2008 Article Excerpt:
With the recent news that Imprint Agency is now FinePrint Literary Management (see last post), I wanted to post something else related to the merger. The principal of Imprint is the great agent Stephany Evans, who, it just so happens, penned an article this year for the upfront section of the 2008 Guide to Literary Agents. See an excerpt from her article below.
Stephany Evans talks about how
the roles of agents and publishers
have changed over time.
” … It’s never been simpler to learn an agent’s likes and interests before querying. But just as you have more access to agent information, publishers and agents have more access to information about you—especially if you’ve already had a book published.
“Introduced in 2001, Nielson’s BookScan … allows editors a chance to ‘run the numbers’ on books in the ‘competing titles’ sections of their proposals. If too many (competing titles) show lackluster volume, an editor may conclude that the potential market for your book is not worth pursuing … If you have published before, be sure to provide your agent with solid sales figures and be prepared to detail how and where the books were sold, whether you sold them out of the trunk of your station wagon, or at pet stores, or via your Web site. And if editors are paying attention to things such as BookScan, rest assured agents are, too. An agent needs to know about a project’s vulnerabilities from the get-go.“
– “The Evolution of Agenting: An Agent Talks of Change” (page 68)
While Guide to Literary Agents is best known for its large and detailed list of literary agencies, every edition has plenty of informational articles and interviews designed to help writers perfect their craft and contact agents wisely. The 2008 edition is no different, with more than 80 pages of articles addressing numerous writing and publishing topics.