The process of finding an agent can seem overwhelming. We hope to answer some of your questions here.
Q: What do you look for with a prospective writer client?
A: We seek writers with a clear vision for a book and an understanding of the market. Today, publishers are looking for writers with an audience they can prove they know how to reach. This means a ‘platform’ that can be quantified by blog/website numbers, teaching/speaking, and ongoing media presence.
Q: Do I need to have a finished book before I query?
A: Not for non-fiction. Publishers buy most non-fiction from a proposal. It must include sample chapters, but does not need to be a completed manuscript.
Q: How can I improve my chances of getting my book published?
A: Know your market, and how to reach it. Be prepared to prove to a publisher that not only can you write the book, but that you have an audience you can reach.
Q: How to find the right agent?
A: Do your research before you query. Only query agents who handle the kind of work you’re pitching.
Q: How important is the query letter?
A: It’s critical. If agents don’t read the query letter, they’ll never read your proposal.
Q: What’s AAR?
A: The Association of Authors’ Representatives is a professional organization of over 400 agents.
Q: What do you charge?
A: Like most agents, we charge the industry-standard 15% commission. We do not charge any reading fees.
Q: You’re not in New York. Does that matter?
A: In the book publishing world, it’s who you know, not where you’re located. We have decades of experience and myriad contacts with editors.
That said, we visit New York regularly to meet with editors in person, and also attend Book Expo and other industry meetings throughout the year.