Saturday I attended the Alaska Writer’s Guild Conference and had the opportunity to listen to uber-agents Andrea Brown and Janet Reid (who happens to be hilarious). My brain is still percolating with all the great info I learned from both lovely ladies, but today I wanted to share info from Janet’s session on What Agents Want Authors to Know.

1. Know What You’re Writing
Is your book fiction, non-fiction, or memoir? It can’t be more than one! (Unless you’re James Frey.)

2. Know What Agents Do
They know the ins and outs of publishing, plus how to negotiate contracts and royalty statements. They are not an editor or a sounding board.

3. Know What Publishers Do
They add value to your work (marketing, editing) for a big chunk of the $$$.

4. Recognize non-legit agents and editors
These scammers are asking for $ up front and don’t add value to your work.

5. Make Mistakes
Learn from your mistakes the first time and try again! (Or maybe not the first time. But eventually learn from your mistakes.)

6. Read!
Read a lot of books- at least 200 in your genre.

The conference was great- I’ll post more later this week!