agents Archive

Drunken Acknowledgments, 2 A.M.

Author: | Categories: Writing No comments
A book is a labor of love, and this novel would not have been possible without the help of several people, and several bottles of wine—the last of which I’m enjoying right now. Infinite thanks to my editor, X, who talked me out of six bad titles, seven ill-advised

The Ploughshares Round-Down: No, Books Aren’t a Lost Cause

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Have you ever shown up at a party only to find out the keg’s already been emptied? I meet a lot of writers who feel like that’s what happened to books. They’ve chosen to write a book at a time when that’s as old fashioned as typing it up

The Ploughshares Round-Down: How To Screw Up A Book Proposal

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When I first start working on a proposal or a manuscript with a writer, I tell them I have two stages of advice: breaking things and fixing things. At first, I’m going to keep asking hard questions and recommending big changes, until I think the writer has said what that writer wanted

The Ploughshares Round-Down: Do White Male Editors Only Publish White Male Books?

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For most of the nonfiction books I sell, the editors I’m selling to have a lot of objective information on hand to guess at a title’s potential success: the author’s Twitter following, other books on the same subject, other books by the same author, the popularity of magazine articles

The Ploughshares Round-Down: Four Kinds of Editors (and Agents) You’ll Meet In Publishing Heaven

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A rule I learned as an editor: when you look at a book’s acknowledgments, the effusiveness of praise for an editor is inversely proportional to the effort he or she put into the book. If a writer goes on and on about her editor, that editor did almost nothing.

The Ploughshares Round-Down: How to Make Your Book Popular

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As an agent, it’s my job to figure out what’s going to be popular among readers. I’m looking not only for books that editors will like now, but that the rest of the world will like eighteen months from now. Luckily, I only have to figure this out for

Q&A: Literary Agent Anna Stein O’Sullivan

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Q: First things first: how did you become an agent? A: I resisted initially, spent five years trying to find a different calling, and finally realized that being an agent was exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I worked for an agent (the