- How do I know if an agent is doing his/her job? Once you have signed with an agent, he should keep you informed of any activity on your proposals. He should tell you what houses he has sent them to and the responses of those houses. Normally all correspondence between you and your agent as well as your agent and the publishing houses is done by e-mail. Therefore there should not be any upfront costs for you to pay.
- How is my agent paid? Your royalty checks will be sent directly to your agent. That way he/she can look over your statements and make sure they are accurate. He takes his 15%, and sends you a check for the balance. Also when an agent is negotiating a contract for you, he can usually get a better deal than you can. And of course he wants the best deal he can get, since he gets 15% of your advance and royalty checks.
Although I have an excellent agent, I still keep in contact with the publishing houses I am interested in publishing with. If I have a new idea, and I happen to be at a conference where I can talk to an editor or publisher, I take advantage of that situation. Keep in mind your agent is representing as many as a hundred clients, and you are only representing you!