Here on Daily (w)rite, as part of the guest post series, it is my absolute pleasure today to welcome the wonderful Abby Saul, literary agent at The Lark Group. She’ s given a lot of sensible advice on the dreaded query process, some of which I’ve highlighted in blue!
Thanks for letting me come on your blog, Damyanti!
Agents and the whole publishing process sometimes get a bad rap because writers feel like there are hoops to jump through and too many pitfalls to possibly avoid. I love opportunities like this to dispel those myths. Yes, there are ways things are done in this business and it behooves you as an author to know those ins and outs, but at the core agents are people who are looking for great reads. If you have that – and present it well – you’re going to find success!
- How and why did you become a literary agent?
I love books. I knew I wanted to work with books and when I interned at a literary agency in college, I was hooked by the business of agenting and how it required (daily!) a mixture of editorial work, reading skills, business acumen, and sales and negotiation. It is such an incredible side of the industry – and incredibly challenging – that I knew it was where I wanted my career in books to take me. I spent a few years on the publisher side of things working on big brand cookbooks and digital initiatives, and then came back to fiction and agenting with all that insider knowledge. (The toughest and most valuable lesson I learned when I started working in publishing was that this is a business. A love of books is what draws people like me to, and keeps us doing, this work, but our day-to-day is not all reading for fun. There are tough decisions, financial problems, and moments of heartbreak alongside the amazing thrill of discovery and the joy of falling into a new world that an author has created.)