Literary Agent

Before You Query Me

Before you query me, there are things you need to know. So please, read this post and then, if you still think we’d be great fit, please find me on Query Manager.  

Okay, so I’ve made a list of four things I think everyone should know before they query me.

Number 4:

I was an agent before, and I quit.

My clients were transferred to my then senior agent, now president, of the agency. There were several reasons why I left agenting, and those reasons haven’t disappeared, but I’m back.

Number 3:

While I may have transferred my clients to Nicole, I didn’t leave the agency. I still worked with our current clients and gained valuable experience within the publishing industry. During that time and now, I also returned to graduate school for a master’s in English and a doctorate in Organizational Leadership. These two degrees frame why I’m better positioned to work with writers who are CEOs of their careers.

Number 2:

I love to write. I will probably always have a work-in-progress going on. But reading is my passion. I’m looking for writers who are prolific and have unlimited ideas for stories in genres that I represent. Mostly, I’ve accepted clients by referral only, but I’ve opened up to more genres through Query Manager.

Number 1:

Before you query me, you should know the reason I’m back. I can share the reasons I left another time, but I’m back now because so many people asked me why I wasn’t taking advantage of my privilege. I never considered myself a privileged anything, but they were right. I have an amazing opportunity to support content creators, and I need to do more.

But I wasn’t sure what or when. Until now.

So, I pinned this tweet:

And that’s really why I’m back. To help someone else on their publishing path.

Maybe it will be great for them, and maybe it will open their eyes to how difficult this career can be, and maybe they’ll hate me for it, but if they reached out to me (through Query Manager), then they’re saying that they want that chance. They’re willing to take the risk on this roller coaster of a journey, and if they’re querying me, then they want to take that journey with me.

But wait. There’s one more thing you should know:

Every time someone queries me, picks me to be on their list of potential agents, I’m humbled. I might not be their first choice, or even in their first batch of queries, but they found me, and I hope I never lose that feeling of gratefulness.

…and one more:

You are the CEO of your career. Please treat every query like it is meant for the agent receiving it… Because the agent-author relationship is hopefully a lasting one between two professionals who want the same success for the author. For this reason, in my opinion, queries addressed to Dear Sir or Dear Agent will not reflect that you’ve researched me and think we’d be a good fit. This is subjective and my opinion, and in the end, it’s the strength of the writing.

But what am I really looking for?

A manuscript I can’t put down until the last page and can’t stop discussing. Voice is definitely key for me. If I’m going to sign (and sell) someone or recommend someone, then the writer’s voice has to speak to me. I have to be able to listen (vocally and on the page) to that writer through revisions and edits and book after book. I want to find characters I want as my best friends and partners-in-crime long after the story ends, whether it’s in this world or an alternate universe.

Okay, so that’s that. Thanks for finding me. Thanks for reading, and if you still think we’re a great fit, I’ll see you in Query Manager.