Posts Tagged ‘agent’

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The editor’s despair?

October 19, 2010

A British literary agent, writing under the pseudonym Agent Orange sees a possible transformation of the current publishing business model:

Here’s a modest proposal. Let’s get rid of editors. Seriously, would publishing be better off without them? Should we abolish lunch?

Any agent worth their salt will be able to tell you many recent stories of editors – senior, well known editors – who have loved books that the agents have submitted to them but for which they have failed to gain the support of their colleagues.

Of course editors are as status conscious as the rest of us and are keen to present themselves (particularly to agents) as mighty forces within the organisations they work for. But in unguarded moments it is possible to get them to concede that the majority of the projects they take forward get shot down during the acquisition process – often for reasons that seem to them to be obscure or arbitrary ….

…. Let’s say I pitched a novel at this meeting, everyone agrees it seems a good idea, solidly in genre, with a marketable author. The publishing director then decides which editor should read it. They love it, others agree and the publisher offers. Fantastic, everyone is happy, except one has to ask, what is the role of the editor in this process?

Traditionally agents pitch books to editors (lunch!), get them fired up, send them the book, the editor loves the book, drives that ‘passion’ through acquisition and editorial, sales conferences. They choose the image on the jacket, the blurb, even the title and author name in many cases. They are the publisher, the apex of a pyramid with sales, publicity, design and marketing all feeding into them. They own the project.

If, as is increasingly the case, that is simply no longer true, then what are they for?

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Writer Replay 6: Agent Walks Into A Bar

August 4, 2010


–msg

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Writer Replay Ep. 4: Awaiting A Writer

July 2, 2010


–msg

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Rejection Exception

June 15, 2010

–msg

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Couple more literary reps added

August 4, 2009

The tentative SCWC*LA7 schedule for September’s conference is now posted. A couple more additions have been made on the literary reps front, as well. From Manus Entertainment, Marc Manus will be with us, accepting advance submissions of screenplay. In particular, he’s on the hunt for original voices with a strong sense of concept in the action, comedy and thriller genres. He likes good biographical subject matter too. And from the Andy Ross Literary Agency, agent Andy Ross is aboard, looking for narrative nonfiction dealing with history, politics and current events, science, journalism, and cultural subjects. Andy brings a unique perspective of publishing trends and the retail book market to the scene as, before forming his agency, he was owner and general manager of Cody’s Books in Berkeley, CA, recognized as one of the greatest independent bookstores in the nation. How cool is that!

–msg

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Marketing the Muse: The Query Letter

February 3, 2009


Author/editor Marla Miller returns to the San Diego conference with her popular query letter troubleshooting workshop, “Pitch it to Me: Let’s Fix Your Book Pitch.” To give you a taste, see her in action in the above video we shot at last year’s event in Irvine.

–msg

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Another agent announced

November 11, 2008

Joining the SCWC for the first time and looking to expand her list is Literary Works’ founding agent Jacqueline S. Hackett, rep to many bestselling authors including J. California Cooper, Rachel Vassel and Omar Tyree.

Among her recent sales: Daughters of Men: Portraits of African American Women and Their Fathers (Amistad/HarperCollins November 2007), Darker Mask: Superheroes of Color (Tor Books August 2008) Cinescopes: What Your Favorite Movies Say About You (Quirk Books November 2007), Prince: How He Revolutionized Rock N Roll and Survived (St. Martins 2009); The Last Street Novel by Omar Tyree (Simon & Schuster July 2007); Pecking Order (Simon & Schuster September 2008); A Spring Without Bees: How Colony Collapse Disorder Has Endangered Our Food Supply (Lyons Press June 2008); and untitled short story collection and novel by J. California Cooper (Doubleday 2010 and 2011); Saviors or Sellouts: The Promises and Perils of Black Conservatism, From Booker T. Washington to Condoleezza Rice (Beacon Press January 2008); Let’s Get Free: How Ordinary Citizens Can Take Back American Justice (New Press 2009); Girls Inc. Presents: Amazing Girls (Adams Media July 2008); Racial Performance (Oxford University Press 2009) and (Un) Happy Lawyer (Sourcebooks July 2008).

Jacqueline will be accepting advance submissions for review, followed by one-on-one consultation at the conference, of commercial fiction and serious & entertaining nonfiction. Details at WritersConference.com.

–msg

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Agent added to Irvine conference

July 31, 2008

Hailing from New York-based Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency, joining the SCWC roster for the first time and looking to expand his client list is Jeff Moores. On the advance submission front, Jeff’s interested in quality contemporary fiction and literature, narrative nonfiction, memoir, politics, current affairs, journalism, graphic novels, gay & lesbian, popular culture and popular science.

Don’t forget that the deadline for advance submissions to the SCWC*LA (in Irvine) is Sept. 6. If you’re thinking of submitting to an agent this time around, he’ll be one that should fill up fast.

–msg

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Agent sues sites for “ruining” reputation

July 1, 2008

Lynn Andriani reports the following for PW today:

Literary agent Barbara Bauer is suing 19 bloggers and websites, including Wikipedia, YouTube and AbsoluteWrite.com, claiming they are ruining her reputation, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reported yesterday. Online critics call Bauer one of publishing’s “20 Worst Literary Agents,” claiming she charges clients high fees for little work, and is a “scam agent.” Bauer did not return PW’s calls for comment.

Bauer’s web site says the New Jersey literary agent established her firm in 1984, and that she has helped get numerous books by award-winning authors published in multiple languages around the world.

Bauer also sued the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America web site. The case has caught the attention of free-speech groups and online activists.

The two sides are scheduled to argue the motion before a Monmouth County, NJ, judge today.

Good luck with your career, Barbara.

–msg

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Another editor in Irvine

May 20, 2008

From Thomas Dunne Books, a division of St. Martin’s Press, associate editor Katie Gilligan will be joining us in Irvine.  I haven’t updated the conference site yet to report the news because there’s still a couple other equally exciting confirmations pending, but that’s what makes readers of the blog so well informed.  What more can I tell you right now?  Katie is seeking “genuine” voices in fiction and nonfiction.  That and the fact she assisted with the editing of John Hart’s New York Times bestseller (and 2008 Edgar Award winner) Down River, which PW concluded thusly: “This book should settle once and for all the question of whether thrillers and mysteries can also be literature.”

–msg