Monday, March 31, 2014

Query Question: AAR?

To what extent does it matter if an agent is not a member of AAR?
I always feel more comfortable if an individual belongs to the appropriate professional organization. Am I off base? Thanks!

I am a member of AAR and I always list it in the organizations brave enough to offer me membership cause I'm proud of being accepted to the group.  [I encourage our up and coming agents to join too.]

I think AAR is an asset because it requires members to adhere to a canon of ethics and to meet a minimum standard for What Have You Sold (the first question you want to ask any prospective agent.)

That said, there are some very good, very reputable agents who choose not to belong to AAR.  Some are just recalcitrant old bears who dislike the idea of joining any group.  Some are agents who think it's just not an asset so why spend the dough.

The trick is NOT to limit yourself by querying only AAR members (although that's ok if you want to do so) but to ask an agent who offers you representation why they choose not to belong if they don't.


french sojourn said...

And the quote by Groucho Marx sprang to mind.

"I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member."

On a serious note, I always wondered about this question. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I think I would prefer the AAR stamp of approval. However, a nibble by a non-AAR agent wouldn't stop me from signing on if I'd done my research and they passed the "stress test."

The Sleepy One said...

Some agents mention they follow AAR Canon-of-Ethics even if they aren't members. I've queried non-AAR agents although I've been ready to ask lots of questions if they were interested in my work. But let's be honest: we should all be ready to ask any literary agent serious questions if s/he offers to represent us, even if all one wants to do is squeal "yeah! Someone likes me!"

PT said...

Dear Ms. Reid,

Isn't it so that AAR doesn't accept book packaging? And there are several very reputable agents who due to that can't be member of AAR?