The last time I posted here, I was a senior editor for a large Christian publishing company. Now, only a few months later, I’m making the transition to becoming a literary agent. The notion had been in my mind for a  long time and circumstances opened up for me to join Greg Johnson’s wonderful WordServe Literary.

This new adventure should give me fresh fodder for my posts in my “A Writer’s Way of Seeing” blog.  But to start with, can I share some of what I’d like to see happen in publishing (particularly Christian publishing) and then let you know what I’d like to see as an agent? (Yes, I’m looking for a few new clients).

First, I hope we see the marketplace welcome deeper books, more books that reflect original thinking, and more children’s and YA books. Memoir too. I’d love to see Christian publishing on the cutting edge of the publishing world. I’d love to see some recognition of worthy novels and non-fiction books that rival anything on the New York Times bestsellers list.

As to what I’d like to see–well, certainly some of the above. Plus, like any book-lover, I have certain favorites and a few hunches as to what I think might sell. Some of you who have attended my workshops have heard some of this before, so bear with me.

  1. Yes, it’s undeniable that “platform” is still important. If you are a serious writer and have a way of reaching readers, I’m interested (fiction or non-fiction).
  2. If you are successfully published, but agentless, I’m interested.
  3. For fiction, I’d like to see well-crafted mysteries, romances with an original voice and unique characters, historical fiction, and, yes Amish (well-written). I’m still looking for mysteries that are in the same genre (sometimes called modern Gothic) as Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Holt, and Dorothy Eden. If you know those names, you know what I’m looking for.
  4. For non-fiction, I’d love to see some very well-crafted memoirs, how-to books (if you have a platform), unique cookbooks, health books, and books that are impulse items (not requiring a platform).
  5. Children’s books that are superlative. No mediocrity.

I think that will do as a start. If you write what I’ve described above, you can e-mail a query to me at nick@wordserveliterary.com and then give me a week or two to reply. Watch my blog for updates on what I see selling. Also, I hope to continue my occasional posts on the how-tos of great writing.

Now, get off the internet and go back to your work-in-progress.

18 replies
    • Nick Harrison
      Nick Harrison says:

      Nick, I will blog on this, but basically impulse books are ones that sell due to their content, not their author’s fame. I’ve done a few. A baby name book, a WWJD devotional. Actually, the best selling book right now is by an author with no platform: Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.

      Reply
  1. Kathryn Barker
    Kathryn Barker says:

    Nick,

    I’m very excited to read of your new adventure. Our mutual friend, Cathy Elliott, mentioned you are now an agent. I remember meeting you at the Oregon Christian Writers Conference and your were so kind to me…it was my first conference and you made me feel welcome. You’ll be a terrific agent!

    Wishing you much success and many blessings.

    Reply
  2. Terri Picone
    Terri Picone says:

    Congratulations, Nick. You didn’t mention contemporary women’s fiction, hopefully we’ll-written. Is that a possibility? I’m in the editing process of one of those. Looking forward to your posts.

    Reply
  3. Terri Picone
    Terri Picone says:

    Congratulations, Nick. You didn’t mention contemporary women’s fiction, hopefully well-written. Is that a possibility? I’m in the editing process of one of those. Looking forward to your posts.

    Reply
  4. Pat Durmon
    Pat Durmon says:

    Congratulations, Nick. We are FB friends. I’ve been watching the process since you mentioned you were in transition. I wish you well. I’m noticing you have not mentioned poetry. Do you know anyone who represents Free Verse contemporary poets? I have just published (self published) my third book: Push Mountain Road by Pat Durmon. My first book was a chapbook published by Pudding House. My next book will be Common Miracles. Already in the midst of it. Thanks for any feedback on this. Appreciate that you are out there connecting with authors. We need you.

    Reply
  5. Wendy L Macdonald
    Wendy L Macdonald says:

    Congratulations on your new position, Nick.
    I’m glad you mentioned an interest in my two favorite things to read, mystery and memoir.
    These are also the two genres I hope to get published in one day.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

    Reply
  6. Mike Elliott
    Mike Elliott says:

    Nick, you have alway represented our All-Wise Lord in our communications in the past. I expect you will do the same in your new endeavor! His Glory should be every Christain writer’s purpose and I know that’s your hope as well.
    Congratulations on the new adventure.

    Reply
  7. muriel gladney
    muriel gladney says:

    Hi Nick
    Its good to see you embark on your new journey. I know you will be successful. I love that you are interested in non-fiction books with a deeper content that will help people really live a Jesus life in the full knowledge that He is Unchanged in His eternal love for us.
    I believe my book/s are such. Yes, I am working on book number 2.
    I will send you a query on book 2.
    always in Christ
    Muriel

    Reply
  8. Christopher McCormick
    Christopher McCormick says:

    I’ve got a best selling masterpiece ready to go. One that will do just as great but probably better than Jesus Calling. To get this out there we must land with someone like Zondervan or Thomas Nelson or Just as Great for it to work well. I am interested in speaking with you if you believe this can be done. My partner wrote this years ago. It has been professionally edited since I got involved and with my business background and walk in Faith there is no doubt its on the right track to do this and more. If you would like to speak about this, you are the first one I am reaching about this.

    Reply

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