Red And Green Flags When Querying Agents with Agent Emmy Nordstrom Higdon

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We are thrilled to welcome Emmy Nordstrom Higdon, agent at Westwood Creative Associates, to talk with us about the red and green flags when querying agents–how you can show (mostly) green flags, recognize agent red flags, and give yourself the best odds of a positive, productive working relationship.

Learn more about Emmy and book a consultation here:

**Emmy’s #MSWL (00:00:35)**
Emmy discusses their soft opening to queries, their genre preferences, and the type of writing they’re looking for this year.

**Top Reasons For Rejection (00:07:07)**
The challenges faced by authors in querying, including the lack of research and the competitive nature of the process.

**Query Letter Length and Precision (00:13:31)**
Emmy and the hosts discuss the ideal length and precision of query letters to capture an agent’s interest.

**Query Letter and Comps (00:19:50)**
Importance of query letter personalization and clever comp selections.

**Agency Agreement and Communication Style (00:28:54)**
Discussion on agency agreements and the importance of effective communication style between authors and agents.

**Online Presence Expectations (00:34:03)**
The significance of an author’s online presence and the issue of leveraging agents during the query process.

**Editorial Style As A Red Or Green Flag (00:38:38)**
Agents and authors discussing editorial changes and flexibility, green flag indicators.

**Honest Communication (00:40:21)**
Importance of honest communication in the author-agent relationship and the manifestation process for finding the right fit.

**Author-Agent Questions (00:42:32)**
The significance of authors asking targeted, specific questions, and the red flag of excessive or generic queries.

**Agent’s Questions and Interest (00:43:26)**
The importance of agents asking relevant questions and showing interest in an author’s goals, with red flag indicators.

**Author Vulnerability (00:46:42)**
The value of authors expressing fears and concerns, and the agent’s response as a green or red flag indicator.

**Unrealistic Promises (00:49:13)**
Discussion on agents making unrealistic promises and the red flag it presents for authors.

**Decision Timeframe (00:49:59)**
The reasonable timeframe for authors to make a decision when receiving an offer from an agent.

**Nudge Process (00:55:20)**
The nudge process, its impact on agents, and the balance between author’s anxiety and clear communication.

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short description, with max 20 words, of what is covered in this topic.

**Agent’s Response Time and Prioritization (00:57:11)**
Discussion about agents’ response time and prioritization of manuscripts based on genre and offers.

**Communication and Politeness with Agents (00:58:15)**
Advice on maintaining friendly and polite communication with agents and understanding their workload and time constraints.

**Editorial Expectations and Red Flags (00:59:52)**
Exploring editorial expectations, red flags related to agent’s editorial approach, and the importance of aligning expectations.

**Expectations and Realistic Publishing Goals (01:02:07)**
Discussion on setting realistic publishing goals, understanding audience expectations, and potential red flags.

**Agent-Author Relationship and Expectations (01:06:02)**
Managing expectations, dealing with rejection, and ensuring the agent’s support during challenging situations.

**Agent-Author Communication and Feedback (01:08:15)**
Advice on maintaining open communication, avoiding scarcity mentality, and addressing concerns with agents in a constructive manner.

**Understanding Agents’ Logic and Communication (01:12:13)**
Importance of understanding agents’ reasoning and maintaining open communication for a successful author-agent relationship.