Hi Miss Snark! I'm starting to assemble a list of agents to query. Sometimes I run across an agent that sounds good (eg I see their name in an interview, they have a website, are a member of AAR).
But when I run their name thru the deals database on Publisher's Marketplace no deals appear, or only one or two. Does this mean that they haven't sold anything, or that they don't send deals info to Publishers Marketplace? How many deals per year does a good solid agent make?
Lots of deals don't get reported in Publishers Marketplace. Lots of agents don't have PM memberships or websites either.
PM is ONE way to see what an agent is doing but it doesn't always provide a complete picture.
Some agents make a hundred deals a year, some make ten. If an agent has only two clients, they might not make any. Make no mistake about it, some very good agents only have two clients cause both are very very big name authors with lots of rights sales.
Cross reference the agents' author list with listings on Amazon. Amazon is probably the most complete list of consumer retail trade books in the world. I've never bought a book from them but I use it alllll the time.