Hi all! How was your holiday? I had a great vacation, and I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. :)
Last month, I shared Michelle Bayuk’s extensive marketing experience. Today, I want to share what agents Jennifer Matteson and Edward Necarsulmer IV had to say about the signs you’re ready for an agent.
This wasn’t exactly a structured talk. It was more a Q&A, and both agents shared their experiences and knowledge. And they both shared some great nuggets, which I’ll list out below.
Edward Necarsulmer IV:
-Unless you’ve got several sales under your belt that are doing well, don’t pitch an idea or concept with sample chapters in a query. Agents and editors need to see the completed manuscript for fiction.
-In a query, agents don’t want to see the phrase ‘newly completed’ when referring to the novel. Manuscripts need to be revised and made the best they can be, and saying it’s newly completed implies it’s just a first draft. Agents want to see draft ten, not draft one. :)
-Many picture book and educational authors are not agented. Agents mostly work with trade books.
-Most importantly, agents and authors work together as a team. Trust in each other, ask questions, and know that you are not alone.
Jennifer Matteson’s Signs That You Are Ready For An Agent:
-You have written more than one novel. For picture books, have at least three books you feel are publishable.
-You can discuss the strengths and weakness of your work without getting defensive.
-You have a critique group, as well as a revision history of your novel.
-You can name at least three published titles that you think are helpful comparisons (this helps agents get a feel for what kind of story you’ve written).
She also shared some additional advice:
-Having a critique group helps you move beyond your emotions—emotions often cloud judgment and keep us from making our work the best it can be.
-If you happen to land a book contract without an agent, look for a re-negotiation clause in the contract. This will allow you to re-negotiate certain terms in your contract if the industry standard changes.
I don't know about you, but I found all of this very inspiring. :)