f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n: Day 2 of Agents – The Editorial Hat

f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Day 2 of Agents – The Editorial Hat

One of the hats that your agent can wear is that of editor and, in practice, many, many agents both in CBA and ABA are converted editors. (Using strict Lucasian vocabulary, we in the business call this “pulling an Anakin.” C’mon, joking.)

An agent who can think like an editor proves valuable both to publishers and to you. To publishers, these are effective screeners who consistently bring high-quality proposals from authors who show real talent.

To you, this person can point out and help you think through larger flaws in the story, can offer input to strengthen your story overall, and most thoroughly communicate the vision of your story since they understand from the nuts and bolts level.

This facet of agent-dom is most responsible for your “writing” career. They focus on the writing. They help you shape a future that makes room for your developing artistry. They’ll support you when you want to take a justifiable risk with your writing or your story. They’ll see that even John Grisham should write a Painted House now and then.

Having only editorial sense, however, could possibly translate to weaker communication on the level the publisher needs to speak—sales. It’s also no guarantee of negotiating abilities or business acumen. So while this is a wonderful trait to have in your agent, it can’t be the only one.
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Continue to Day 3 of Agents.