Tag s | Agents

Why I’m Not Mysterious

I don’t believe in being mysterious, especially as an agent. Since I used to write books for publication, I know what it’s like to put your career in the hands of others. As a writer, I wouldn’t want to send off my precious work and then hear no updates or any word from my agent. I realize any agent will update a client when a contract offer is made. And I realize that, technically, that’s all the writer needs to know. After all, who wants to live through many, many rejections?

No one.

But keeping the author up to date on rejections does give her a perspective of what’s happening with her work. The project is being reviewed and considered, even if, ultimately, it is rejected.

When authors don’t know about rejections, they are missing out on valuable feedback. Granted, feedback from editors can be quite confusing. One editor may say the characters lack depth; another may say the plot isn’t plausible; still another may say the writing itself isn’t up to snuff. Do all these opinions matter when a different editor comes to the agent with, “I love this! Here’s a contract!” Ultimately, maybe not. But the rejections are part of the journey; and whether we like it or not, we all learn from rejections in any part of life.

So far, I haven’t met an author who said, “Submit the manuscript, and I never want to hear from you again until we get an offer.” If an author said that to me, I’d comply. But I’ve found that most authors want to know what’s happening with their work in a timely manner. So I let authors know when rejections come in, at the time they come in.

Then acceptance is all the sweeter!

 

Your turn:

Do you want to hear from your agent with any and all rejections?

Would you rather hear as responses come in, or would you prefer a quarterly report?

How often do you want to hear from your agent?

 

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Four Myths about Agents

I was amused when I recently received a note from an author who had decided I’m a human rather than an infallible goddess. Not sure if I should be glad or disappointed! Since many authors don’t interact with agents, let me dispel a few myths about us: 1)  Myth: Authors …

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Choosing the Best Agent

Selecting the best agent is pivotal to the career of any author seeking a traditional publisher. A few traditional publishers accept unsolicited (read: unagented) proposals, but as submissions increase thanks to efficient technology and the growing number of aspiring authors, those publishers are becoming fewer. Most traditional publishers prefer agented …

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A Literary Agent’s Prayer

God, Who used words to speak the whole universe into existence, Who chose human language to communicate Divine truths, Who wrote your commandments on tablets of stone, And inspired mere mortals to publish your immortal and eternal Word, hear my prayer. ___ I am your servant, and I am a …

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The Literary Agent: How Does This Work?

While literary agents have been part of the publishing eco-system for decades, it wasn’t too many years ago agents in the Christian publishing market were rare. Fast forward to today when most of the larger Christian publishers require an author have an agent before they will consider publishing them. Before …

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Promotion: Faithful or Self-full?

“What’s the difference between promotion and self-promotion? How do we promote ourselves/our books so that we honor God, respect others, and use common sense?”

The constant tension between marketing and ministry has plagued the Christian author, speaker, bookseller and publisher forever. Why? Because Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple. Because we are commanded to die to self and to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord….

And yet, our society…our culture insists, even demands, that we market and promote our message.

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Is It Okay for Me to Resubmit?

When approaching agents and editors, sometimes even veteran authors are unsure if there is some unwritten rule they may unwittingly violate. I assure you, all of us in the industry appreciate your thoughtfulness. But we don’t want fear to cause you to miss an opportunity! Over the past few conferences, …

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How an Agent Reads

I’m seldom at a loss for words (though often at a loss for something of value to say), but the question took me aback for a moment. I was on an agents-and-editors panel at a writers’ conference within a few months of becoming an agent. I’d done this sort of …

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Author Says / Agent Hears

Many aspiring authors communicate things they think are positive, or at least in the spirit of honesty and transparency, but end up being understood entirely different than the intended message. In an attempt to show commitment, an aspiring author says, “I’ve been working on this book for ten years.” An …

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