I just spent the day in Newport Beach, at the Orange Country SCBWI Agent’s Day. This great event included presentations by four fantastic kidlit agents including Mary Kole of the Andrea Brown Agency, Kevan Lyon of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, Rebecca Sherman of Writers House, and Brenda Bowen from Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. Each presentation was filled with gems and insight, inspiration and the cold hard facts. I will be blogging shortly with notes from each speaker, but in the meantime I thought I’d give you a few fun quotes, thoughts to think about, and the quick take-aways from the event (as pointed out by Ms. Bowen herself):
What I learned at Agent Day:
- It takes a village to make a book.
- Show don’t tell.
- Agents are looking for that “swept away” feeling when they read your submission.
- Beware of conference polish – this is when the first ten pages are amazing, but on page eleven… everything goes south.
- Don’t be too weird, just be weird enough.
- We are writing good books for bad children – don’t moralize your stories for kids.
- Make sure your query letter sounds like you.
- Be profitable to your publisher.
- Publishers Marketplace is a great resource. It tells the truth, but it doesn’t always tell the whole story (more on this soon).
- Don’t take it personally if someone passes on your book.
- Don’t take it personally if it takes six weeks to read your submission.
- Queries are like shopping. You may like what you see on the hanger but you don’t know if you’ll really like it until you try it on.
- When you feel like putting your pen in your eye balls, you know your book is done.
- E-rights are a hot topic, and the terms change every day.
- iPads are good!
Please be sure to stop back soon when I cover each session individually, including sizzling topics like:
1) Mock Agent and Editor Negotiations by Brenda Bowen and Rebecca Sherman.
2) Rebecca Sherman Debunks Common Myths about Agents.
3) Mary Kole Breaks Down the Market and How to Make Your Submission Sing.
4) Kevan Lyon Reveals the Inner-workings of the Client-Agent Relationship.
5) Insights on What Each Agent is Looking for Right Now!