What should budding authors look for in an agent?
Someone who is passionate about what you’ve written, excited about what you might write next, and someone who you get on with. You don’t have to be best pals (in fact, you shouldn’t be) but, given your agent will hopefully represent you for your entire writing career, you need to be able to discuss things at length, and you need to understand where you’re both coming from.
I always recommend checking out the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook, which contains a catalogue of agents and the types of books they represent. Make sure you meet with your agent before signing with them (if at all possible), and discuss your career plans with them. Your relationship with them doesn’t just rest on the book you’re writing now; can they help you get to where you want to be in the future?
I filmed a video talking with my agent, Charlie, here, if you’d like to check it out: