Q: Don’t you have to be in New York to be a good/successful/relevant/badass agent?
A: There may have been a time that was true, but that time has long passed! There are amazing agencies all over the country– such as the Nelson Agency (Colorado), Andrea Brown Agency (California) and the Knight Agency (Georgia). In fact, our Foreign rights specialist, Taryn Fagerness, is also located in Washington–and she’s sold to publishers all over the world! Plus, Linda Epstein is located in New York so she keeps her finger on the pulse for us over there.
We all make a point to go to New York annually to meet with the major US publishers, and we attend conferences and other industry events. Most business–at every agency, including those in New York– is done by phone and email. Location is irrelevant!
Q: Do you work with debut authors? Do you really read queries? Be honest, I have to know someone to get a book deal, right?
A: We sign debuts all the time, mostly from the slush pile (query inbox!). You most definitely don’t have to know anyone. Most debut book deals, even those for six figures, are by writers who have no connections and no publishing credits to their name. In fact, one ECLA author was a middle school teacher before she landed a six figure deal with Harper Collins. Another was a stay at home mother before her debut novel sold at auction. If the book is amazing, we want to see it!
Q: Do you offer a written agreement? What are your terms?
A: Yes, we have a written author’s agreement. We operate on an industry standard 15% commission for domestic sales, 20% for dramatic rights (split with the co-agent) and 25% on foreign (split with our foreign rights co-agent and her local agents within each territory.)