Saturday, July 31, 2010

Agent Panel: Josh Adams (Adams Literary)

Literary Agents View the Market Place
moderated by Lin Oliver

Together with his wife Tracey, they started Adams Literary in 2004. They represent everything from picture book to young adult.

"I'm here to say today that the state of the market is strong." Editors in today's market are being cautious, but there is a resurgence in hiring and acquisitions.

Timeless is what Adams Literary strives for. They are in the business for the long run and want to build careers.

"Timeless will always be timely."

Lin: Explain a little bit about foreign markets.

You want someone who will aggressively market foreign rights. Generally, it's a much better deal for you as an author having your agents negotiate foreign rights for you directly (the publishers get a percentage too).

They've seen that authors' advances can be higher in foreign markets.

Lin asks about sub rights, especially in this time of new publishing platforms.

Authors want to keep all their rights.

More and more publishers are asking for audio rights because they are looking to recoup their investment, especially with a high advance.

How should authors feel about a simultaneous release of their books traditionally as well as on another platform?

There has been talk about ebooks for years. There has been growth with ebooks but it's still a very small fraction of the traditional.

Lin: There's much discussion about self-publishing and what defines a published piece of work. How do you all feel about that?

They've noticed it used as a way for people to break into publishing. Then people come to them with a track record, having built a fan base.

Lin: How would you assess the market place? And how do you access the opportunities for people to break in in a significant way?

In some cases (not generally true) it's easier to sell a debut than an author that has one or two books under their belt because there is no track record. There are opportunities for authors who are focusing on their craft. It may be more of a challenge these days, but it can still be accomplished.

Lin asks about the client/agent relationship.

It's all about teamwork, striving for the best for the agency and their clients. It's all about communication.

Compares the relationship to being a real estate agent. They're not the interior designer, and won't go in and completely redecorate the house, but they will go in and stage it for you.

Adams Literary wants to look at the big picture with their clients; to manage and maximize earnings over the lifetime of a career.

Adams believes part of their job is instilling in their clients the confidence they need to do their best.

1 comment:

  1. Josh Adams' presentations gave a very thorough, sobering, but also inspiring overview of what an agent does - once you have one. Now for the difficult part: trying to find the right one interested in your work!