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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: offering representation, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 9 of 9
1. Why Don't We Take on Any Old Thing If We Think It Will Sell?

STATUS: Will I or will I not catch this cold? Verdict is still out although I stayed home the last two days hoping that would tilt it in favor of the "will not."

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? AIN'T NO SUNSHINE by Bill Withers

Selling a book is not the same as selling a widget--at least for me (although I do know any number of agents who treat it that way and take on a whole lot of projects, throw them out there on submission, and hope maybe 2 out of 5 will stick).

On Facebook, I mentioned that I had recently seen a sale for a project that I read all the way through but in the end didn't decide to take on and that I was thrilled for the author. One commenter just couldn't fathom why I had passed if I could see the sell potential in the project.

The simple answer? Time. I only have so much time to offer to a new client and I simply have to love love love it to make the time investment.

Often times I work with the author through one or two revisions before submitting to an editor. It's not like I offer rep one day and throw it out there the next. I want it to be the most amazing I can make it be. After all, it's been a tried and true way for me to get really amazing money for my authors.

And what if the project doesn't sell? Then chances are very good I'll be spending a lot of time helping them get the next project into shape. And if I only took on a project because of its sell factor, chances are good I may or may not like the writing of the new project. That feels a bit risky to me.

I like taking on the things I feel passionate about because of the very fact that books aren't widgets. Otherwise it's just about the money and though that is one way to agent, it's not right for me.

19 Comments on Why Don't We Take on Any Old Thing If We Think It Will Sell?, last added: 5/1/2012
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2. Why Asking ABout The Next Trend Is The Wrong Way To Go

STATUS: I feel like I'm being pulled in 10 different directions. I'm here at the RT Convention. On Tuesday, I offered rep to a potential new client. Wednesday I did an hour phone conference with a film producer for another client. Yesterday, I reviewed 5 different offers for a UK auction going down. Today let's talk about romance. It's almost time for Pitch-a-Palooza!

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? IF IT'S LOVE by Train

But writers can't help themselves. They still ask this question anyway.

At best, this question is unhelpful. If you start writing for the "next hot trend" by the time you finish your project, that particularly trend is on the way out.

Not to mention, if you ask me the question, "What are you looking for?" I can ramble on about something I'd love to see (such as a completely charming, witty, and fun historical romance a la Julia Quinn) but what I offered rep for just this week would never have landed on my "This is what I'm looking for" list.

I'm constantly taken by surprise by what I fall in love with.

After being here at RT, certainly I can tell you that editors are weary of paranormal romance. That everyone is talking about erotica because of 50 Shades (by the way, I don't rep erotica so please don't query me for that.)

That "hook-y" women's fiction novels (i.e. hooks like a knitting club or cupcake club) are still on editors' wish lists (which by the way, are topics that don't ring my bell much).

I can tell you that a lot of the romance editors also rep YA and they might be moved to violence if just one more YA paranormal romance lands in their submission inbox.

I can tell you all these things and then I can also tell you that the minute the "right" project lands in that same inbox--even if it contains any of the above--but it blows them away, they'll offer for it.

So I can't tell you what I'm looking for as an agent. I can only say that I'm going to know it when I see it and this: I haven't taken on a romance author in over the year. I'm opening my universe up to that possibility as I'd love to read an awesome romance right now.

I've been in my "dark" phase for the last 7 months by taking on dark and gritty SF.

15 Comments on Why Asking ABout The Next Trend Is The Wrong Way To Go, last added: 4/16/2012
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3. One More Question To Ask During The Agent Interview

STATUS: Totally on a 70s kick!

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? WE DON’T TALK ANYMORE by Cliff Richard

I get that a good majority of you might be thinking “could I just get to that place where I’m asking agents questions because they want to rep me” but in the event that you do, I think there is one more question you should add to your list:

Do you enjoy agenting and do you see yourself being an agent for the long-term?

