Over at NLA, Kristin Nelson has started a series shedding some light on what it is, exactly, that agents do. Or, more accurately, how it is that an agent can be good at her job.

This is an important series, I think. I pretty much lucked into a good agent, because when I was doing submission rounds, I really had no idea about what it was agents actually did, other than a kind of nebulous “get book deals or something IDEK”.

But agents aren’t just there (aren’t even there) to write pitch emails on your behalf. There’s a whole craptonne of work they do that’s essentially invisible to people outside the industry, and because of that invisibility, it can be hard for new authors to be able to tell which agents are worth their time and which aren’t.