I got quite a lot of responses on my post about making sure you're picking the best agent for you. Many of you expressed interest in what my list would be in what to look for/ask a prospective agent. So here is the list I came up with when I was trying to decide on my agent:
1. What did you like the most about my book?
2. Do you see or want any major edits done before submitting it, or is it ready?
3. What is your editing style?
4. What is your agenting style? (Hands on? Phone calls, emails, lots of communication or minimal?)
5. How often will you be updating me regarding the status of your submissions?
6. How many editors do you plan to pitch to in the first round?
7. What editors/houses do you have in mind to pitch it to?
8. Are you interested in repping just this, or all of my future projects?
9. Do you handle subsidiary/foreign rights?
10. Do you have someone on your staff who checks royalty statements for accuracy and errors?
11. Do you have a written agreement?
Those were the main questions I came up with, and actually printed off with a pen handy for my phone conversations with agents. It helped me find out some major points to expect in our professional relationship: What are his/her thoughts on my book? Are we going to be doing major/minor/no revisions? and how does he/she prefer to revise/edit? Is this agent going to be very personable with lots of contact by email and phone, or very distant--just the basic communications, only when absolutely necessary? What is their plan for my book and my career? Is this book the only one they are interested in or do they want to be an advocate for my whole career? How will all the details of a deal be taken care of? You should have a very clear idea of what your relationship and career would be like with this agent after you get the answers to all of these questions.
However, the most important part of these questions is knowing what YOU want. What kind of agent do you want/need? If you're not sure, try answering the questions how you wish an agent would answer, and that will help you figure it out. I hope this was helpful! Any additional thoughts or questions, let me know and we can continue the discussion on Wednesday if you'd like. Hope you had a great weekend!