Researching agents and editors

Mine the PW rights report for information on agents selling your type of work.

If you don’t read the weekly “Rights Report” by Publisher’s Weekly then you should.  This weekly feature tells which agents have sold manuscripts to which editors.  Don’t shake your head at me.  This is a big deal.  This information isn’t as dated as most market listings.  It isn’t a laundry list of what someone might consider.  This is what they actually bought.

The report for 8/31 includes information about over a dozen editors including: Calista Brill (First Second), Karen Lotz (Candlewick), and Megan Tingley (Little, Brown).  While these editors are from closed houses, this is still important information.  Want to know which agents successully make sales to these editors?  Go to the end of the paragraph and you’ll see who prepresented each piece.

That’s the information that is most important for me right now.  From this single rights report I’ve found the names of five agents to explore.  Three represent narrative nonfiction (whoot!):  Bernadette Baker (Victoria Sanders), Stephen Barr (Writers House), and Eddie Schneider (JABberwocky).  Two more represent picture book authors who don’t also illustrate: Tracy Adams (Adams Literary) and Scott Treimel (Scott Treimel NY).

Yes these are the big names but why not shoot for the stars if they represent your kind of writing?  If they are accepting work and your work is a good fit, it makes sense to give them a try.




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