AGENTS & AUTHORS
Are you looking for a literary agent to represent your manuscript? How do you find the perfect agent for your work? What do agents do for you? How long does it take to see your book in print? If you’ve ever wondered the answers to any of these questions, then this issue is for you!
This is our third literary agent issue. Our first issue, Walking in an Agent’s Shoes (November ’06), featured interviews with Jennifer DeChiara, Sandra Dijkstra, Betsy Amster, and Wendy Keller. Our second, Agent in the Middle (November ’07),
featured interviews with Kristin Nelson, Wendy Sherman, and Janet Reid as well as articles to help you get an agent, including How To Get a Literary Agent, How To Write a Bad Query Letter (What Not to Do), The Literary Agent Shuffle, and How To Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal.
We’ve chosen to explore this theme again because it’s important to get to know agents personally and professionally before you have them represent your work. Each literary agent has their own preferences when it comes to queries/submissions and genres they choose to represent.
What does an agent do for you? Agents are the essential contact for editors whose jobs depend on choosing the right manuscripts to publish. Agents provide screening, editing, and polished material for the editors that quickly eclipses all other submissions, especially if that agent has an established relationship with them. They know who to pitch your work to and which publisher would be the best choice for your material. Agents make deals for you as an author, so you can focus on your writing.
We also talk to several authors in this issue to find out how they acquired their agent and get tips on the process. So without further ado, let’s get to know the fabulous agents and authors in this issue!
A big, warm, thank you goes out to our freelancers and staff members:
A big thank you goes to WOW! columnist and contributing editor Margo L. Dill for her interview with literary agent Noah Lukeman. As an accomplished agent and bestselling author, Noah advises from both sides of the fence. He shares his tips for writing query letters, what to avoid when seeking an agent, and the two most important things a writer should do if she wants to get her manuscript published.
Another big thank you goes to WOW! columnist LuAnn Schindler for her interview with Melissa Jeglinski of the Knight Agency. Melissa is actively seeking women’s fiction, young adult, and all types of romance including paranormal, inspirational, category, and historical. The agency is also looking for thrillers and futuristic/fantasy projects. Read this interview to find out how to query her or one of the other agents at the Knight Agency.
We first heard of literary agent Jenny Bent from our blog tour interview with Celia Rivenbark, author of You Can't Drink All Day if You Don't Start in the Morning. In the interview, Celia talked about how she found Jenny and raved about what a fantastic agent she is. After I read that, I knew we had to interview her. A big thank you goes to WOW! team member and blog tour manager Jodi Webb for her lively interview with literary agent Jenny Bent of The Bent Agency. In this interview, Jenny walks us through the process of how an agent submits an author’s proposal to editors and shares some excellent tips for writing a query letter.
We welcome back freelancer Gayle Trent and thank her for her interview with Kim Lionetti of BookEnds Literary Agency (20 Questions column). Kim shares her query letter “turn-offs,” including a story about a guy who queried her forty-seven times for the same book! She also explains what “sell-through” is and shares what she’s looking for in potential clients.
Writers and readers, you’re in for a treat! WOW! columnist and contributing editor Margo L. Dill interviews Julie Powell, author of Julie & Julia, about her latest book Cleaving. Julie is hilarious and a fabulous interviewee. In this interview, Julie talks about memoir writing, blogging, and shares her “dweeby” story about how she wound up getting her agent. Julie also gives us a sneak preview of what’s inside Cleaving, a book that you’ll want to have on your holiday wish list. If you need a good laugh, you’ve come to the right place. Julie is hysterical, and this interview is not to miss!
We welcome back freelancer C. Hope Clark and thank her for her insightful interview with Marcia Muller, master mystery author. Marcia is the author of the Sharon McCone mystery series and has written over thirty-five novels. In this interview, Marcia talks about the latest book in the series, Locked In, and shares some tips for mystery writers, including how to craft characters and use plot devices. She also shares the story of how she acquired her literary agent.
One of the ways authors acquire a literary agent is by pitching to them at a writers’ conference. We welcome freelancer Kerrie Flanagan to the WOW! family and thank her for her in-depth article, How 2 Pitch to an Agent at a Writers’ Conference. From her experience as the director of the Northern Colorado Writers’ Conference for the past four years, Kerrie has had the opportunity to interact with literary agents on a different level. In this article, she walks you through the steps you need to take to prepare your pitch before you sit down with an agent, the pitch itself, and the follow up.
She also talks to several literary agents who share their advice with you on the subject: Jon Sternfeld of the Irene Goodman Agency, Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary, Jessica Regel of Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency, and Ken Sherman of Ken Sherman and Associates. A big thank you goes to them as well for sharing their fantastic advice with WOW! readers.
I’d also like to thank WOW! team member Jill Earl for collaborating with me on an interview with Anita Shreve. In this interview, Anita talks about her latest book A Change in Altitude, shares a bit about her writing life, and tells us what it’s like to have a novel selected for Oprah’s Book Club and a major motion picture!
I’d also like to thank WOW! former senior editor Annette Fix for editing this issue and making it a joy to read!
Now, on to the issue...enjoy!