Now, of course, an agent can always agree in an enthusiastic affirmative and still leave 6 months or a year later but I imagine authors don’t often ask this question. The answer could be interesting or telling. (Or it might not.)

I bring it up because I recently read about an agent leaving the agenting biz to take an in-house publishing job.

Big deal, right? Well, not really but we here at NLA were kind of bummed because this agent-no-longer had landed a client or two that we had been vying for when the author was on submission to agents.

This doesn’t mean that they would necessarily have gone with us at the time if the author had asked that question.

Still, probably worth adding to your list.

26 Comments on One More Question To Ask During The Agent Interview, last added: 8/29/2010
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4. Even When Hot Might Not Be Right For Us

STATUS: It wasn’t a manic Monday. Huh, how strange.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? BLACKNAIL by Tim Davies Big Band

About a week or so ago, we asked for sample pages from a query we had received. Then on Friday, the writer sent us an email letting us know that an editor had offered for this YA project and that the writer also had several offers of representation. The author would like to decide on Monday but we could have the weekend to give the novel a read.

Professionally handled. Courteously done for all parties involved. I just want to take a moment to thank the writer for that! Always appreciate given time to read. (side note: interestingly, we weren’t even behind on reading. I had read the partial the night before and was planning to request the full so good timing all around.)

Both Sara and I gave it a look. And we passed on offering representation despite all the obvious excitement around the project.

Should be a slam dunk for ALL agents to throw their hats in the ring, yes?

So why not? Do I think the manuscript will sell? Probably.

I didn’t go for it for one simple reason: I didn’t feel passionate about the manuscript. I could see what was generating the excitement but it wasn’t right for me.

I know I’ve mentioned this before on my blog--that agents don’t just take on projects that they think will sell or be saleable—but I think it’s always worth repeating.

It really does come down to the right person and the right fit.

32 Comments on Even When Hot Might Not Be Right For Us, last added: 9/30/2010
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5. What’s In Our Full Manuscript Queue

STATUS: This is a first for me. CBS films has a dedicated FB page for LEGEND the Movie. And you get first peek at the just released cover. Sweet.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? MISSIONARY MAN by Eurythmics

This is actually a good question. A quick look shows that we have 8 full manuscripts in the queue to be read. And here’s where they fall:

6 titles are Young Adult (breakdown by genre, 3 fantasies, 2 paranormals, 1 contemporary)

1 title is adult literary fiction

1 title is adult women’s fiction

We just sent responses to an adult fantasy that we passed on as well as a middle grade title that had several agents interested but ended up not being quite right for us.

Of the 3 clients Sara just signed: adult SF novel, adult Historical Romance, and Paranormal YA.

And as a bonus, here is Kristin as a talking head yet again. This time I’m reading a short excerpt from the Philip K Dick nominee SF novel SONG OF SCARABAEUS for the awards ceremony last Friday. The sound is not the best so you’ll probably have to turn up your volume all the way up to remotely hear me. Warning, this scene will probably hook you in!

The author Sara Creasy thought I looked quite spiffy!



17 Comments on What’s In Our Full Manuscript Queue, last added: 5/1/2011
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6. Don't Cry Wolf With "An Offer Of Representation" In Subject Line

STATUS: A have slight cold so not feeling 100 percent today.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? MOONDANCE by Liz Longely

When a writer emails us to say they have an offer on the table, for the most part, we do read the pages right away. After reading some of these submissions, and I feel awful admitting this, but I think the offer is a little suspect. Sometimes the pages just aren't strong enough for me to believe that an agent has offered. That it was simply a ploy for a fast response.

Luckily, for the most part, I do believe the writer as I can see it. The work might still not be right for me but it's strong enough that the offer is probably real.

Today takes the cake though. We received an email with "offer of representation" in the subject line. Upon reading the email, the writer revealed that he had had this offer in a biblical vision.

Yep. This one would definitely get the WTF stamp.

