Platform

Why I Represent the Author: Agent Edition

My reasons for representing an author may differ from why I read a certain book.

  1. Content: When I see something fresh and different, but not so far out that no one can relate, an author has my attention.
  2. Talent: Although my office must decline talented authors every day, writing talent will get authors a close look.
  3. Proposal: A professional proposal shows me the author has taken the time to learn how to write a proposal and cares enough to include one with the project. The proposal doesn’t have to be perfect, whatever that means. The proposal needs to present the author and book in the best possible light.
  4. Social Media Presence: A professional online presence is a plus. Strive for a mix of writing and personal tidbits online. Be sure to have appealing headshots. No one cares who takes the pictures or where, as long as they offer the type of image the author wants to convey to readers.
  5. Platform: An author who is well-known will get my attention. While this aspect may frustrate authors today, a well-known author who is already popular always has been and always will be easier to sell to editors and readers than a debut author. However, every author starts as a debut author! I give debut authors thoughtful attention.
  6. Market: I’m more likely to offer representation when I know editors who can give your book serious consideration. You may have written the world’s best horror novel, but I don’t have those editorial contacts. Knowing which agents specialize in the type of project you are pitching saves you time and effort in your agent search.
Leave a Comment

What if Platform Is the Goal?

We’ve been here before on this blog, discussing author platforms and how to get one. It’s a never-ending process, and it has always been a requirement for authors. If you find yourself talking about author platforms and believe “Gone are the days when an author could just write,” you are …

Read More

A Literary Agent’s Wish List

People often ask me, “What are you looking for?” It’s a natural question to ask a literary agent, even when the questioner knows that the agent has offered a detailed answer on the agency website (here, for example). After all, something could’ve changed. I may, since updating my interests, have …

Read More

Platform Planning

The never-ending struggle of an aspiring author to meet the requirement of publishers for a big enough “platform” can be frustrating at best, or worse, discourage someone from writing at all. Platforms are always built on content, not the container. Social media doesn’t give you a platform; it is the …

Read More

Every Book Doesn’t Need to Shake the Earth

If you look at any list of best-selling books expecting every one of them to be a literary masterpiece, you are probably setting yourself up for disappointment. “Are you kidding me? A book about famous racehorses of the 20th century is a bestseller? People bought that instead of my 1,200-page …

Read More

12 Steps to Publication

It takes 12 strikes to achieve a perfect game in bowling. (See last Friday’s video.) It made me think there are 12 things that need to happen in the publication process. Each must knock down all the pins to achieve publishing success. With that simplistic idea in mind, I came …

Read More