Lee Wind leads The SCBWI 2023 Winter Conference "TEAM BLOG" (Justin Campbell, Jamie Temairik, and Jolie Stekly) for up-to-the minute conference countdowns and LIVE BLOGGING from the in-person conference floor!
First something that's not a secret: agents take 15% commision (sometimes 20%)
As an agents he's there to provide support for their authors. He's also there to negitiate rights, but that's just one of the many services we provide.
What's their strategy? Do what we know. Do what we love. Do it really well. Do it really really well. "Agenting is not a 9 to 5 job for us. It's out lives."
Agents, he says, don't "sell books" Instead, he sayd, they license an array of rights for clients.
Josh says it's not always about looking for which publisher offers that highest advance. A publisher offering long-term commitment and support is more valuable. (He gave a great example of a long-term view versus a short-term view.)
Contracts, says Josh, are bot the least interesting and the most important aspect of his job as an agent.
For an agents, it's all about who you know. Josh has (295 editors as contacts in his phone.) Adams Lierary works with a large array of editor on many levels (from associate to VP) to find the right match for their clients.
He reminds writers that agents aren't magicians. Supply and demand affects that they do, and finding a writer-editor match involves a lot of hard work.
TIP: If they get material that is really trendy, they are less likely to consider it. "Timeless will always be timely" when it comes to book. They are not looking for the next TWILIGHT or the next HARRY POTTER. They're looking for the first of something. (They love debuts.)
Last year they got 6,000 submission. It's really important to grab them early with both your pitch letter and your work.