Blogger: Wendy Lawton
The last two Tuesdays I posted blogs about what I’m looking for in both newly-published writers and unpublished writers. Today I’ll talk about the well-published writer. This writer:
- Has a following and a built-in audience for each book.
- Has an ever-growing reader list and carefully cultivates those readers.
- Has a distinctive brand and is well known for it.
- Is known by most of the publishers. And most would love to have a chance to make an offer for this writer’s next book.
- Usually has a regular rhythm to his or her writing and publishes on a set schedule.
I love representing the well-published client. From an agent’s point of view, it’s a great opportunity to take someone who’s already doing everything right and strategize ways to move them up to best-seller status. I love this challenge!
Perhaps the biggest obstacle in considering this writer is that most well-established writers are already agented. We agents have an unspoken agreement never to poach one another’s clients so the only way we’d be able to sign the well-published author is if he or she has left his agent for some reason, the agent has retired or, the rare case of an author who has never been agented. I’ve had established writers who changed markets–from ABA to CBA–and looked for a specialist in that market. And I’ve had editors bring the client to me.
As for what I look for, it’s the same as with other writers: great writing, voice, professionalism and personality. For me, it is a special delight to sign a writer whose work I’ve long enjoyed as a reader. This has happened a number of times, and nothing is more fun.
If you missed any posts on what I’m looking for in a client at every level, you can read here about unpublished authors and here about newly-published authors. Next Tuesday I’ll write about A-List authors.
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