On Fridays. Thank goodness I don't need to do it everyday. We'd be so bored.
Lately, I've run into many different friends that are having the same problem, and I wanted to address it here. I know many that are reading this blog are querying. And I am totally on your side. Whatever I can do to help, I'm here.
But have you thought about what you want in your agent beforehand? All kidding aside, I know that a large number of people *raises hand, I was here too* when preparing to query go to querytracker, or agentquery, enter in your criteria (YA, MG, Whatevs) and, printing out the list, go from there. This dreck about specially selecting the agents because you love them would give you five agents, and what happens if they didn't feel the same? What would happen when you have more than one offer (and that is a story for another time)?
Not to ramble (HA! Alex, tag!) my statement is this: from my own agent experience, as well as those friends I mentioned above, I can tell you that there is one sentence you need to keep at the front of your brain when you talk with an agent:
COMMUNICATION IS KEY.
It is KEY. Think about how you want your agent to respond. Do you want hand holding? Do you want somebody you don't feel afraid to ask any question to? Do you want to be left alone? (Heh, I can tell you on your debut submission, you will likely not want this!) Do you want your emails to be answered within a day, or a week, or a month or h*ll, even just answered? Do you want to be able to call?
What I don't want you to feel is, after the sale and you've got one, you're afraid to contact that person. Or that person can't be arsed to contact you back. It is a *working* relationship...how would you feel if your agent in turn was afraid to talk to you?
This is bad, bad, bad, IMO. ***
There are going to be tons of stupid, stupid questions (no matter what your agent *loves her* says about stupid questions, some questions are just stupid, and I'm okay with that) that only they are qualified to answer. I mean, you don't want to go to some agent blog and ask them, right? Why not get it from *your* source of all agenty goodness?
That's what they are there for. That's why you're paying them 15/20% (standard).
Please think about what you want from your agent before it becomes time to choose.
***In the event you are too Americanized to be able to contradict/confront/speak with your agent, I recommend you come and live with us here awhile in good old Germany. You will be speaking your mind and sticking up for yourself inside six months...because nothing teaches you that you are your own best council like an Irate German disagreeing with you.