37 Comments on Don't Cry Wolf With "An Offer Of Representation" In Subject Line, last added: 3/2/2012
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7. Hot Commodity

STATUS: This week is all about royalty statements reviews. Getting reconciliation to prints, following up with questions, fixing errors spotted. The usual.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? OPPORTUNITIES by Pet Shop Boys

I’m sure that those of you who have struggled to find an agent as of late won’t believe me but writers are a hot commodity at the moment.

More so then I’ve seen in my whole career.

For the last six months, any project Sara or I have wanted, we’ve had to fight for. In other words, when we offered rep, the author already had, bare minimum, five other agent offers on the table in addition to ours.

Ack. What is up? Talk about stiff competition. Every time I see the sale on Deal Lunch for one of those projects we wanted, I can’t help but groan aloud. Grin.

I thought it was just me but then an agent friend emailed me this morning to literally to say the same thing and had I noticed the increased competition for any project. We ended up in round robin email groan fest on the topic with another agent for most of the morning.

But seriously, I’ve noticed it. In 8 years it hasn’t been as tough as I’ve seen these last 6 months.

31 Comments on Hot Commodity, last added: 4/30/2010
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8. Sooner Rather Than Later Please

STATUS: Yesterday got away from me. Sorry for the blog silence.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? JUST SAY YES by Snow Patrol

I do think writers have a valid beef regarding how long it takes for literary agents to respond to a full manuscript. I’ve heard horror stories of writers receiving rejection letters a year later—even two years later. Some writers have never received a response. I sympathize as that’s rather ridiculous. Here at NLA, we really do try and turn around full manuscripts in 4 weeks if humanly possible. In our full manuscript request letter, we say we can take up to 2 months to respond just to hedge our bets.

When we send out our full request, we also ask writers to keep us in the loop regarding any other agent interest and that includes offers of representation. Why? Because we don’t ask for an exclusive time to read and if we are going to invest the time, we want a shot at it potentially. Who wants to waste time over the weekend reading a novel that’s no longer available because another agent has snatched it up?

I mean, good for the writer for getting an offer so quickly but yesterday, I was a little annoyed because that’s exactly what happened. We spent time this weekend reading a novel that was of interest to us only to receive an email first thing Monday morning saying the work was no longer available as the author had accepted an offer elsewhere.

Now I guess that the offer could have come in over the weekend and the writer did notify us as soon as possible but it’s rare for agents to offer over a weekend. Not impossible but it’s not the usual mode. Also, if the writer thinks other agents will potentially be interested, why not find that out before committing to an offer? At least give those with a full a chance to respond (and I get that this is completely self-interest on my part but it is my rant after all…). In this case, we only had the submission for 3 weeks.

So, that was a lot of hours taken away from client material and other projects that I’m not getting back and will need to make up this week by working late every night until I’m caught back up.

Makes me grumpy. Okay. I’ll get off it now and move on.

56 Comments on Sooner Rather Than Later Please, last added: 5/14/2010
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9. One Agent Enthusiastic, The Other Not So Much

STATUS: I have several interesting negotiations going on at the moment. Makes the day rather chaotic when I’m constantly having to switch gears from one deal to the other as editors call.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? CRAZY by Shawn Colvin

As we are often reminded daily when we see a sale in deal lunch for a title we’ve passed on (LOL), agents can have different opinions on the same work. A couple of weeks ago, we got a full manuscript submission that both Sara and I had decided to read.

Sara started before I did and sent me an excited email about how much she was loving it, etc. I started it, read a good 75 pages, and I just wasn’t wild about it (regardless of how well-written the work was).

It seriously just came down to our personal tastes.

Sara had no hesitation so she offered representation and took on a new client. If left up to me, I probably would have passed.

So we mean it when we say “this biz is really subjective.” It also means it’s a good thing that there are two of us taking on clients and that our tastes don’t always match up. It means more opportunity for everyone.

19 Comments on One Agent Enthusiastic, The Other Not So Much, last added: 7/2/2010
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