All About Agents...
My Sunday morning started out with an agent panel moderated by Mark McVeigh Editorial Director of Simon & Schuster imprint Aladdin. And here's some news--Mark revealed that Aladdin is now a hardcover imprint and will be publishing picture books through novels for teens.
The panelist were Dilys Evans, president of Dilys Evans Fine Illustration; Michael Stearns, editor-turned-agent with Firebrand Literary; Michael Bourret, agent with Dystel & Goderich; and Laura Rennert, senior agent at Andrea Brown Literary.
Mark asked the panel: Why does a creative person need an agent?
Micheal Stearns: He said writers need agents for two reasons. First, to work out deals with the editor so as not to pollute the writer-editor relationship. (Or, as Mark McVeigh put it, "Let the writer make the snowballs and the agents throw them. He is very much a pro-agent editor.) And second, because agents keep on top of the market in ways that a writer cannot.
Michael Bourret: He said a writer need an agent for direction as the writer builds her career.
Laura Rennert: She said agents are the advocates to deal with situations of problems that arise as the industry changes.
More from the panelists:
Michael Bourret: He shared a success story about his author Jill Alexander whom he met at the SCBWI conference last February. (She also met her editor there). He was taken in my her a title A Hood Ornament in the N0-Jesus Christmas Parade and knew he wanted her as a client. Her book will come out next year. (He agents Sara Zarr, a National Book Award finalist.)
Laura Rennert: She describes herself as a "literary omnivore," and says she's looking for a strong voice, a voice she takes pleasure in, a new perspective, a fresh and unusual angle. (She agents NY Times bestselling author Jay Asher; and Kathleen Duey, also a National Book Award finalist.)
Dilys Evans: She says agents must establish great working relationships with their editors--they must find ways to get what they want, smiling. (Mark McVeigh referred to agents as "honest sharks.")
And I wish you all could have been there to here Dilys Evans tell stories--she was terrific.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
All About Agents...