Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Best Literary Agents

(I was sick, so pardon the long break between posts. But I'm feeling better. Now, where was I?)

Jeff Kleinman isn't one of the true gentlemen in the literary agent business just because he asked for more of my manuscript to review ... but maybe it didn't hurt. He eventually decided not to take me on, but I was impressed by Jeff's commitment to searching out new authors who suddenly show up in his e-mail file. I sent to Jeff one day and got a reply the next. In the world of agents, that's megaspeed. Every agent should appreciate what it means to an author to get that kind of response time. I had done lots of research on Jeff before I filed with him, and he has built an impressive background. He's one of the agent/lawyer combinations, the head of Folio Literary Management. In one interview, he said his day often consists of checking his e-mail at home, going to the office and checking e-mail, getting home and checking e-mail, etc. That kind of commitment to authors without the necessary publishing street cred is laudable.

Kristin Nelson reportedly gets the most queries of any agent, and she takes on a precious few new authors. She rejected my project ... in a form letter no less ... but I put her up near the top of my list for one reason. She writes the best blog in the business. It's called PubRants, and I highly recommend it. Kristin tells a lot in her short postings ... just the kind of stuff we First-Timers need to understand the publishing world a little better. She's witty and professional, informative and entertaining. I really hoped we could establish some kind of Denver connection ... her office is just a few blocks from where I work in downtown Denver ... but I still hold out hope.

Three agents earn honorable mention. Sorche Elizabeth Fairbank writes an almost lyrical rejection letter, and some of her interviews contain vital information for any aspiring author. She is a true professional. Andrea Somberg at Harvey Klinger did a one-day turnaround on replying to my query, and that was much appreciated. Molly Friedrich just sent out a letter to every author who has filed with her, bemoaning the fact that her agency had to abandon its long-time policy of replying directly to each author because the flood of queries has become so much. I appreciate her contact, just because I know the situation she and her agency faces.

I have empathy for all the agents I have contacted. Judging by Friedrich's letter, the number of queries has increased greatly. I can't isolate a reason, but I can imagine being on the receiving end of hundreds of queries a week. Help!!!!

One of these days, that first date of query letter-to-agent will work out for me. I am a patient man. Good things take time.

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