Agents

Simultaneous Submissions

On a panel at the PPWC on Saturday, one of the New York editors said, “It is so hard to get published these days, it doesn’t make sense not to do simultaneous submissions.” The panel went on to discuss how inefficient it is to send something to one agent or editor, then wait until they…
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To Call or Not to Call…

…that is today’s question. A lot of people wonder when it’s okay to call an agent or editor on the phone. The simple answer is: When they’re YOUR agent or editor. Let me start off by saying, if you’re my client, I LOVE talking to you. Don’t be afraid to call. Don’t get into the…
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Balancing My Work

Great discussion on “balance” in the comments yesterday! Everyone deals with this question and we all have our own challenges. Just to give you a little insight into the life of an agent, I wanted to write about how I try to organize and balance my work itself, separate from family and other considerations. This,…
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Switching Agents

I know a lot of you who read my blog are already agented. (Some of you by me, go figure.) So here’s something I want to say. Please, please please. If you are unhappy with your agent, and if you are thinking about making a switch: DON’T talk to a bunch of people about it,…
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Wanna Make More Money?

I’ve noticed there’s a perception among writers that if you want a bigger advance, you need to go ABA (as opposed to CBA).* Sometimes when I’m talking to possible clients, they ask me if I think maybe their book should be shopped with the NY publishers. When I ask for their reasoning, it’s usually to…
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Ask the Agent: Earning Our Keep

How do agents earn their 15% commission? Ah, how do we earn it… let us count the ways. 4 An agent can often use their negotiating skills and knowledge of the marketplace to secure an advance that’s at least 15% higher than you could have gotten on your own. It’s nice when they pay for…
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Ask the Agent: Christian Worldview

“You’ve said you’re looking for books with a Christian Worldview. Why do you say that, and what does it mean?” First, almost all agents specialize in a particular type of book they represent. (I am talking about the entire universe of U.S. literary agents, both ABA & CBA.) Some represent mostly romance. Some specialize in…
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Writers Beware – Don’t Try This At Home

Sometimes my in-box turns up the most interesting things. For example, this query I received: r It showed over a dozen agents’ email addresses in the “to” line. r It was addressed to “Dear Sir/Madam.” (I don’t answer to either.) r It was not even remotely related to “Christian worldview” which is our agency’s specialty.…
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Why Are We Doing This?

My writer-friend Richard wrote poignantly last week about the pain of repeated rejections, and how it sometimes makes it hard to stick with this gig. Why do we keep writing? Why do we stay in this business? If you’ve started submitting your work to agents and/or editors, then you’ve probably joined the ranks of the…
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The Glut of Children’s and YA

I’ve mentioned in several places that I’m seeking to represent some YA and middle-grade fiction. But holy cow, I didn’t realize that would open the proverbial floodgates. My inbox is bursting at the seams with childrens and YA, especially fantasy. I’m not seeking to represent children’s books, and I don’t intend to make YA the…
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ASK THE AGENT: How I Get Clients

“How do you get most of your clients?” As you know, I’m in a “building” phase of this agenting gig, actively looking for clients. It’s been about three months and I’ve brought 16 writers into the agency. I thought you might find it interesting to know how I got each one. Obviously a great deal…
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ASK THE AGENT: Paying Back Your Advance

Do authors ever have to pay back their advance? I mean, what if the advance is $5,000 but I only sell 2,000 books? Do I have to pay that back, or is that just the gamble that the publisher takes? No, you don’t have to pay back your advance for lack of sales, or at…
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