Saturday, April 04, 2009

Getting info on agents from their clients

Q: So is it acceptable protocol to ask a prospective agent who has expressed interest in signing you if you can talk to his/her other clients? I've been wondering this in the abstract for a while and you seem to suggest it's okay!


A: Heck yes it's ok. In fact, if any agent suggests otherwise, head for the hills while thanking your lucky stars for avoiding that little disaster.

When a prospective client is poised to embark on the SS FinePrint I tell them to contact any client of mine they want. No cherry picking, no "here's the list." I hope my clients are happy with me the day people email, but if they're not, that's my problem!

12 comments:

fellow-ette said...

Thanks so much for answering!

T. Anne said...

Had I done this, I could have averted my own personal agentfail. She's still in the business although listed as a Predator on P&E (not of my doing, but I agree) If I were offered representation once again unless I've heard of their renown, I won't hesitate to ask for references.

Sean Ferrell said...

I was just contacted by an author looking for information about my agent. I lied, of course.

DebraLSchubert said...

Good to know - will definitely keep that in mind!

Liesl Shurtliff said...

It's great to know what to expect from agents (and what not to expect.) I would also love a list of questions that would be appropriate to ask a potential agent...or not appropriate. What do good agents want prospective clients to ask them? What questions make them cringe?

Windy said...

It's good to know that an agent wouldn't be offended by this question. This was on my list of maybe questions, but now something I will keep in mind.

David Eric Tomlinson said...

This is great to know. One of the more helpful tips I've seen on an agent's blog to date, actually. Thanks for the idea.

Cardinal said...

What a great tip, especially since it was something I've thought about, but didn't know if I could ask for client references.

T. Anne, what is P&E? I know what a Predator is, but I wanted to be able to read up on this one. (Predators and Editors, perhaps?)

DeadlyAccurate said...

I'm going to tell all potential clients you promise them a free yert when they sign.

Rebecca Knight said...

Thank you so much for the info! I wasn't sure if this was kosher or not, either, but it makes a ton of sense.

I appreciate the post! :)

BJ said...

P&E is Predators and Editors http://anotherealm.com/prededitors/

Gary Corby said...

How come I didn't get a yert?

My suggestion for what it's worth is try and talk to the clients most similar to you in genre, and preferably also the relative newbies. That should give you the closest analogue to what you can expect.