Chip MacGregor

November 3, 2014

What would you say are the top questions to ask an agent?


So I’m talking with a publisher about a book that will explore the new world of publishing, and specifically the role of agents in that world. I was asked this question: If you were to list the top 100 questions authors want to ask literary agents, what would they be?

Rather than creating that myself, I thought I’d ask you… What would you say are the top questions you (and other writers) want to ask a literary agent?

The first ones will be easy… What does a literary agent do? Why do I need an agent in today’s publishing market? How do I find an agent? But beyond that, I’d love to know what you think the top questions are. Would you mind helping me out today and just popping into the “comments” section below and sharing your thoughts? OR you can send me an email at chip (at) MacGregor Literary (dot) com. Thanks very much!


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  • Wendy Speake says:

    Swinging by to get my questions in order for an interview with an agent tomorrow. Thanks for helping me formulate some good ones everybody!

  • Gary Neal Hansen says:

    I am coming in late here, but it seems to me there are several categories of questions, each of which has lots of particular questions flowing from it. At least the following:

    1. Questions about the publishing industry and how to move toward publishing success as a newcomer.

    2. Questions about the agenting process, including CBA and ABA differences, fiction and nonfiction differences, different styles or sets of strengths agents might major in.

    3. Questions to ask explicitly when considering a particular agent, and those to ask oneself in that process. These would include the agent’s past successes in the particular kind of writing one does, strength of the agent’s contacts with optimal publishers for the writer’s work, the agent’s strengths in the areas for which the author hopes for help (career guidance, editing, cheerleading…), and the sense of a fit for a happy collegial business partnership.

    Basically all the stuff you blog on!

  • chipmacgregor says:

    Thanks for these, everyone! This helps. -chip

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