Almost every week you hear me talk about the need for an agent thats right for you, and yet almost every week I get a reply to a submission that says, Come on. If you find it interesting, why dont you give it another chance? Because, in truth, its not fair to you that I do.
I find a lot of books interesting. I am an avid cook and love cookbooks. I read memoirs in the winter and literary novels when theyre recommended to me and, as a parent, I read lots and lots of childrens books. I find them all interesting and enjoy most of them. However, I dont represent them. Because theres a big difference in liking a book enough to read it for pleasure and representing it.
In order to be the best agent I can be and the most successful for you, I need to know the market. I need to have contacts within the publishing houses and with editors, but most important, I need to understand what makes a book work in that genre. There is no way I could represent childrens books because I have no idea what would make one alphabet book better than another.
Thats why I cant stress enough the importance of getting an agent who represents the types of books you write. Its not going to do anyone any good to try to convince an agent to work with you. If she doesnt have the passion for your book or knowledge of the market, she can do more harm than good.