Thursday, February 20, 2014

Make Ready A Welcome

Howard Morhaim is looking for a new agent to join his literary agency.

You're thinking you don't care because you don't live in New York City and you have no desire to take a position that is more sales than artistry. If you have a manuscript in need of a rep to do that kind of selling for you, you should be very interested.

A newly arriving agent, even one with clients following in her wake, is still looking to expand her stable of authors. Such an agent is more likely to be interested in seeing your work on the chance that an unexpected gem might land in her lap via the slushpile. That interest doesn't last forever, either.

At some point, the new agent will have a full roster of talent and will shift into stabilization mode. She might take on a new client if that writer is already published and looking to switch agents. Maybe someone with a laundry list of writing awards would send a query and she'd be all over it. But for you, the unpublished and untrained? Not so much.

Kate McKean was once a fresh face eager to take on new writers. Now? She's closed to queries. She's too busy. Which means that the Howard Morhaim agency is not entertaining queries at all, unless you come recommended and you write something that Mr. Morhaim reps. Chances are, you don't. On both counts.

Maybe you should put the Howard Morhaim agency in your list of bookmarks, to be checked with ease and regularity. Eventually, an agent will be hired and then there will be three agents, at least one of whom will actually accept a query letter from you.

This being a competitive business, you have to be ready. Think the Olympics, but in publishing. Polish your query. Shine up the manuscript. And be ready to hit the send key as soon as that new agent sets up an inbox at the Howard Morhaim agency.

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