Tag Archives: Agents

7 Ways to Make an Agent or Publisher Say Yes!

Traditional publishing is growing again. Sales are up, ebooks have become another channel rather than the death of books, and disruption is creating beneficial changes. Here are 7 ways to make an agent or publisher say, “Yes!” to your manuscript.
1. Write a fantastic manuscript. Tap into your passion and write something that relates to that. You’ll produce a much better manuscript that way.
2. Run the manuscript through beta readers. Use your writer’s group, friends who are readers and writers, or a professional editor to spot those critical flaws you’ve missed because you’re too close to the story.
3. Create a professional query letter (see Dec 18 post for more).
4. Create supporting submission materials. For a nonfiction book, this is a book proposal. For fiction, this means a bio that includes your platform, a synopsis, and an overview of marketing opportunities the author can fulfill. Juvenile fiction and nonfiction needs an author bio as well as an overview of current trends, additional books from the author, and marketing opportunities.
5. Contact the right agent or publisher for your project. Rather than blasting out hundreds of emails, select one agent or publisher every day to contact. You’ll also save yourself time in the long run and eliminate a lot of frustration.
6. Approach agents before you approach publishers. Once you’ve submitted to a publisher, agents generally can’t resubmit on your behalf. A rejection is a rejection in the minds of the publisher. Don’t sink your agent’s ability to represent you to their full network before you even begin. Help an agent say yes by letting them do their job.
7. Keep moving foward. Mention your next project…then stay busy with it while you wait to hear back.

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An Agent Helps Self-published Authors Sell Foreign Rights

Bookcase Literary, established in July 2013 in Brazil, helps self-published romance authors sell foreign rights. Meire Dias and Flavia Viotti launched the innovative approach because they saw that self-publishing is mostly centered inside the United States. They knew authors didn’t have access to international publishers and yet readers worldwide want to read American authors.
In less than a year, they have sold 28 titles. They have also become co-agents with Rebecca Friedman, opening the path to new deals and possibly an expansion of their focus to other genres in the years to come.

Association of Authors Agents (AAA) New Guidelines

Self-publishing is truly coming of age. The force and energy behind this movement is so intense that agents have for several years been offering adjunct services like marketing, assisted publishing, and the like to self-publishers.
Because of these new services, the AAA has laid out new guidelines for their members. The guidelines encourage members to provide their terms of business with regard to all services offered in writing. These should include any costs associated with the agent’s assistance and who will pay those costs.
If you haven’t heard about agent-assisted publishing, it can be a real boone. You’ll have access to the agent’s network, including connections at the media outlets that feature articles, interviews, and reviews of authors and their books. You’ll also tap into their marketing savvy as you reach out to readers.
How do you connect with an agent for this kind of relationship? You create the same pitch items you would if you were submitting to their firm for representation to traditional publishers: a query letter, book proposal (for nonfiction) and a synopsis, bio, and marketing overview (fiction).

What the Author Earns Per Book

On hardcovers, authors earn 30% of the publisher’s gross revenue. This equals 42.5% of the total margin, which is defined as the amount the author and publisher earn combined.

On ebooks, the author earns 25% of gross revenue. For now, most publishers are holding that number steady and will not negotiate higher percentages unless the author is very well-known or the author has a strong agent advocating for them.

This tells us two things. First, publishers are fairly compensating authors for hardcovers. Second, the debate over the fairness of the author’s share of digital revenue is valid. People should be asking why publishers are withholding a larger portion of the profits when the author is the creator of the content on which publishers make money.

 

How Many Agents Should an Author Query?

Authors who are interested in submitting to a traditional publisher often ask about the best route. I recommend that authors query agents first. Whenever you approach a publisher yourself, you are closing the door for an agent to submit on your behalf with that publisher. So spend some time looking for an agent before you submit to publishers.

The question then becomes, how many agents should I query before shifting to publishers? Generally I recommend no less than 50. It is actually more difficult to get an agent than a publisher these days. Because they can do so much for an author, though, it is worth the effort.

Authors who have been picked up by traditional houses often recommend 80 queries! This is because an agent’s opinion can be as subjective as that of an acquisitions editor. So don’t give up after a dozen or so. If finding that number of agents sounds too tiresome, consider an agent list tailored to your needs. Writer’s Resource offers lists generated anew for each person (and even each book) that average 60 to 80 agent names. Some lists produce over 100 names for authors working in popular categories. Visit the website and look at the Agent tab for more info.

Book Agent Info

Katie Reed of Andrea Hurst & Assoc wants areas of YA fiction. Especially interested in commercial works with a compelling hook and a protagonist who battles real life issues, soft sci-fi, and fantasy.

Also accepts commercial and literary adult fiction for book club women’s, soft sci-fi, fantasy, suspense/thriller, and contemporary romance.

Nonfiction needs: memoir/biography, self-help, crafts/how-to, inspirational, and parenting.

What a Rejection Really Means

This is a great article about how to change one agent’s no into another agent’s yes. I love the list of what each comment actually means…it’s realistic, and is something every author should understand.