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Researching Literary Agent’s Track Record

June 28, 2011 8 comments

Googling “Literary Agent” brings up 3,060,000 entries, to give you an idea of how intimidating all of this can be to a writer wanting to get published.

Not that there are as many agents, but there are enough to confound the best of us. To make matters worse, there are scammers out there ready to help gullible writers part with their money.

Remember – you *never* pay an agent up front – not reading fees, not any other fees.You pay when the agent sells your book. The industry standard is 15% of your earnings (20% in case of foreign sales). See the “Literary Agent” section for a sample contract.

The agent doesn’t have to be a scammer to be bad. Plain incompetence on the part of your agent can easily destroy your career. So how do you begin to research the agent?

Click here for a great article on researching track records of agents by Victoria Strauss.

In addition to the sources Victoria lists, I’ve found the forums on Absolute Write invaluable. Just googling the literary agent often brings up a thread on Absolute Write.