Monday, September 6, 2010

Philly Conference Report - Part III

The Agents' Panel yielded some interesting facts.
1. Their lives impact what they represent. If they're dealing with a serious issue in their families, the last thing they want is a book on that subject.
2. On choosing an agent - look at the agent's bio, what they've sold, who they represent.
3. Send out to many agents. Pray over what you're doing.
4. Comparative analysis is VERY important for non-fiction, but not so much for fiction.
5. Comparative analysis should include: How is it similar? How is it different? Compare to something well known. Give the date published, book name, info about it.
6. Most publishing houses automatically cut the agent/author checks.
I could probably write posts for the next year about all I learned at this conference. I'll have a smattering of information throughout the coming weeks, including some profound quotes.
What have you learned at conferences or from sending queries/proposals to agents and editors?

22 comments:

jean Fischer said...

Very interesting, Susan. Did you gather any information about current trends in Christian publishing? Thanks for sharing with us!

Jessica Nelson said...

Thanks for sharing all this Susan! I'd be interested in trends too, since I'm waiting for contemporary romance to get more popular.
Hope you have a lovely Labor Day!

Patti Lacy said...

Jessica, I thought contemporary romance WAS popular!
LOL.

At least compared to women's fiction right now!

But trends change!

Anyway, wise post on agents, Susan.
Patti

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jean -

What I've been hearing non-stop for several years is Amish/Romance/Historicals. I'm not aware of any changes.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

I understand your frustration. If you think contemporary romance is a hard sell, you should try futuristic fiction.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Patti -

Purely from my own observations, I'm seeing a desire for feel-good, escapism-type fiction. A reader recently commented to me that she wants to be "entertained."

Another reader said the book they're going through now is different from what they've been reading: it's real. The book is non-fiction. Hmm. I still see a great demand for fiction, but readers are very specific in what they want.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Karen Lange said...

Great points! Thanks so much for sharing this:) Have a wonderful Labor Day!
Blessings,
Karen

sarah said...

this is so helpful to me b/c right now I'm trying to query an agent/publisher. I find the whole thing overwhelming. It seems also so many agents want to know who you know and have a recommendation.

quietspirit said...

Susan:
Thank you for point #1. I guess agents are like most of us. But when I have a family issue of health, I usually do some research on that problem.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen -

Hope you enjoyed the weekend.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sarah -

I'm glad the post was helpful. The best way to meeting agents and editors is at a writers' conference.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Quiet Spirit -

Sometimes we forget they're people just like us. Many agents have blogs. It's good to read them and get to know them.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Terri Tiffany said...

Ahhh! my post didn't take. Try again:) I don't like finding the comparisons.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

Comparisons present special difficulties for me. Anything futuristic usually involves aliens, spaceships, or extremely high tech scenarios.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Sherrinda said...

Wow. That is really interesting. I would love to hear about all you've learned!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sherrinda -

I'll be sprinkling info here and there through future posts. :)

Blessings,
Susan

kristen said...

When I was very new to writing, I had a very embarrassing meeting with an editor. With a shaking hand, and quivering voice I struggled through my pitch, only to be told that they didn't publish YA.

Oops. I have research on pub. houses ever since. Lesson learned:)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kristen -

The short pitch is difficult for me, too. I think all of us have made the mistake of pitching to the wrong publisher. It's a rite of passage.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Faith Imagined said...

This was very informative. I am learning so much from your posts on the conference!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Alisa -

I'm glad they've been helpful. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Rhonda said...

I'm looking forward to hearing more about it. Sounds so, so interesting!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rhonda -

I've learned there's no way I can absorb everything at once, so I take lots of notes. CD's of the workshops are also available.

Blessings,
Susan :)