Can't live without them, can't kill them.
Okay, I jest, a little.
Agents are essentially gatekeepers. The fact that you have an agent is looked on by the powers that be as being a good thing. It says that you must have a certain level of ability as a writer.
It is of course a false assumption. There are many writers much more talented than some of the hacks with agents. However that's the way it is and watchyagonnado?
Ask any pro writer the ratio of work their agent got them to the work they got for themselves and the agent will generally come a distant second. Most of the work that has come my way has been through people who have previously read me or I've worked with.
So what makes a good agent? Someone with whom you are on the same wavelength as far as your writing is concerned. Someone who champions your work to others at every opportunity . A tough negotiator when it comes to dough.
But more importantly - one who stays the course. Every writer has a buzz in the industry when they first break. Lots of meetings, a few offers. No one wants to miss out on the next big thing.
But remember that a couple of years later there will be a 'next big thing' perhaps another client of your agent. Who are they going to push? You or the new kid on the block? That's when you want the 'longevity' factor. Unfortunately you won't know if they have it or not until that situation arises. You can't blame the agents. They are there to make money. Writers are their merchandise.
I've had 4 agents. Thinking of looking for my fifth. You've got to freshen things up occassionaly.
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4 years ago