The agent/author relationship is a partnership. Just as an agent is your representative within the publishing industry, clients also represent their agent, so it’s important that we’re a good fit.
I firmly believe that no agent is better than the wrong agent, so I’ve created this page for you to get to know more about me before our call with some Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom.
A little about me.
My life changed in 2012 when I attended my first writers conference. I walked away with the title of Writer of the Year, two literary agent offers, plus several interested publishers. I signed with an agent that week and my debut book sold three months later.
Life has never been the same.
Since then, I’ve worked within the publishing industry as an author, ghostwriter, proposal creator, editor, and marketing strategist. I have been published traditionally with all my books, both within the inspirational Christian market, as well as in the ABA general market under a pen name.
My passion for marketing came after reading Sally Hogshead’s How the World Sees You. I went back to school and graduated with my masters degree in communications where I got to focus on both marketing and PR.
One of my businesses within the writing and publishing industry focused on proposal creation and marketing strategy for writers, as well as conducting marketing strategy for authors with a traditional publishing house. My business partner opened her own children’s imprint (she’s a bestselling children’s author in her own right) and I chose to move into the agenting side of the industry.
I’ve won multiple awards for my books, as well as my marketing campaigns, and am excited to champion other writers and help strengthen their journeys and careers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do you wear gloves sometimes? What is a colophony allergy?
I wear gloves a lot because I have a contact allergy to colophony, an ingredient commonly used in ink, paper, adhesives, photos, sawdust, anything waterproof, and non-BPA plastics. Basically, I’m allergic to my own books.
There is no known cure, so I’m forced to either wear gloves or deal with the unhappy consequences.
Can you explain what you mean by "clients represent their agent"?
One reason writers want an agent is because of the agent’s contacts within the industry. When I’m considering an offer of representation, I’m not only thinking about the manuscript, but I’m also considering the professionalism of the writer. I’ve seen authors show the worst of themselves to publishing house editors…and now as an agent, those are the relationships that I need to keep intact for all my authors.
You're a new agent, so will I be working with anyone else in the agency?
While I have autonomy with my clients, Cyle Young, the owner of C.Y.L.E., oversees all contracts and is my go-to for questions or assistance. His agency has sold over 400 books for his clients within the last several years, ranging from small to “the big” publishers, so his experience is there for you and for me.
Do you use a written agreement or contract?
We have a written contract that we send via Adobe DocuSign.
What are the agency commission rates?
The industry standard is an 85/15% commission split, with 85% for the author and 15% for the agency. Never pay an agent upfront. For the majority of book contracts, the publisher will send the payouts in two payments: one for the agency and one for the author.
There are very few exceptions where an author will have to send an agent their 15% commission. The only time I have ever had to do this was when I was the ghostwriter on a project (technically speaking, I’m not the author). Despite many contract negotiations, the publisher refused to separate my check and my agent’s check. It was one of those weird situations and I’ve never seen it happen again.
For film rights, this can jump to 20% because if there is an agency split, it drops to 10% for each agent, with 80% for the author.
Each contract will include specifics for each project, so this is just some general and basic info.
I've published books before. Would you get a percentage of those sales?
No. Our agency agreement is not for any previously published books.
Can you share about your process?
My submission strategy is tailored to each client, but I hope this offers an overall understanding of my process:
- I work with authors who write in more than one genre.
- If you’re writing in more than one genre, we can shop multiple manuscripts as long as they’re non-competing.
- I will work with you on the proposal, particularly the marketing section.
- I will help with the developmental edit of the proposal portion of the manuscript and chapters. Once a publishing contract is offered, their editorial team steps in.
- During contract negotiations, I help ensure you understand the aspects of the contract.
- I am available if any situation arises with the publisher.
- I will help with career guidance to give you the best possible chance of success!
Who is your ideal client?
I believe the agent/author relationship is a partnership. We don’t work for you; we work with you.
I look for authors who are:
- Willing to market
- Respectful of deadlines
Do I have a say in what publishers get shopped?
Of course! One of your jobs as an author is to have a happy healthy relationship with the publishing house editors. We’ll talk through the publishers you’re interested in and the ones I believe will be a great fit. Once the proposal and chapters/pages are finalized and ready to be shopped, I’ll submit the manuscript to the editors at the publishing houses. The inner workings of that strategy will be discussed individually with each client.
Is the contract for all books or just for this one book?
Either. We can contract for this one project or we can contract for this plus upcoming books.
If you’re writing a book outside the genre(s) I normally acquire, we have some options. This situation most often comes up when an author moves across broad genres. As an example, not all agents represent picture books, so you may have your agent represent your fiction and a different agent represent children’s.