Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

12 Questions You Should Ask an Agent

12 Questions to Ask an Agent

An agent gets back to you and wants to call you to have THE conversation. Congratulations! But you need to be ready with questions designed to find out if this agent is right for you. 

Now, over the course of working with an agent, I realize there are a lot more things I would ask if faced with the task again.

Here is my list of 12 questions you should ask an agent: 

  1. Are you editorial?

  2. How do you prioritize submission targets? (Biggest houses first? Best editor for it? Best house for it?)

  3. Are you willing to submit to educational markets and/or smaller houses?

  4. How often will you communicate with me? When revising? When in submission? When between projects? By Email or phone?

  5. How long will you wait after submitting, to nudge editors who have not replied?

  6. At what point do you decide a project is not viable/marketable? (20 submissions? 5 negative comments? A certain amount of time passed?)

  7. How many editors will you submit a given piece to at one time?

  8. How many different manuscripts will you submit at one time?

  9. Will you represent all my different genres?

  10. Will you share feedback from editors who pass?

  11. How often will you update submission spreadsheets?

  12. Will I be free to continue to attend conferences and workshops? If so, will I be allowed to take advantage of opportunities to submit to editors afterwards, noting that you are my agent?

Let me know what you think! Comment below on other questions you think are needed in that first conversation with an agent.

  • Posted by Susan Benton – Iowa City Regional Social Chair