Well, actually, it’s more like “Difficult to Gain, Easy to Lose”. I’m referring to agents. They can be as difficult to acquire as a three-seated bicycle. Often, unless you know someone who has one, you may be out of luck. Even then, you can lose out.
Nonetheless, it’s important to get an agent that fits, not only your needs, but your personality, too. It’s no good to sign with an agency, only to get stomach aches because you feel you can’t trust them. Likewise, it’s all well and good to have a decent relationship with an agent, but if she/he is trying to do something with YOUR book that you feel isn’t right, you need to reconsider your alliance.
Don’t be afraid to speak to agents. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. And especially, don’t be afraid to look for a different agent, should the need be. This is your career, your future, your image they’re handling. They need to do it right and you need to be comfortable enough with them to say, “No. I don’t want you to do that.”
I recently lost my agent through no fault of either of ours. She took me on when she had extra time, yet became immediately very busy right after and found herself with way too many clients. There had been no contracts signed between us yet. These things happen. The important thing is that I can capitalize on my time with her. But I’m not going to rush into the first contract I can find.