Brianne Ogden is Martin Literary Management’s newest addition. She was brought on board specifically to represent clients in the hot graphic novel and children’s book markets. In today’s interview, Ogden tells us why novelists might consider adapting the novels to graphic novels, what sub-genres are going to be hot and the best way to submit a children’s book to her.
How to Find an Agent
Lit Agent, Molly Lyons of Joelle Delbourgo Associates began her career working for such magazines as Working Woman, Gourmet, Elle Decor, SELF and Lifetime magazines. Now, she uses her editorial skills toward her clients and in today’s interview she discusses why it’s more important than ever to lay the ground work for your manuscript before it goes out, why you should do your homework before approaching her for representation and her distaste for bananas.
Pitching a sports book can seem like a daunting task to an outsider. Yesterday we interviewed Jason Turbow, co-author of the The Baseball Codes–getting a candid explanation of how he pitched the book.
Turbow revealed how his freelance career (he’s written for The New York Times, SportsIllustrated.com, and mediabistro.com) helped him find an agent, but also shared his research-intensive pitch writing process.
Here’s more about the pitch-writing process: “The pre-preparation in having the idea ready to pitch was key … the final pitch was enormous. We broke down as many of the rules as we could, did pre-research … an ex-ball player agreed to sit down with us and have a very candid conversation about the code.”
He continued: “That turned into the sample chapter for the pitch. Eventually, it turned into the introduction to the book. He told some great stories. And that helped us give kind of an insider’s perspective [in the pitch]. Between a sample chapter and a long explanation of what these rules are–because it gets kind of complex–the pitch was about 40 or 50 pages. Essentially it was all geared toward building excitement.”
Debut novelist Allison Pang (pictured, via her Twitter avatar) recently sold her urban fantasy novel, Shadow of the Incubus–along with two sequels to the book. Pocket Books executive editor Lauren McKenna acquired the book in a four-way auction. The deal was negotiated by Colleen Lindsay from FinePrint Literary Management.
GalleyCat caught up with Pang, getting some exclusive advice about pitching an urban fantasy novel (or any novel, for that matter). “The only real advice I can give is to write the absolute best book you can and don’t send it out before it’s ready,” explained Pang. “Souring an agent on a story can be hard to come back from. Make sure the agent you’re submitting to is actively looking for what you’ve written–Twitter, Google, Facebook and agent blogs are important tools that should absolutely be utilized.”
She continued: “Read other urban fantasy books to make sure your vision is as fresh as it can be. In a heavily saturated market of vampires, werewolves and sword-wielding heroines, it can be difficult to appear unique and you want to make sure your book has every possible chance to stand out.”
After the jump, Pang offered some advice about writing pitch letters to agents.
Earlier this week, Forbes reporter David K. Randall scored a book deal for his new nonfiction book, Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange World of Sleep. The book will be edited by Jill Bialoskly at Norton.
Via email, the first-time author delivered a piece of simple, but powerful advice about finding an agent. “I found my agent, Larry Weissman (pictured, via), through perhaps the most boring way possible. I collected a bunch of books that I liked that had the same sensibility of the book I’m working on, and searched through the acknowledgments section to see who represented and edited them,” explained Randall.
He continued: “Larry’s name popped up in Michael Schaffer‘s One Nation Under Dog, Christopher McDougall‘s Born to Run and Sasha Issenberg‘s The Sushi Economy, so I knew that he was open to books that unpacked parts of our everyday lives–like running and owning pets. I could see a book on sleep fitting into that sequence, so I sent Larry an email. He wrote back a few hours later and asked for a full proposal, and we went from there.”
Over at InkyGirl, Delany explained how the book evolved from a mobile phone creation to the full novel, 13 to Life. The interview featured cellphone novel drafting tips and explained the unusual way Delany met her agent.
Here’s an excerpt: “The Textnovel version of 13 to Life took me five weeks to write (posting two short sections most days, morning and early evening). Then it was an additional month to flesh it out so I was generally satisfied. After copyedits I think the debut novel in the series is right around 370 pages (a far cry from the original cellphone novel which was probably around 50 pages).”
It doesn’t matter if you are a laid-off stockbroker or a washed-up actor or a deposed leader, you’ll have a hard time selling your nonfiction book without a great proposal.
Polish your idea with a professional at MediaBistro’s eight week nonfiction proposal class, running on Mondays from October 27 until December 15, lasting from 6:45-9:45 pm each night. The class is hosted by Mollie Glick (pictured), an agent at Foundry Literary + Media. Her recent sales include: Gregory Levey’s Shut Up, I’m Talking, Ames Holbrook’s The Deporter, and R. M. Kinder’s The Murder of Romance.
“We’ll take that idea that’s in your head, develop it, and turn it into something you can sell. There is a basic formula for nonfiction book proposals and when broken down into parts, this formula can be easy to learn. By workshop’s end, you’ll be armed with a fully realized proposal that you can take to agents and start selling your book.”
The class costs $499 ($475 for AvantGuild members). GalleyCat readers get $50 off if they use the promo code “GALLEYCAT50″ on the application.