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.
- 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).
- If you are successfully published, but agentless, I’m interested.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.