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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: agents, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 877
1. Picture Book Agents

You need to have more than one picture book, no matter how awesome it may be, to get an agent for your picture books.


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2. Agent Communication

It's important to keep the lines of communication with your agent open.


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3. What To Expect From an Agent

It's important to know both the many things agent do and also things they don't.


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4. Agent Questions

After you receive "the call," don't forget to ask questions of a prospective agent.


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5. Lifestyle

The new MB Artists catalog is here!  Check out all of our great new artwork, themed "Lifestyle".


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6. Picture Book Agents

Not all agents represent picture book writers, but these do (including my agent: Liza Fleissig of Liza Royce Agency).


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7. After the Call

What are the next steps after you get the call offering representation?


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8. Twitter Pitches

Perks and pitfalls of participating in Twitter pitch events.


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9. Guest Post: Traci Sorell on Signing with a Literary Agent

Kansas State U. Powwow with son Carlos & cousin Matthew Lester (senior)
By Traci Sorell
for Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations

I had no idea how beneficial an agent could be when I attended my first SCBWI conference in October 2013.

I quickly realized how much about the industry I did not know.

I began to network with other children's writers, especially fellow Native Americans, and when it came time to look for an agent, I utilized that network extensively.

I questioned fellow writers with representation, especially those from Native/people of color backgrounds, about their experience. I asked how agents had presented themselves at conferences or other events. I read agent online interviews and social media posts.

I wanted my agent to be a steadfast partner with a strong work ethic. It is a long-term relationship, so both people have to be dedicated to maintaining it. I required someone who was excited about my work and associated with a well-respected agency.

Traci's Reading Chair
Ideally, I wanted someone who had editorial experience that reflects what I write—fiction, nonfiction, and Native/POC subjects. To be honest, this makes for a small submission list, so I did expand beyond that.

When I communicated with agents via email and telephone, I tracked whether what they shared reflected my list.

My gut got an extreme workout when I received two offers of representation on the same day. I cannot stress enough the importance of developing and checking in with trusted mentors.

Ultimately, I accepted Emily Mitchell's offer of representation with Wernick & Pratt Agency. She met every single item on my list. Her clients contacted me quickly and gave their honest feedback about her representation.

Emily had vetted me with my editor at Charlesbridge, her former employer. We had both done our homework.

To me, it is kismet that Emily presented at that first conference I attended—and in my home state of Oklahoma too! That day, she shared her desired client attributes—voice, authority, pragmatism and flexibility. I'd like to think I resemble her list, too.

Cynsational Notes

Follow @TraciSorell 
Traci Sorell writes fiction and nonfiction for children featuring contemporary characters and compelling biographies. She has been an active member of SCBWI since August 2013.

In April 2016, Charlesbridge acquired her first nonfiction picture book, We are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, from the slush pile.

The story features a panorama of modern-day Cherokee cultural practices and experiences, presented through the four seasons. It conveys a universal spirit of gratitude common in many cultures.

Traci is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She grew up in northeastern Oklahoma, where her tribe is located.

She is a first-generation college graduate with a bachelor's degree in Native American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

She also has a Master's degree in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and a law degree from the University of Wisconsin. Previously, she taught at the University of North Dakota School of Law and the University of New Mexico.

She also worked as an attorney assisting tribal courts nationwide, advocated for national Native American health care, and directed a national nonprofit serving American Indian and Alaska Native elders. She now lives in the Kansas City area.

See also Story to Contract: Traci Sorell’s Incredible Journey by Suzanne Slade from Picture Book Builders. Peek: "Be grateful. Every day. If you approach your creativity and the process of writing from a place of gratitude, it opens you up. You will be more aware of story ideas, available to hear critiques that improve your craft, and connected to others around you in the kidlit world. Gratitude opens up receptivity."

Emily Mitchell began her career at Sheldon Fogelman Agency, handling submissions, subsidiary rights, and coffee. She spent eleven years at Charlesbridge Publishing as senior editor, contracts manager, and director of corporate strategy. After a brief post-MBA stint in the non-publishing world, Emily returned to children's books at Wernick & Pratt.

Her clients include Geisel Honor winner April Pulley Sayre, author/photographer of Best In Snow (Beach Lane, 2016); Caron Levis, author of Ida, Always (Atheneum, 2016); and Frank W. Dormer, author/illustrator of The Sword in the Stove (Atheneum, 2016) and Click! (Viking, 2016).

Emily holds a bachelor's degree in English from Harvard University, a master's in secondary English education from Syracuse University, and an MBA from Babson College. She lives outside Boston.

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10. New MB Artists Catalog

Ahoy!  This quarter's theme was "Superheroes, Pirates and Princesses!"  Check out all of the beautiful and action-packed artwork!


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11. Agent Red Flags

It's important to check out prospective agents before submitting to them.


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12. Agency Contracts

Contracts can be overwhelming, so here are some things to look for in your agency contract.


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13. Twitter Pitches

Should you be participating in twitter pitch sessions if you're looking for an agent?


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14. What Does an Agent Do?

Selling your manuscript is only one of the many ways an agent helps your writing career.


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15. After the Offer

Here's a checklist of things to consider before you accept an offer.


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16. Submit to Editors First?

If you're planning to query agents, should you be also be submitting to editors?


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17. Leaving Your Agent

If it's time to divorce your agent, these statistics will show you that you're not alone.


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18. Tina Wexler: Seven Things Your Manuscript Needs to Succeed

Tina Wexler is a literary agent ICM Partners.

Tina shares tips that will help us find success.

You need a strong story idea. An idea that will sustain you through the drafting and writing process. Do you have unfinished manuscripts in a drawer? It might be because it didn't have enough to sustain you.

