Saturday, August 2, 2014

Steve Malk and Linda Pratt: Agent's Panel

Steve Malk of my favorite agency, Writers House! (with Lisa Yee's Peep)

Linda Pratt of my second favorite agency, Wernick and Pratt!

Lin asks the panel what hooks them:

A hole is to dig, and Mac and Jon are digging a hole—
I think that title font is even an homage to the
Krauss/Sendak book, so nice.
Steve: "I love finding something that references a classic but layers their own point of view on top. With Jon Klassen I thought I could see immediately all of his influences but... he put a fresh point of view on top of that... took it in a completely new direction."

Linda: "I'm looking to meet somebody on a page that intrigues me from the very beginning. Something that I haven't seen before that makes me wonder why I haven't seen it before because it's so obviously interesting."

"And cover letter first, I want to meet that character on the page, but I also want to get a sense of the person I'm going to be working with. I want to know you're going to go out in the world as a professional."

Lin wants to know more about Linda's wishes for a cover letter:

Linda: "I want to know you've done your research, a brief summary of what your work is about, why you're submitting to me, and any credentials you have." (Like that you are an SCBWI member, not that you read your book to a bunch of third graders and they say they liked it and/or didn't fling boogers at you.)

Steve: Cover letters are really important, it's your opportunity to establish yourself as a professional. This is your career, so you should be taking it very seriously. If the letter has misspellings, reads like you just dashed it off, you're kind of selling yourself short.

A good cover letter will predispose us to want to like your work because we know you are serious about your career.

Did you know Marla's BOSS BABY is going to be a movie soon?????
Lin asks, "When you're taking on a new client, do you need to see a brand or be able to see the potential of one?"

Steve: The word brand can be tricky, it can scare certain authors, what if you don't have a narrow focus or niche? Your brand is who you are as a writer, it may be that your brand is that you write cross genres. Don't feel boxed in by the word "brand." For illustrators you don't need to feel like you can only work in one style or one character. Let your brand be that you do amazing work, like Marla Frazee. Everything she does is amazing, but her work is not confined to one character.

Linda: Sure, Hunger Games, Twilight, and Mo Willems are a brand of one type, but LeUyen Pham is an amazing talent and has a range of styles, she adapts her style to the book or project.

Did you know LeUyen is illustrating something for SHANNON HALE?!?

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