I hope you all enjoyed Super Bowl Sunday! I don’t really watch football, but I know a lot of people were excited about the game!
As literary agents, one of the ways we can serve our clients is to pass along the surprise publishing opportunities that come our way. A lot of times, editors from publishing houses will send along notes about what they are looking for to agents they enjoy working with and we are able to match a client with the editor’s need. This happens for fiction and nonfiction writing.
Here are some examples:
1) An editor came to one of our agents and asked if a big-name author would be available to write a book on a specific topic. That author didn’t have time in her schedule for a new project so the agent suggested another client to fill the need.
2) An editor told us that he was looking for a book in a certain genre and wondered if we had an author who could write it. We suggested a few of our clients who were ready and willing to write that book; the editor picked the best fit.
3) A contracted author at a publishing house missed his or her deadline, and the editor filled the scheduling hole with a Books & Such client’s project because the book was already completed and ready to go.
4) An editor let us know about a new collection that the publishing house was putting together and we were able to send guidelines out for clients to audition for the openings.
I’d say opportunities like this pop up at least fifteen times each year. We love it when we’re able to match a publisher’s need with one of our client’s writing interests.
This does require a writer to be willing to write a book that isn’t exactly what he or she had planned and sometimes requires the author to come up with a storyline for a book really quickly or to change plans to meet a quick deadline. So it’s very important to remain flexible if you would like to fill an unforeseen publishing slot. These openings have allowed some of our debut writers to get books published that have then launched their writing careers.
Having an agent can bring wonderful publishing opportunities your way. It’s because of our relationships with these editors and our reputation in the industry that these opportunities are presented to us for our clients. I hope if you don’t have an agent yet that this blog will encourage you to keep seeking representation and, if you are already represented, know that this is one more thing that your agent is doing for you. While actively working to sell your current projects, we are also promoting you and your ability to write to fill unexpected publishing opportunities.
Do you believe you would be flexible enough to fill a need on short notice?
Does this type of writing appeal to you?