Your manuscript needs to be researched. Read 3 other recently published books in your same genre and age range. Look up the things you don't know. Not all of your research will make it in, but it will inform your story.

Your manuscript needs to be revised. No one gets it right the first time.

Your manuscript needs a strong voice.

Your manuscript needs a vacation. Set it aside. Work on something else. Take time away so you can come back with fresh eyes. When you return to it, revise it again.

Your manuscript needs to be loved. Finishing is not a reason to send it out on submission. You need to love it. It needs to be ready.

Great reads from the session:

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19. It's the Agent Panel!

Moderated by Lin Oliver (standing, far left), the agent panelists are, left to right: Victoria Wells Arms (Victoria Wells Arms Agency), Ginger Clark (Curtis Brown, Ltd.), Kirsten Hall (her own agency, Catbird), Brooks Sherman (The Bent Agency), Erica Ran Silverman (Stimola Literary Studio), and Tina Wexler (ICM Partners.)

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20. Agent Panel: Erica Rand Silverman

Erica Rand Silverman is an agent at Stimola Literary Studio primarily interested in books for and about children. Prior to being an agent she was a high school teacher, working with at-risk kids. Stimola Literary is a small, boutique agency with a passionate team and a family feel. They are very selective, representing picture books through young adult.

How you decide to take on a new client:

Erica is very picky about what's she's looking for. She wants to work with clients who have a true sense of purpose in their work. She wants to fall in love with their work, and to connect with the people she chooses to work with. Erica wants to clients who know who they are trying to reach, what they are trying to say, and why.

What is it in a query that makes you want to see the work?

Be professional. Don't send out blanket queries. Erica appreciates it when people are personal in their queries, and coming to her for a reason. People can focus too much on the query, but it really all comes down to the work. Erica has to love it.

How editorial are you?

Erica loves the process of talking to an author about something that's not working and figuring out together. There's magic in that.

How would you characterize the climate for sales?

It's great to see independent book stores coming back to life. It's wonderful to see small, independent  publishers being recognized for their work.

Anything we should know about?

The Common Core has created a need for more informational books. It's creating more narrative nonfiction and the mash-up between nonfiction and fiction. It's all new, causing bookstores, etc. are trying to figure out where they fit and where to shelve them.

What is one common question that you hear from people and what's the answer to it?

Are you accepting queries?

Have you read my query yet?
Since Erica is new to Stimola Literary, she has a lot of queries. She will read all of them. If she hasn't gotten to it yet, she will.

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21. Agent Panel: Victoria Wells Arms and Kirsten Hall

Agent Victoria Wells Arms

Victoria Wells Arms started as an editor at Dial Books for Young Readers, and then Putnam. One day, she spotted an ad for an editorial director at Bloomsbury and was chosen to set up Bloomsbury USA’s children’s division. Starting with three people (and a dog), Bloomsbury grew quickly, soon hitting the bestseller lists and acquiring major awards. In 2013, Victoria opened her own agency, Wells Arms Literary, where she represents authors and illustrators for the full range of children’s books, from board books to young adult, as well as some nonfiction. Visit: www.wellsarms.com and follow her on Twitter: @VWArms and @WALiterary

Victoria shares that in addition to being sure that asking "do I love it?" and "can I sell it?" that she wants to know who a potential client is as a human being. She says

"I want to know there's depth to what you're doing, and that you're in it for the long hall." 

explaining that she doesn't represent single project, but people, for their careers.

She adds, "It feels like every one of my clients is a friend" and she wants to sign someone she wants to be friends with. No divas or those wrapped up in their egos.

Victoria says that she is an editorial agent, "I always work with them [her clients] on making it better." If she can help her clients make it better, it's that much easier for editors to take it on.

"I think it's a great time. It IS really competitive. ...But I think editors are wanting to find interesting books."

Victoria reps artists and writers.

Agent Kirsten Hall

Kirsten Hall is President of Catbird, a boutique children’s literary and illustration agency. She has brokered many hundreds of children’s book deals between authors, illustrators, and all of the major American publishers. She is also the author of many books for kids. Her first trade picture book, The Jacket, was a 2014 New York Times Notable). Kirsten opened Catbird's wings in March 2014, and she likens her agency to a creative playground. Her focus is debut talent, and she works intimately with her clients to create and develop original story pitches—especially picture books. According to Publishers Marketplace, Kirsten reported more new picture book deals in 2015 than any other agent. Visit: www.catbirdagency.com

Kirsten tells us about how she specializes in picture books.

"I can look at something and very quickly know… if it speaks to me."

She keeps it small, curated, and everyone on her team does something different.

As to queries, Kirsten loves jokes and personal and human and hates standard query letters.

How editorial is Kirsten? "I'm not." If I see something, and that there's something completely golden about it, "I present them (editors) with something they should do their job on."

Kirsten also spoke about the new hybrid titles that are merging fiction and nonfiction, called "informational" books.

"Publishing, at least in picture book land…I feel like everyone's upping their game." There's so much out there already that's good, so we authors and illustrators have to mine what's unique about what we're offering.

"That's the only way your light's going to shine in this pretty bright room."

Kirsten reps artists and writers.

"I'm really heart-based. I rely on my instincts, I think they're sharp." 

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22. Do You Need an Agent?

Maybe not, but here are some reasons you might want an agent.


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23. Landscape

Hi everyone!  Check out MB Artists' new promotional catalog, themed "Landscape."  What a great collection of new pieces from this group of artists!


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24. Finding an Agent

The first step in finding an agent is to decide what you want in an agent.


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25. Submitting, Then Getting an Agent

If you choose to submit on your own before getting an agent, what do you need to consider?


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