The Connected Agent
Blogger: Wendy Lawton
We often talk about what to look for when seeking an agent. These last few days I’ve come to the realization that it’s important to have what I’m calling a connected agent. Let me explain what I mean by this.
Collaborative– Recently, with my taking a medical leave followed by Janet Grant’s bereavement leave, I realized what a blessing it is to belong to an agency with multiple agents. We are intentionally collaborative. We have weekly web meetings where we put our heads together and bring everyone in the agency up to speed with what we’re doing. So when someone needs to be away or to take a short leave, the rest of us can step in without missing a beat. Besides that, being able to brainstorm with a whole team of agents always yields innovative solutions for our clients. There are some fine solitary agents, but for me, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Collegial– I belong to two different agent groups. The ability to connect to other agents, both ABA and CBA, is invaluable. This week I had a number of emails from other agencies and literary attorneys. It’s such a valuable give and take; I’m richer for it and my clients benefit. If I were looking for an agent, I would look for one who is part of the agent community.
Networked– I hardly need to say that it is vitally important that a potential agent have strong contacts within the publishing community. To do our jobs representing you we need to have a great working relationship with a wide range of editors and publishers. The depth of our Rolodex* matters.
Relational– And it’s important that we are connected with our clients, publishing professionals, and colleagues in a relational, meaningful way.
We spend a lot of time blogging and talking about the writer’s need to be connected; don’t you think turnabout is fair play? How important is it for an agent to be connected online? What are some other ways in which an agent should be connected?
*I know no one uses a Rolodex anymore, but the term ” v-card file” doesn’t have the same punch, right?