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How To Pitch: Agencies

One-Woman Firm Backs Author s ‘Til Book Deal And Beyond

laural_thumb.jpgHands-on agent cares about the craft of writing, makes publicity calls, and sells book — even if it takes her four years.
AvantGuildPitching An Agent: ‘Dogged’ Agent Will Sell Your Book
RELATED: AvantGuildPitching An Agent: Offering ‘Total Involvement With The Project’

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So What Do You Do, Ellies 2007 Nominee?

ellies_hardware_hp.jpgLeading up to the May 1, 2007 National Magazine Awards, is publishing a special package of our popular “So What Do You Do?” series with daily interviews of selected nominees, ranging from the well-known to obscure. Today, we chat with Joyce Rutter Kaye, editor of design mag, Print.

  • So What Do You Do, Joyce Rutter Kaye, Editor, Print
  • So What Do You Do, David Granger, Editor, Esquire?
  • So What Do You Do, Moisés Naím, Editor, Foreign Policy?
  • So What Do You Do, Jay Stowe, Editor, Cincinnati?
  • So What Do You Do, Ted Genoways, Editor, Virginia Quarterly Review?
  • So What Do You Do, Mark Strauss, Editor, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists?
  • From The Editors: F+W Publications

    ftefandw_thiumb.jpgThis editor oversees four different imprints and seeks manuscripts for each one.
    AvantGuildFrom the Editors: ‘”Your Book Will Reach At Least 100,000 Creative Enthusiasts”‘
    All ‘From the Editors’ features

    How To Pitch: Lyons Literary — Your Phone Calls Answered, Every Time

    lyonslit_thumb.jpgSeeking both fiction and non-fiction, this agent prides himself on accessibility.
    AvantGuildPitching An Agent: Your Calls Answered, Any Time
    All ‘Pitching an Agent’ Features

    Agent Wants Your ‘Engaging Voice,’ ‘Original’ Book Idea

    somberg_thumb.jpgAlways looking for new projects across a wide range of genres, if you have a “cute idea and a cute concept” this agent wants your queries, even if you’re sans platform.
    AvantGuildPitching an Agent: Guiding Authors ‘So They Can Do This For Life’
    All ‘Pitching an Agent’ Features

    Pitching an Agent: ‘Open To All Kinds of Projects’

    zimmerman.jpgRachel Kramer Bussel talks to Helen Zimmermann of The Zimmermann Agency, who has experience to spare when it comes to the marketing of books. What to pitch: Memoirs, mysteries, popular culture, current issues, nature-based projects, and fiction. However, just because she’ll consider a broad range of topics doesn’t mean you should just commit your latest vivid dream or zany rant to paper. She values professionalism above all, and says that “projects that come in half-baked are an instant turn-off.” What not to pitch: Poetry, science fiction, romance, screenplays. More information, including query etiquette, here.

    Pitching an Agent: Nail the Three-Sentence Query

    rittenberg.jpgOnce a newspaper reporter, agent Ann Rittenberg is happiest when she gets a brief, succinct query that nails a book’s premise, says Rachel Kramer Bussel. “Rittenberg got her start as a reporter for the St. Petersburg Times, then worked as an editor at Atheneum before moving on to agenting for the Julian Bach Agency. then forming her own agency in 1992. Based on her expertise, Rittenberg was who Writer’s Digest Books turned to to update their classic How to Write and Sell Your First Novel. The result is the forthcoming Your First Novel, co-authored with one of her clients, Laura Whitcomb. Rittenberg wanted to share the knowledge she’s accumulated over the course of her career and make sure writers are prepared with professional, on-point queries. ”
    What to pitch: Literary fiction, upmarket thrillers, narrative and literary non-fiction
    What not to pitch: Genre or how-to books
    Etiquette: For fiction, send a query letter no longer than one page and the first three chapters. For non-fiction, send an outline, one sample chapter, and explain “why you’re the best person to write on that particular subject.”

    Pitching an Agent: Discovering ‘Important New Voices’

    carnicelli.jpgRachel Kramer Bussel talks with Matthew Carnicelli at Carnicelli Literary. A stickler for detail, he toils over clients’ book proposals until they’re ‘ironclad’. Do pitch popular and serious nonfiction, which can include current events, cultural and social issues, history, biography/memoir, science, business, sports, health, spirituality, and psychology, as well as a limited amount of literary fiction. However, for nonfiction you must demonstrate why you’re an expert in your field. Carnicelli’s also very interested in cultural and social issues, or what he calls “nonfiction that changes the world.” What not to pitch: Juvenile books, science fiction, romance, novelty books, coffee-table books. Carnicelli has some words of wisdom for authors submitting to him, so that their emails don’t get deleted right off the bat. “It’s very important that authors present themselves in a formal and professional way. Frankly, I hate sloppy, overdressed materials and when people write ‘Dear Matthew’ without even knowing me.” More here.

    Pitching an Agent: Giving Authors ‘A Competitive Advantage’

    nelson.jpgInterested in publishing your YA book? Kristin Nelson seeks clients to help her blow out the category at the Nelson Literary Agency just might be your gal, according to Rachel Kramer Bussel. You may know her for her blog PubRants (which we at like very much), which means that she prefers working with web-savvy authors. Nelson is picky about her query letters so make sure to follow the guidelines she’s set forth. Do not submit short story collections, poetry, thrillers, mysteries (except chick lit), children’s picture books, screen plays, Christian inspirational books. Read all the details (and you will want all the details) here.

    Pitching an Agent: Got a Gimmick?

    marshall.jpgRachel Kramer Bussel chats with Evan Marshall, a fellow writer who reps authors with multiple romance, young adult or mystery titles in them. Marshall is looking for “adult and young adult fiction in all genres,” though is especially interested in romance, mystery, and young adult novels. Within those genres, his interests are wide-ranging, and his romance book tastes run to the “sweet, sensual, paranormal, romantic comedy, chick lit, romantic suspense, relationship novels,” as well as erotic romance and erotica. However, he cautions that for him to take on a historical romance, “it must be extremely special, since that genre is not as popular as it once was — at least for now.” More on the Evan Marshall Agency here.

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