Q: What does an agent do?
Jessica: We're looking for a long-term working relationship. Dealing with contract is also important role for agents.
Regina: Accents help wade through the slush and offer agents the cream of the crop. She also helps authors come up with marketing plans.
Q: What do you need to do before you contact an agent?
Michelle: For nonfiction, you have to establish yourself as an expert and get your proposal together, then research agents and choose perhaps 10 to query.
Jessica: For fiction, you have to finish the manuscript in brilliant condition. Your first ten pages have got to be brilliant. You have to wow agents from the beginning. In a query, show that you'd done research on the agents.
Regina: For picture you don't need illustrations, you shouldn't include illustration notes, and you can generally submit the entire manuscript to an agent with a letter (but check agents' requirements). For YA, MG, tween books, she prefers query and first chapter. She recommends SCBWI.
POSTED BY ALICE POPE