Blogger: Rachel Kent
I was interviewed before the Northwest Christian Writers’ Renewal Conference by writer Kirk Kraft. This blog was posted on the NCWA site originally, but Kirk was kind enough to give me permission to post it here. I hope you are able to gain some insight from my answers and I’d love to hear any questions/comments you might have in response to my answers.
KIRK: Could you describe a typical day in the life of an agent at Book and Such Literary?
RACHEL: Each day in my week looks a little different because I try to do certain tasks on specific days, but generally I check my emails and answer the really important ones first. Then I negotiate contracts, edit proposals, or read manuscripts for my clients; send out submissions to editors; and if I have time in a day I’ll read queries and submissions from potential clients.
KIRK: How vital do you believe social media is to writers today? Is it necessary to sell a book?
RACHEL: Having a presence online is extremely important these days. I’m not sure that you need to be everywhere, but joining Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads is a great start for an author. I also believe that a professional website is a must for all writers even if they don’t have a book published yet. I will often go check an author’s website if I’m considering representing him or her and I like to find a professional, friendly page with information about that person. If I can’t find a website, I am less likely to take on that author as a client. It’s necessary to sell a book in my opinion, but there are always exceptions.
KIRK: How often do you fall in love with a query and possibly a partial, only to be disappointed the longer you read the manuscript?
RACHEL: I’m guessing here, but I’d say out of the queries I receive I request only 1 proposal out of every 200 submissions. Out of the requested proposals, I ask for a full manuscript from 1 out of 30. Of the full manuscripts I read I only offer representation to 1 out of 5 authors. These statistics don’t hold true for writers I meet at conferences. I request more proposals from conferences because I know that those authors are working hard on the writing craft and have invested time and money into making their manuscripts better.
KIRK: What types of thirty-something nonfiction are you interested in seeing?
RACHEL: I’m looking for issue-oriented fiction and nonfiction projects for thirty-somethings. Books that relate directly to what thirty-somethings are going through during that time of life. For example: reconnecting with a spouse after having children; coming to the end of having babies and dealing with knowing you are done with that part of your journey; and balancing work and a family. These types of ideas can be presented in fiction and nonfiction and I’m interested in both.
KIRK: What are you currently reading?
RACHEL: Robin Jones Gunn’s FINALLY & FOREVER, the fourth book in the Katie Weldon series. (Note, I’m now reading INSURGENT by Veronica Roth.)
KIRK: Please describe your dream client.
RACHEL: I could write an entire blog series on qualities I look for in clients, but to keep it simple I want I client who is:
easy to get along with, patient, a great writer, and willing to work hard.
I’ve also blogged recently on the topic of clients, so feel free to check out those blogs if you’d like to know more:
Any questions or comments? Thanks for reading!