Most of my blogs are devotional and inspirational pieces on Christian living, on your relationships with God and others, but all are geared to encourage the reader. Among those blogs, I also try to include some encouraging posts for writers. Occasionally I even offer contests and book giveaways.
Today is a two-part blog on working with agents. Last week my guest blog was one of Steve Laube’s recent posts: Ten Commandments for Working with Your Agent. I’ve been working with Steve Laube as my agent since 2004, but I’ve known him for years while he was editor at Bethany House Publishers. My husband and I have both taught with him at writers’ conferences in the past. We respect him as a man of honesty and integrity, and one who knows the writing business well. My writing has flourished as a result of Steve’s work as my agent.
Today’s blog is a brief interview with Steve Laube. He was gracious to answer a few basic questions about working with an agent. You’ll find a more detailed interview of his own as well as much valuable information on writing and working with an agent on Steve’s website.
1. What should a client expect from you as an agent?
- That I will work hard.
- That I will keep on top of the ever changing marketplace.
- That I will maintain my integrity as a businessman of honor and honesty.
- That I will protect your interests.
- That I will tell you the truth, about the industry, about your writing, about your ideas.
2. What would you expect from a client of yours?
- Work hard.
- Measure expectations against reality.
- Attempt to understand the publishing process.
- Develop a thick skin.
- Learn patience.
3. What will you NOT do as their agent?
I won’t lend you money. 🙂
I won’t lie or cheat for you.
4. In today’s economy, how difficult is it for a writer to succeed without an agent? Do you think every writer needs an agent?
Without question. The industry is a labyrinth of nuances. If you try to go it alone it is likely you will be sorry for signing a document or partnering with the wrong publisher.
5. What is a newbie’s chance of getting you as an agent? What are you looking for?
Blow me away with an amazing novel or develop a platform that will make a publisher’s eyes water. Then you’ve got a fighting chance.
6. What should a writer send you for your consideration of them as a client?
PLEASE follow the guidelines on our web site. They are there for a reason. Break those guidelines with impunity and all you’ll do is annoy us. Would you work with someone who annoys you?
When considering an agent, make sure your query and/or proposal is professionally written and in proper form before you attempt to shop your manuscript. Find out their guidelines. Attend writer’s conferences. Do your homework. What makes your idea different from others? What qualifies you to write your book? What kind of “platform” do you currently use that would help to sell your books? (speaking, newsletters, social media, etc.)
You can also find a resource list of agents on a post by Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson: Literary Agents Who Represent Christian Authors.
Are you working on any writing projects? What kinds of things do you enjoy writing?