Friday, September 12, 2014

Most Important Job for an Agent




To make lots of money!?! Well, yeah, that would be a nice takeaway, but what do I really see myself as being for the most part?
Something I NEVER was in high school. Too much time on the debate team…nerd alert!
But now? A cheerleader.
Why on earth would I see cheerleading as an important role for an agent?
Rejections…hundreds of rejections. Authors today are experiencing more rejections than they are new ideas for books and that says something. Writers have hundreds and thousands of ideas. But new authors have a tougher time breaking out today than just five years ago. And why is that?
Let’s see—too many reasons to list here. But one very valid reason is this: many publishers have either dropped or pared back their fiction lines. Many of these publishers had big name authors on their books. When they dropped their lines, the authors had to go somewhere, after all, they are the money makers. The remaining publishers have five slots open for the next year and look at this option: do we sign a bestselling author with proven sales numbers, or do we take on a new author who we have to start from scratch to build up? No brainer. They take the established authors. They sign maybe 3 or 4 established folks and only have 1 or 2 slots left, if new authors are lucky. And how do they decide which 1 or 2 to take? New authors with HUGE platforms or with endorsements from top, bestselling authors.
And that, for the most part, leaves out hundreds of amazing authors who now have nowhere to go. The end result? Discouragement, rejection, downhearted writers who are ready to give up. Enter the cheerleader.
Here I am. Me, me. I’m raising my hand, flapping it in the air, doing my best to convince those wonderful folks who came on board that we WILL make it. I will find them a house who will take a chance on that awesome new author I keep pestering the editor about. I will convince you to build your platform, attend conferences, network, grow your social media. I will do my best to let you know that I have faith in your work. And if I take you as a client that will be the truth, because I don’t take on any client who I don’t fully LOVE their work. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE their work. You see, I don’t believe I can fully get behind a work to represent it if I don’t fall crazy in love with it. I know that seriously resembles Polyanna, but hey, it’s who I am.
See why it’s easy for me to be a cheerleader this late in life? I fall in love with a novel or a nonfiction piece, and I can’t wait to get fully behind it. Can’t wait to take it to a publisher, and I won’t stop until I’ve taken it to every possible connection that I know. And as I’m shopping it around what do I do to keep your chin off the table?
I’m a cheerleader. Yesiree! The most important part of my job is to encourage. And if I’ve signed you, know that I’m fully behind your work. I love it. I can’t wait for the rest of the world to read it…and love it, too.

8 comments:

  1. Linda is as good as her word. She is a fantastic cheerleader and goes far beyond just "shopping our manuscripts." Many days when i want to give up, remembering that Linda believes in me keeps me going.

    Linda, YOU keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can see you on the sidelines with pom poms flinging everywhere. :) So glad you are cheering for me. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! That's quite a visual. If I ever do that, I'll be sure and take a pic to post. It would be worth the laugh!!!

      Delete
  3. My first cheerleader and editor in the big world of publishing--glad it was you, Linda. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Dee. It was my pleasure. One of the first projects I seriously worked on when I was Terry's assistant, and so well worth it!

      Delete
  4. As one of your clients, I believe I can say how appreciative we are of your encouragement and hard work to help us reach publication. It is no wonder that ACFW has recognized you as a finalist for Agent of the Year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, thank you, Janet. It's a pleasure to work with such great folks!

      Delete