Friday, May 14, 2010

Keep Your Day Job

Julie Barer has opened her own agency, Barer Literacy. In an interview on Galley Cat, she talks about her agency and what she represents, e-books, and how to pitch her.

Here are a few snippets from the interview:
For me, it's about more than just making the deal, or getting the most money, it's about the author's career.

This means helping get the work in the best editorial shape before it goes out on submission, finding the right editor and the best house for each individual project, and working with the author on every step of the publication process from jacket copy and website development to publicity, social marketing, paperback publication and beyond.

The smaller my list, the better able I am to help my clients work with their publicity and marketing departments to ensure that their books are published as successfully as possible.

… the harder you work with your publisher to promote the book by publishing stories or nonfiction essays to raise your profile, by blogging and keeping your website active, by thinking outside of the box in terms of marketing and publicity, the better your book will do.
Barer represents fiction and loves historical fiction and international fiction. (She also loves karaoke.)

Barer had many years of experience before she opened her own agency. When you query, are you put off by a new agency? Or do you look, not at the agency as a whole, but at the individual agent you’re querying?
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24 comments:

  1. I think, for some, it represents a great opportunity to get in with an agency.

    Many times these new agents already have contacts in the industry, which helps.

    Elizabeth
    Mystery Writing is Murder

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  2. Very true, Elizabeth. Since Barer has been in the business years before opening her own agency, she has experience and contacts.

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  3. Juli Barer sounds like a dedicated literary agent. So glad she has the stamina to enter this business as an agent.

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  4. Juli sounds like a go-getter. She has her background and asks her authors to work as diligently on theirs. Makes sense to me. New doesn't necessarily mean unknowing.
    Maribeth
    Giggles and Guns

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  5. I think if the agency is new but the agent has all that experience it lends credibility to the agency more than just some new startup.

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  6. I do look first at the individual agent, seeking a good fit. The agency as a whole is important not regarding whether or not it's new, but more the type of general essence they have in terms of genres and sales, their attitude that might come across in blogs, that sort of thing.

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  7. I don't think it would matter either way. Every business has to start somewhere.

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  8. I'd probably be more concerned about the individual agent than the whole agency.

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  9. It seems to be they're both important, but the individual agent would come at the top of my list, I think.

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  10. If an agent has an established past, then I would query them when they go it alone.

    I am sure they would not leave an established agency, without building their own strong foundations first.

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  11. I think the most important quality in an agent is that he or she be enthusiastic about your project. Experience in the industry is also important. A new agent who is hungry for sales and has the enthusiasm and experience can open a lot of doors for the author.

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  12. I don't think it matters if it's a new agency, as long as the agent is dedicated and comes from a good place in their heart. This one sounds like she does.
    Karen

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  13. Sounds like a perfect blend of experience and newness, and caring, that will work wonders for some lucky authors.

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  14. Just wanted to say hello, following you now, found you on Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog...he is a sweetie, isn't he!!!

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  15. I agree Shannon - Alex is a sweetie.

    Maybe this particular agent will be a match for someone here.

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  16. Thanks for the notification! :)

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  17. I tend to look at the person behind a newer agency. If that person is reputable, I feel a little better. thanks for the info, Helen.

    Have a great weekend! :-)

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  18. Definitely the agent. I think veteran agents are often camplacent when their lot and don't work as hard to make sales as do young, gung-ho agents with a reputation to build.

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  19. At this point, I'm just thankful I can submit a query letter. If they'll accept it, I'll send it.

    Stephen Tremp

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  20. I am not put off by a new agency. In fact, it can be good to seriously consider submitting there if the agency handles what you are writing. In my opinion, making sure you are a good fit is the most important consideration.

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  21. If agents and publishers are willing to risk money on a new author, shouldn't we be willing to take a risk with new agencies and publishing houses?

    That's the way I look at it.

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  22. Wouldn't the margin be too small for ebook authors to have an agent...

    Steamy Darcy

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  23. Enid, a lot of agents are now negotiating both e-rights and the regular print rights. Both are now covered in your contract with the publisher. (And it's good to have an agent who can negotiate those.)

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