Saturday, August 1, 2015

Jenny Bent: The Agents' Panel

Jenny Bent founded The Bent Agency in 2009; the agency now has nine agents, offices in New York City and London, and a strong focus on international rights. Her authors include SE Green, Tera Lynn Childs, AG Howard, and Lynn Weingarten. She is actively looking for new clients across all categories of middle grade and young adult. Her website is and you can find her on Twitter @jennybent.

Highlights of Jenny's comments:

She starts out with mentioning some of her recent debut author sales, saying she has a lot of debut authors.

For YA she's looking for edgy, different, manuscripts that could almost be adult books, that push the envelope.

Calling herself "highly editorial," Jenny speaks of working with her clients on "at least two or three drafts before sending everything out."

As publishers are consolidating, she sees herself as "ever more of a protector," holding onto rights for her authors, and then being active about selling them. (Rights outside the primary U.S. deal like audio, foreign and film.)

"My big thing as an agent is honesty." Jenny explains her clients know when she praises their work that she's being real about it because when things aren't working she tells them about it. "What I'm looking for in a client is someone who will be honest back with me... Respect and honesty on both sides."

There's lots more discussion, about consolidation, social media, and even how her agency posts what they're looking for, once a month on their blog.

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