Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Q & A #4: How Many Sales?

Q: Do you know how many sales an agent should be making each year if they are legitimate?

A: Actually, no, but I can give you an idea of what a reasonable number is. I checked out the AAR site to see what they require for membership. To become a member of AAR, the agent needs to have worked full-time as an agent for two years, agree to follow the AAR's Canon of Ethics, and sell ten projects in eighteen months.

Basically, they believe a reputable agent who has been in business for two years or more should be selling at least one project approximately every two months. Most agents who are actively building their client list say are taking on about three or four clients a year (though those just starting out probably take on more). Hopefully most of those clients produce a new book each year, and hopefully the agent can sell a high percentage of those books as well as the books of their new clients. The longer the agent has been in business, the easier this standard should be to meet.

However, a few, rare legitimate agents only have a couple best-selling authors on their client list and only sell a couple books each year. The number of books sold per year is a good question to research or ask (especially of a non-AAR agent), but it's not the "all or nothing" question to determine how good an agent is.

If you want to double-check if your prospective agent is an AAR member (since lists like AgentQuery are sometimes wrong about this), you can check the AAR membership database here.

Hope this helped.

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