People are always asking me how they know when they’re ready to start looking for a literary agent. Here’s a quiz to help you figure it out.
Am I ready for an agent?
True or False
Mark the following statements as true or false.
__ If I’m writing fiction, I have finished and revised (and revised and revised) my novel.
__ If I’m writing nonfiction/memoir, I have finished and revised (and revised and revised) my book proposal.
__ I’ve written a story that conforms to its genre length requirements.
__ I have written a story that acknowledges, tweaks, plays with and/or against, but does not ignore its genre conventions.
__ I know what my story’s genre conventions are.
__ I know what my competition is.
__ I’ve read my competition.
__ I know what the selling points of my project are.
__ I know what selling points are.
__ I have joined my genre association.
__ I actively participate in my genre association’s activities and events.
__ I’m an active member of my writing community.
__ I’ve researched the literary agents who might be open to representing my work.
__ I follow those agents on twitter, Facebook, etc.
__ I’m on twitter, Facebook, etc.
__ I am open to feedback from agents, editors, and other publishing professionals.
__ I am working on my next book.
If you marked all these statements as true, then you’re ready to approach agents about representing your work. (And you should query me if I represent your kind of project.)
If you haven’t, then you still have some work to do.
Because literary agents are looking not just for good writers with great projects, we’re looking for good writers with great projects who are in it for the long haul, and are prepared to be authors as well as writers.
Being an author means promoting and marketing your work in a strategic manner that will fuel your career as well as the launch of your first book.
Because with any luck, your first book is just the beginning.
Note: If you’d like to see any of the above “Am I Ready for an Agent” statements explained in detail, let us know and I’ll write a blog about it. You can tell us on our Facebook page.