Writes a Snarkling on the comment line about good places to find agents:
AND even with all this, you're going to come across scammers, or maybe even worse, agents who think they're agents - they might not take your money, but they will take your time - they've never had a sale, don't have the contacts, but, like us, are hoping against hope to find or be the next Nicholas Sparks.
These well meaning folks are the hardest to detect because they don't show up as being scammers.
But your gut feeling should be if someone takes your novel and shops it around for a year, and still hasn't sold yours or the thirty other ones she is shopping about, there is something terribly wrong.
Miss Snark, am I wrong here?
Miss Snark hangs her head in shame. She has several novels that haven't sold in a year. More than one year in fact. Some more than two.
Of course, the second half of that sentence doesn't apply. I have sold other novels in the meantime. Just not ..these.
So the question is (you've heard me say this before) WHAT HAVE YOU SOLD.
If the answer is close to zip, nada, zilch, it's not neccesarily the end of the world but it better be from an agent who's starting out.
Lots of novels don't sell fast. Philip Spitzer who is probably one of THE best agents in the industry, and a true gentleman, had a novel of James Lee Burke's in submission for more than ten years. TEN years.
Sometimes it takes awhile. But...if the agent isnt' selling ANYTHING...that's the flag.
And an agent who hasn't sold anything shouldn't have 30 novels on his/her list anyway.