Three Questions About Agents

In meeting with writers on the cusp of their careers or flush with new success, we find that three big questions come to the forefront. Today, Tamela shares her answers:

How do I find a literary agent?

1)      First and foremost, visit the Agency web sites to see which ones are actively seeking the type of work you write.

2)      Talk to your agented friends to learn about their agents. Referrals are a big part of our business.

3)      If time and finances allow, attend a conference or meeting where your preferred agent will be appearing and meet the agent.

4)      Make sure to abide by the Agency guidelines when submitting your proposal. Attention to details can distinguish your submission from less professional offerings.

5)      If you don’t hear from the agent after a couple months, follow up with a respectful email.

 

When do I need an agent?

1)      You have completed a manuscript and it is, without a doubt, ready to be submitted to agents.

2)      In non-fiction, you have established an outstanding platform of significance. For example an ongoing speaking ministry, a strong Internet following, and a demonstrable fan base – that will help convince an agent (and later, a publisher) your book will sell.

3)      In fiction, your book is written to the current market. Contest awards of national significance demonstrate that industry professionals recognize your talent.

4)      Through conferences and/or contests, editors have asked to see more of your work; this is a plus, though not essential.

5)      You have been offered a book contract. (Just don’t accept the offer until you talk to an agent.)

 

Once I start working with an agent, how do I enhance the relationship?

1)      Don’t be afraid of your agent. If you are, you will never have the ideal working relationship. When you need your agent, make contact. No exceptions. (We really don’t bite. At least not very often.)

2)      Know yourself. If you want to trust an agent with secrets and be a personal friend, choose someone with the accompanying personality. If you are an “all business” type, choose accordingly.

3)      If you feel your agent is ignoring you, let that feeling be known. When you do, the relationship will become stronger. As in any relationship, communication is a key.

4)      Publishing is small industry. Never burn a bridge. The associate copy editor you scream at today will be the vice president of acquisitions tomorrow.

5)      Always abide by the Lord’s guidelines known as The Golden Rule (Luke 6:31).

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Comment

News You Can Use

How Much is My First Printing Going to Be? – Just-in-Time Inventory and efficient printing technology has made that question irrelevant. Richard Curtis helps writers understand the new lingo.

Owners of eReaders and Tablets Are Heavy Readers of Printed Versions ofMagazines and Newspapers – This is the headline from a recent survey taken of 26,000 people by Gfk MRI. Also noted that women are 52% more likely than men to own an e-reader, and men are 24% more likely than women to own a tablet.

Ann Patchett talks to the Arizona Republic about her new novel State of Wonder.

Celebrate 40 Years of Project Gutenberg – Last Monday was the 40th anniversary of Project Gutenberg whose goal has been to digitize public domain books of significance. They now have over 36,000 titles available.

The Millennials – The Millennials by Thom Rainer and Jess Rainer is this month’s free audio book from ChristianAudio. It is worth your time to “read” this book!

Ellery Adams reveals how much money she makes as a writer. – Read this very carefully and comment below with your conclusions.

YouVersion is THE Bible translation app to have on your smartphone, tablet, desktop, or laptop. Developed by a church in Oklahoma City, it is free and works offline to make it the ultimate digital companion. Join the other one million users today!
Below is a wonderful infographic illustrating an incredible 20 million bookmarks have been created by users:

Read More

The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread?

Guest Post by Teddi Deppner

Today debuts our first guest post. I first met Teddi at the Mt. Hermon Writers Conference while she sat through my Major Morning Track, listening patiently to 8 1/2 hours of lecture over four days. She has recently been asking some penetrating questions about technology and the publishing industry so I invited her to create a post and express those thoughts for your discussion.

Teddi Deppner has published hundreds of websites over the last 15+ years in her work as a professional web designer, marketer and consultant. Recently, she has launched on a quest to map out simple, effective strategies to share with creative people using the Internet and social media for their business. Find her latest projects at www.TeddiDeppner.com.

_________________

Thanks to Steve for the opportunity to share some thoughts with his audience. This post, intended primarily to open a lively discussion, was sparked by an article by Craig Mod about “Post-Artifact Book Publishing”.

Craig’s essay presents the idea that books have traditionally been artifacts: the concrete, physical products of an author. He diagrams the process and participants in the creation, publishing and distribution of this artifact and how things are changing now that books have become more than static artifacts.

Read More

RWA 2011 – Bright Lights Big Stories

by Lynette Eason

Today we are pleased to have a guest post from Lynette Eason, author of the bestselling “Women of Justice” series published by Revell. She also won the 2011 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award for romantic suspense. Last week Lynette was at the RWA (Romance Writers of America) convention and we asked her to share her experience.

__________

“Bright Lights Big Stories” was the theme of the RWA conference this year. My very FIRST RWA conference. What an experience!

The conference was held at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. My hotel room was on the twenty-first floor. My husband came with me and we had a corner king room. It was HUGE. And so comfy. I could have just stood at the window looking down at all of the excitement on Broadway the entire week, but I knew there were other fun things to experience.

Read More

True Words

Several months ago someone challenged me to read an article by Marilyn McEntyre entitled “Letting Words Do Their Work.” Because I respected the editor who made the recommendation, I hopped right on over the the link.

It’s not easy reading. Nor is it a “quick read.” But I’ll tell you what it is:

Powerful truth. If you’re a writer, speaker, agent, reader, or simply one who loves–truly loves–words, you’ve got to read this article. A few salient points that resonated:

“It is hard to tell the truth these days, because the varieties of untruth are so many, so pervasive, and so well disguised.”

Read More

News You Can Use

Would John Locke Be Better Off with a Traditional Publisher? – Mike Shatzkin analyzes the revenue of million copy e-book selling author John Locke. The math is fascinating. According to Shatzkin, the author is making less than $30,000 per book. It is highly likely a traditional publisher would pay him a lot more for his work. Read the post. You decide.

Twenty-five Rejection Proof Markets – A clever article by James Watkins. I like #24. Proof that I can remain rejection free.

Read More

Happy 4th of July!

Every year our family makes it a tradition to listen to this rendition of Sandi Patty singing “The Star Spangled Banner.”

This youtube clip is from 1985 when it was first played for the nation. The song last six minutes and gives me goose bumps every time I hear it.

Read More

Book of the Month – July 2011

by Steve Laube

Small Message, Big Impact by Terri L. Sjodin is this month’s “Book of the Month.” I recommend that every veteran and aspiring writer read this book and glean from it.

The key to this book is in the subtitle: How to Put the Power of the Elevator Speech Effect to Work for You. Sjodin defines the elevator speech as:  “A brief presentation that introduces a product, service, philosophy, or an idea.  The name suggests the notion that the message should be delivered in the time span of an elevator ride, up to about three minutes.  Its general purpose is to intrigue and inspire a listener to want to hear more of the presenter’s complete proposition in the near future.”

Read More