Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Totally Tuesday: Literary Agents

Jenni asked me to re-post this agents post I did on my blog last week. So enjoy and read carefully, there is a quiz after. :P

Agents are a fascinating breed. They have stringent dietary requirements which call for them to consume extensive amounts of caffeine and a healthy abundance of ghastly query letters daily.

They may look like the rest of us, but they should not be approached in the wild. When cornered they turn skittish and look for an escape. Becoming particularly apprehensive when any acronyms are used, such as WIP or MC. Oddly, they seem to be calmed by the use of SASE.

In order to tame one of these wild beasts, one must first approach from a distance. Writing down all of the reasons why this creature should accept your offering. Many of these approaches are dismissed with barely a glance, as agents are finicky. You may do research to decide what type of offering might most satisfy their cravings, but you will find that each one is very different. The only ingredient they will agree that you must have is something they refer to as voice. I looked all over my pantry--I can't find it.

If you are able to interest one of these creatures in what you offer, they will ask to see more. Here is the most puzzling part about their kind. If they truly like what you have written for them, they will agree to work with you--then they will take your offering and dissect it like a frog in a science lab.

How do you get one of these critters to feel that primal attraction for your offering?

You tell me, because I've been trying to figure that out all week and I don't think I'm any closer to having the answer.

Here are my questions for you ladies. Do you have a dream agent? If so, who is it? What would make an agent your dream agent? What qualities do you feel are most important in someone who wants to represent your work?


  1. Interesting question. I imagine when it comes right down to it, I'll be happy to accept whoever is willing to represent my work, but it sure would be nice to find someone who I get along with personally.

  2. So far I have a dream agent. When I had 5 agents looking at my work (keep in mund that I sent out over 350 queries), the moment Emmanuelle Alspaugh of Judith Ehrlich Literary Management came along asking for more, I knew she was the one. She was quick, right on the ball, the agent agreement was like all the other good agent agreements I read on-line and she was really enthusiastic about my book. She asked if I had more book ideas and I listed (with her as a muse) 9 others. That day she emailed these "ideas" as well as my original book to 4 major publishers and they wanted an official proposal. We worked together for a week and a half perfecting the proposal and off it went (going on 3 weeks and I am still waiting to hear from them but she says that this is normal and she has emailed a follow up with them). She is encouraging and is the ideal agent for me.

  3. I don't necessarily have someone specific in mind. But I want someone who believes in my work and is excited about it. I love this post by the way, it's hilarious.

  4. YAY! You put it on here! I LOVE IT! It's sooo funny! I have been blessed to have an amazing agent that I feel the Lord handpicked for me. I had 6 agents interested, but when it came right down to it Kirsten was the one. She was extremely nice and also so excited with my book and my idea for a series that she felt wholeheartedly that she was meant to represent me too! I really, really enjoy her and we laugh a lot while we're on the phone! LOL! Without her contacts I don't feel i would've been able to have the publishers who have been interested, interested.. LOL! That sounds funny!

    The important thing is you want someone who believes in you someone who you can trust and someone the Lord wants you to have as well. Since from this point on, I no longer work for Kirsten, she works for me... When she asks to represent me... she's actually deciding if she wants to work for me (weird to think about huh?) but even more than that... I depend on her knowledge and steadiness to help me and guide me through this crazy world of publishing. Jenni

  5. I have several dream agents...and they all told me no!! LOLOL! But that's ok! My dream agent is someone who says YES!! Ok, and someone who really likes my story and that I can talk to and feel comfortable with. Mostly someone I feel good about. I will definately have to pray about any agent that gives me an offer (Because I plan on having so many, you know!!)

  6. LOL - looks like most of us are in the same place: someone who believes in our work, someone we can get along with, and someone we feel good about.

    Here is hoping we can all find that someone and congrats to those that already have!



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