Tag Archives: book agent

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.

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).

Book Agent Info

Meet face to face with an agent at the Wyoming Writers Conference June 6-8. Held in Sheridan, WY, the conference offers Laura Rennert of Andrea Brown Literary and Jessica Sinsheimer of Sarah Jane Freymann Literary.

Book Agent Info

Nikki Terpilowski of Holloway Lit wants women’s fiction, southern fiction, multicultural literary fiction, upmarket African-American fiction, steam funk, romance, military and espionage thrillers, historical fiction, nonfiction with a strong platform and academic assessments of popular culture, graphic novels, Manga, YA, MG and children’s picture books.

She is especially interested in time travel, reincarnation, mythology, ancient civilizations, magical and animist realism, Japan, American history, military, espionage, martial arts, narrative nonfiction about food and beverage, travel or expat life, international relations and foreign policy, and nonfiction on spirituality, parenting, health and wellbeing.

Book Agent Info

Connect with an agent and work on your book at the Texas Writing Retreat. Held August 5-10 near Houston, you’ll have an opportunity to connect with Elizabeth Kracht of Kimberley Cameron & Associates. This five-night writing retreat is all-inclusive (food, drinks, and board) with the attendees limited to 7 to 15.

Book Agent Info

Connect with agents face to face at the Missouri Writers Guild Conference April 25-27 in St. Louis, MO. Meet with Ken Sherman of Ken Sherman & Associates, Laura Biagi of Jean V. Naggar Literary, Sorche Fairbank of Fairbank Literary, or Gina Pantettieri of Talcott Notch.

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

Some top agents will be at the Houston Writer’s Guild Conference April 12 in Houston, TX. Eddie Schneider of Jabberwocky Literary, Pooja Menon of Kimberley Cameron & Associates, and Jennifer Udden of Donald Maass Literary will be on hand to hear author’s pitches.

If you need help with your spoken pitch, a query letter, or other pitch items, connect with me today!

Book Agent Info

John Weber of Serendipity Lit is looking for middle grade and YA fiction with universal themes and unique settings. Interested in realistic historical fiction, well-researched science fiction with no fantasy elements.

Book Agent Info

Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Lit Agency is looking for middle grade works in contemporary, fantasy, action/adventure, or historical. In YA, she’s open to any genre but is looking especially for YA with a strong romantic element. In New Adult, she seeks romance and adult romance but is open to any genre.