Friday, November 20, 2009

Targeting Your Work To Publishers - An Agent's Perspective

When I read submissions that come across my desk, along with deciding if the project is something I am interested in, or if the writer is someone that I would want to work with, I also think about product placement. As a writer, it is also important that you begin to think about your work and decide where you really see that writing going. I've talked about this before, but I want to give you the view I see from my side.

When I send projects to editors, they know that the project is really something that is designed for them. I am not an agent that sends out projects to every editor out there. There are several reasons for this one.

First of all, there really is no reason to send it to a publisher that I already know the story is not right for. As we have talked, the voice of each publisher is unique and if your story isn't that voice, it is a certainty we will be seeing a rejection. Just the process of having the editor take the time to read a project and then write the rejection letter back to me is a "time suck."

Second of all, there is an issue of reputation. As an agent, I believe it is important to have editors know that I will only send them projects that I believe fit. When they see a Greyhaus Literary Agency submission, they will know the project is targeting their house for a reason.

Now what does this have to do with you as a writer. If you sign with Greyhaus (or any other agent) and they see your writing fitting at a particular house, you should listen. Sure, in your head you might see something else but they are the expert on this one. They are the ones talking to the editors to hear what they are looking for.

I should also add that for some writers, this is the reason they receive a lot of rejection letters. Their stories may be too focused and simply fit only at one house. Writing category romances is a great example of this. Your story fits there and only there. If you as a writer know that your writing is that focused, it should make you take extra care to make sure your writing fits that line perfectly.

Have a great weekend!


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