Monday, March 3, 2014

Advice on Finding and Working with a Literary Agent by Rachel Hauck



Rachel Hauck

Hey, writers! Annette here. Have you ever been in the market for an agent? I know some writers have found success without an agent. I also know how difficult it can be to get into the traditional publishing arena without one. Plus, all that publishing-contract legalese is rather intimidating, don't you think? Today, Rachel Hauck is back to share some helpful tips for finding the right agent for you. Read on!

Advice on Finding and Working with a Literary Agent
By Rachel Hauck

I wasn’t looking for an agent when an author and friend called after reading the opening chapter of my first chick lit. Enthusiastic, (don’t you love those calls?) she suggested I submit the work to her agent. After learning of the agent’s reputation and client list, I wholeheartedly agreed.

There’s a tendency to get in a hurry when seeking an agent. Seeing other authors pick up agents, sell trade books out of the gate, win awards. “What, am I wood? Am I standing still?”

My prayer has always been and remains, “Lord, You’re my editor, agent and promoter.”

I signed with my first agent in early ‘04. She really challenged me to go deeper in my writing and to keep reading and studying.

Yet, by mid-2007, I felt I was losing some momentum. I knew I needed help on how to increase my brand and visibility.

I began to pray about what to do—I was even willing for God to end my writing season—when I came across an agency that seemed keen on marketing and branding.

In the meantime, God opened a door for me to write with country artist Sara Evans. And then I changed agents. Closed my eyes, breathed in faith and jumped.

It was an interesting but a short season.

Through a series of interesting and fun events, the Lord led me to my next (and final) agent, Chip MacGregor.

I didn't set out to have more than one. I never wanted to agent shop or get disgruntled and change for the sake of change. An agent/client relationship is a living, breathing thing that must be maintained and treated like all relationships: with good communication.

Here’s my advice on finding or working with an agent:

1. Ask God to direct you to the right one. After talking with other writers, and watching the publishing world, it’s possible that some agents are wonderful for launching your career, but another agent will take you the rest of the way. Pray about your relationship with your agent.

2. Be professional. Do your homework. Follow agent blogs. Meet with agents at conferences. Talk to other authors about agents or agencies. Study agencies’ websites.

3. Whom does your potential agent represent? Look at their client list. Is this a good “field” for you? Do your research.

4. Attend conferences where you can meet agents. There are those HARD days when you need to talk to your agent about your career. You want to do that with confidence. Know you feel comfortable with this person. Your heart’s desire will be in their hands.

5. Don’t be afraid of hard words, of being told to go back and rework your proposal. Listen to the agent’s advice. Don’t fire back that they don’t know what they are talking about.

6. Ask any potential agent their philosophy on marketing and branding.  Since authors are required to do more and more social networking to boost sales, I think it behooves agents to be more marketing and promotions savvy. 

Finding an agent is fun and interesting, frustrating and hard. But hang in there. It’s better to have no agent than one who is wrong for you.

~~~~~

A March Bride
As part of  Zondervan's Year of Weddings novella series, A March Bride released in late February. 



Susanna has found her true prince, and their happily ever after is just around the corner. But when Nate asks her to give up something precious to her, Susanna can’t help but wonder if it’s a sign that their love is not meant to be.

Susanna Truitt (
Once Upon A Prince) is three weeks from royalty. She’ll soon marry King Nathaniel II of Brighton Kingdom. But when the government insists she renounce her American citizenship before the wedding, coupled with the lack of involvement by family and friends, Susanna’s heart begins to doubt whether this marriage is God's plan for her.
Nathaniel would do anything for his bride-to-be. But he knows his position requires that she give up a lot to be with him. Her life will never be her own---right down to her very identity. When she travels home to St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, right before the wedding, Nathaniel fears she won’t return. Gathering his courage, he devises a plan to win his bride all over again, and together they seek out a kingdom to treasure above all.



~~~~~

Besides being an award-winning and best-selling author, Rachel Hauck is one of the mentors of MyBookTherapy. She leads worship and writes her royal tale from a turret! (true story) You can learn more about her here: 

Twitter: @RachelHauck

3 comments:

  1. Rachel, thanks for sharing. I'm currently unagented. I have thought about starting the hunt, but to be honest I'm overwhelmed. I think I'll wade into the waters slowly. And prayerfully.

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  2. I've always approached the idea of an agent relationship as more of a "til death do us part" concept. Maybe some of the pressure would lift if I considered it as just for a season. Like Terri, I'm unagented, but I have already dived into the search. Targeting a few on Twitter, and I hope to speak personally with one in June. Thanks for sharing, Rachel. I appreciate the encouragement.

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  3. Hi Rachel, gorgeous cover! And good words. I do have an agent in mind should I decide to go that route...but I pulled a MS to get it pubbed at a new small press eager to publish it quick, so my mom (who went into hospice) could read it. Unsure about future. But the good news, Mom (94) has gained ten pounds and is rockin' it and definitely not at death's door...therefore, do I regret my haste and decision? No. It was right at the time. Thanks for the insights.

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