Monday, April 30, 2007

Website Calling Card

STATUS: I watched the best movie this weekend. It’s been out for years. I had heard good things and it finally queued up in my Netflix list. It’s rare that I get excited about a film (which is why I rarely see them in movie theaters since I never think the money I spent to see it was worth it). But for this movie, I would have paid $20.00 to see. It’s so easy for filmmakers to make a heart-warming film over-the-top and cheesy. Not so with THE STATION AGENT. If you haven’t seen it, I’d add it to you queue.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? THE ONE THING by INXS

I’d like to spotlight here that the only thing I really want writers to take away from my last blog entry and that is this: the agent/agency’s track record of sales is most important. (And yes, new agents at really effective agencies are just fine. They have a built-in mentor to guide them and as long as the agency’s reputation is solid, it’s fine.)

All you need to know about whether an agent is effective or ineffective can be answered by research that will give you the sales information. And if it’s hard to find, well, that’s an answer all in itself as well.

But an agent/agency’s website is simply one tool in the research process.

For me, I wanted to embrace the 21st Century in a big way. I figured lots of aspiring writers might also be great readers and if they are visiting my website to find out about me and what I’m looking for, they might just get interested in one of my clients’ books and buy it. (Anything that sells books let me tell you!)

Besides, I figure it’s just easier to keep a website up-to-date about what I do than any paper publication that pretty much goes out of date the minute it’s published. So for me personally, my website is a pretty important tool—my calling card so to speak.

For other agents that’s not always the case.

So remember a few things about agent/agency websites.

1. Some scammers and ineffective agents have very pretty websites.

2. Some excellent and very effective agents have websites that make me cringe
(Somebody get them a copy of Dreamweaver or a web designer pronto!)

3. Some agents/agencies literally refuse to have one. I have an agent friend at a very established and well-known agency who is always bemoaning the fact that her agency doesn’t have one and it hinders her ability to build her list. Perhaps their client list is full. Maybe they want to fly under the radar. Maybe they just don’t think it’s worth the bother. Maybe they have a policy about it. Who knows.

Doesn’t matter. Only the track record of sales matters.