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When the Book Just Isn’t Right for Me

All agents, like authors, have areas of expertise. As per our submissions page, I’ve been focusing my efforts on mystery, suspense, thrillers, upmarket, literary, and women’s fiction. I’m also seeking select nonfiction–mostly alternative health, business, and self-improvement.

But what happens when an agent finds something in their inbox that they absolutely love, but that falls outside of these areas?

Well, as with many things, this just depends.

I’m not representing a ton of new romance authors right now. I’m leaving that primarily to the other agents at BookEnds. That being said, I do have knowledge, experience and an understanding of the romance market and if I absolutely fell in love with a romance I would definitely represent it.

There are plenty of times however that I get say, a memoir disguised as personal growth. I’m not representing any memoir right now, but if I really think it’s interesting I might pass it on to someone else.

Knowing Your Strengths

How an agent handles that book they love, but might not be right for them, really depends on the agent. But ultimately, all agents can only represent what we can sell and there are a lot of variables to that.

In order to sell a book I need to understand the market for the book.

I need to know how to tedit it and make it the best it can be.

I need to know the right editors for the book.

And I need to know if the book is even something that will sell in today’s market.

If I have the knowledge for all of those things, and I’m passionate about the book I’ll definitely jump on board. If not, I’ll likely pass or forward it on to another agent at BookEnds.

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3 comments

  1. For those who don’t know, ‘Tedditing’ it getting a packet teddy bear stickers holding love hearts and adhering them to sentences that need some love.

    That all sounds very reasonable. ( Your post, not what I just said )

  2. Love tedit (thanks for the explanation, Kim). And I think the flip side is, we all want an agent who is as passionate about our work and is the best to represent it. If an agent doesn’t think they tick the box on that then I’d rather they say so.

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