If you want a lighthearted yet no-nonsense guide to traditional publishing, look no further than Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors and Literary Agents.
I love writers and publishers guides. They’re on my Christmas list every year. But this is the first one I’ve read cover to cover and come back for more. And that’s saying something.
Laid out like any other writers guide, there are essays and articles on writing advice, publishing information, and an introduction to planet literary agent before getting to the good stuff. The listings. Who’s buying, who’s selling, who’s looking for what and when. It’s all good stuff, and I can’t get enough.
Jeff Herman has a wonderful sense of humour, which helps make typical writing and publishing advice come alive and keeps the reader engaged. The listings follow an interesting format, with the agency or agent answering a series of questions. It gives you a good sense of who they are and what they do and each get equal space in the book.
- Describe the kinds of works you want to represent
- Describe what you definitely don’t want to represent
- How do you want writers to pitch to you?
- Describe your education and professional history
- How did you become an agent?
- Knowing what you do now, would you do it again? If not, what might you do instead?
- Do you charge fees? If yes, please explain
- When and where were you born, and where have you lived?
- What do you like to do when you’re not working?
- List some of the titles you have recently placed with publishers
- Describe your personality
- What do you like reading/watching/listening to on your own time?
- Do you think the business has changed a lot over the past few years? If yes, please explain
- What do the “Big 5” mean to you?
- How do you feel about independent/small presses?
- What are your feelings about self-publishing?
- Do you think Amazon is good or bad—or both—for the book business?
- What do you like and dislike about your job?
- What are ways prospective clients can impress you, and what are ways they can turn you off?
- How would you describe the “writer from hell”?
- Describe a book you would like to write
- Do you believe in a higher and/or lower “power”?
There’s also a section dedicated to Canadian publishers, which I heart.
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Jeff Herman’s Guide To Book Publishers, Editors and Literary Agents synopsis
The Writer’s Best Friend and Bible!
Writers, agents, and editors all agree that Jeff Herman’s Guide is the must have, go-to reference for everyone who writes. This book will get you past the slush piles and into the hands of the people who have the power to publish.
With Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors and Literary Agents you will learn the names and contact information for hundreds of agents and editors, and will be given the “code” for how to win them over. More comprehensive than ever, this 21st edition will give you all the insider information you need to get published, including how to write knockout pitch letters and proposals, as well as an expanded Canadian section.
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