It’s almost time for Agent Shop again.
If you haven’t heard, we have the awesome Jenny Bent with The Bent Agency with us as our attending agent this month. As our spotlighted author, Ellyn Bache will be visiting with her novel THE ART OF SAYING GOODBYE and will give a signed copy to one lucky person who leaves a comment.
As usual, we’ll also be giving the Top Pitch Slot to one lucky pitcher.
Leave a comment on May 29th using the words Art and Goodbye and you’ll be entered to win either the book or the top slot for pitch day. Yay!
I wanted to share a few comments I’ve received from Agents over the last year I’ve been running ‘Agent Shop’. This list of comments is anonymous, since the agents and I were speaking in confidence, and some are taken from interviews, twitter, facebook, and more social platforms.
There’s want and do not want. Finding that balance isn’t easy, nor is it the same for every agent.
Breaking out of the mold, being fresh, thinking outside the box but inside enough to be saleable.
I think most of us wonder what exactly an agent or publisher means when they say that’s what they’re looking for. The problem is, unfortunately, most of the time they don’t know what exactly IT is until they see IT either.
So here’s some comments that I’ve always loved.
“…plots are used, abused and reused. It takes something special to put a new spin on an idea.”
“…too many trying to write FOR the market. If you’re following a trend, chances are the trend will play out by the time you’re showing your stuff. Trend setting is better, and when you’re writing from the heart, you have a much higher chance of getting interest.”
“A great idea , no matter how spectacular, won’t get anywhere if you don’t have the mechanics down.”
“When we say fresh, we’re looking for something we haven’t seen or something that’s done in a new way. That doesn’t mean mash everything together in a hope that something will stick.”
“I often receive incredible first chapters that aren’t followed up by the rest of the work.”
“The idea of reading everything you can get your hands on is NOT to take ideas from those other books, but to learn from the author. And that goes both ways. Learn what to do and what not to do. And btw, we don’t want to hear how bad an author sucks and how you do it so much better.”
“Opinions are like… well you get the picture. Everyone has one. I’m entitled to mine. What I think is old, another might like. That’s why you should do your research and decide which agents might be interested in your work.”
“Don’t edit out your own voice. That’s something that can’t be taught. It’s natural.” (THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVS!)
“Gather wide opinions. Critique partners are wonderful, so are beta readers. Let the people in your writing world help refine your work. There’s a reason why acknowledgment pages are often long.”
“Paint the picture in the mind of your readers.”
There are so many more, but I like shorter posts.
I’d love to hear which comments you’ve heard or read that really meant a lot or influenced you!