do I need to know?
posted by scaryblackdeath to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I'm quite sure this is legit. I've gotten scam emails before. This passed the smell test with flying colors, if I might mix metaphors.
My book has only been out on Amazon & other e-book sites for about a month, and it has kicked nine kinds of ass. (I've posted/asked stuff in relation to my books here several times before.) I have not, as yet, worried about agents and publishers and all that. I'd LOVE to get published, but so far I have only worried about writing books and getting better at my craft. Given that I have a day job -- one that I'd love to quit in favor of writing full time, but I have no illusions about how dangerous that could be -- I figure the writing is all I have time for.
But now I've had someone knock on my door. It was just yesterday, and I have no idea if/when he'll get back to me, but even if he doesn't there's always the chance that someone else will. Plus, again, if he doesn't this certainly bodes well for my chances of finding someone if I start pro-actively looking.
So what do I need to know when talking to an agent? How do I make sure I don't say anything to torpedo my chances? (I told him my plans for future books, but I also noted that I haven't made any commitments.) Is it likely that I won't hear from him for a while, or should I write this off if he doesn't get back to me again by the end of the week? I know that paying fees to an agent is a big red flag, but what are the other warning signs?