Laura Rennert has a PHD in English literature, is an author of both a picture book (Buying, Training and Caring for your Dinosaur, and the chapter book Royal Princess Academy: Dragon Dreams.) She has been a senior agent with Andrea Brown Literary Agency since 1998.
The panel's focus is "What Hooks Me" and it covered topics including cover and query letters, how each agents sees their role (editorial or not?) and clients building a brand.
Here are some highlights of what Rubin and Laura shared:
I love to open a package or click on a file and feel the potential…
Looking for an author and/or illustrator who is able to "tell a story and bring me into their world."
"I don't get attracted to a one book relationship… I want a relationship to grow." It's very satisfying to watch something start small and see it go big.
It starts with one book… and that's the foundation upon which more will grow.
She referred to herself as a "literary omnivore."
Looking for works that "explore universals in incredibly idiosyncratic ways."
Think about the voice of your cover letter.
"When you are ready to go out with your project [to submit to an agent], you should feel like you've done everything you can" to get it as far as you can.
The client should be the CEO of their own business. She considers her role more that of COO.
She asks herself: "What makes this author stand out in this crowded category?"