This one shall be short, but interesting. Hopefully. 😀
I have been trying to find an agent for a few years now. I query them and they read manuscripts and eventually sign people they like, but what exactly do agents do all day? Rachelle Gardner gave an overview of her days:
When I’m not handling crises and talking writers off ledges, here’s how I prioritize my daily work:
1. Contracts and Payments.
Fielding offers, negotiating deals, scrutinizing contracts, discussing clauses and terms with publishers, walking clients through their contracts, making sure the contract gets executed properly. Following up on advance and royalty payments, making sure publishers pay clients in a timely manner, examining royalty statements for accuracy.
2. Submitting projects to publishers.
Working with authors to prepare their proposals and manuscripts; preparing lists of editors to whom we’ll submit; getting projects out to publishers; following up appropriately.
3. All other client-related work.
Answering random questions; reading their latest work and offering feedback; coaching on marketing, promotion, career planning; brainstorming ideas for future projects; handling interaction with their publishers on everything from titles to book covers to extended deadlines and more; being a listening ear whenever necessary.
4. Finding new clients.
Reading incoming queries, reading requested partials and full manuscripts, sometimes offering feedback whether or not I’m saying yes to representation. It also includes proactively pursuing authors I’d like to represent.