A question for agented authors:

Assuming they are respectful about it, do you mind when an author reaches out to you cold to ask questions about your agent, who has just offered them representation?
The reason i ask this question is to illustrate what i already knew: most authors and illustrators are very happy to talk about their agents to prospective clients! Part of your research into agents absolutely should be client recs. The key takeaways are:
1. Be respectful! It’s not their job to answer your questions on an agent’s behalf! Acknowledge that they must be busy, be gracious if they don’t have time, be patient if they don’t respond right away. Thank them for considering your request.
2. Be mindful of time/bandwidth! Don’t send a laundry list of questions, or super open-ended ones. Think carefully about what pieces that are most important to you, and curate your questions to address your biggest concerns. Let them choose their preference (phone or email).
3. Don’t be pushy! Follow up with clarifying questions but don’t push if they don’t want to share something. They are an involved party in this and their business is their business! Don’t take advantage of their generosity. Goes back to #1: be respectful.
Lastly: make sure you’re being clear and upfront about the situation. Do you actually have an offer of rep? Or is the agent soliciting from you? Or are you in querying stages?—some authors don’t mind questions at this stage but some do, so be up front!
Basically, don’t be afraid to reach into the community for help. I know some authors don’t want to “bother” other people but these are your peers and as you can see, many are enthusiastic about lending a hand in your journey! Remember that kindness and always pay it forward.
I WILL ALSO NOTE! this convo is mostly for deciding on *fit*. you will likely NOT find red flags here. authors probs won't feel comfortable talking shit about their agent OR they might have a positive relationship with the agent despite others experiencing red flags / toxicity.
so this is only ONE piece of your research. there's a lot of other stuff you should know, from specifics like if their editorial notes are aligned with your vision, to broad stuff like if they have a history of bad behavior with authors who are no longer clients.
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