7. Be careful with new agents. First-time writers are often advised to query agents who are just setting up shop, since these agents are usually actively looking to build their client lists. This is good advice, with one caveat: not all new agents are created equal. Contacts and an inside knowledge of the publishing industry are essential for success. Someone with these assets will probably start making sales right away, but someone who’s coming to agenting from a non-publishing-related field is going to have a much tougher time getting up to speed–if indeed they ever do.