View Full Version : How important is AAR membership?

03-17-2009, 09:49 PM
So far, I have only queried agents with AAR membership. When all else checks out, I guess I have felt this is the final stamp of approval to tell me that the agent is a good one. But perhaps I am limiting my search too much... Maybe the best agent for my book isn't an AAR member.

How important is AAR membership to you? Is it truly a mark of a good agent, or just the mark of an agent that paid the dues (and had the sales) to join the club? Do a lot of agents with high sales records opt to not join AAR?

I'd love to hear your opinions on the importance of AAR membership.

03-17-2009, 10:50 PM
It's a good indication that the agent isn't a scammer. There are agents who follow all the AAR rules but don't yet have the requirements to join, and they're likely reliable agents as well. If you find an agent that isn't AAR, and you research them and find they're legit and qualified, I see no reason not to query.

You want an agent who's legit, and who can sell your novel and take care of your career. If they aren't AAR and you have get an offer, you can always ask them about it and decide to sign or not.

Cathy C
03-17-2009, 10:59 PM
They can only "join the club" by selling books. That's the low-water mark that all members have to reach. From their website:

To qualify for membership, the applicant for membership in the literary branch of the AAR must have been the agent principally responsible for executed agreements concerning the grant of publication, translation or performance rights in ten different literary properties during the 18-month period preceding application.

So, ten sales in a year and a half. THAT'S what you, as an author, want in an agent, and that's why it's a handy reference guide.

That's not to say that all agents who have achieved this are members. Far from it. But it's a good benchmark and it's why we recommend that people start there.

Make sense? :)