I thought this piece on what an agent expects from a client was important. I think sometimes many authors feel I’m in the same role as an agent. I’m not an agent, I’m an acquisitions editor. I don’t work for the author, I work for Oak Tree. My job is to find the best manuscripts, the most commercial and profitable books out there. I’m also a mind-reader; I have to predict what Billie Johnson wants, what she likes and doesn’t like to publish. I can be persuasive, but it always comes down to her decision. She gives me a lot of leadway and trusts my judgment.
We are striving to put out 45 books this year. That puts us in the category of mid-size press. With that, our reputation has attracted many authors to us. My box overflows with queries and manuscripts.
While I can decide on queries right away, getting a chance to read a manuscript can take a year or more. Why? Well, I don’t scan. I try to catch as many errors as possible. I ask for rewrites on scenes. I take time with each project so that Billie’s work load is cut down. I wish I could work faster, but there are steps to going from query to contract to book. On your end it seems forever. From ours it seems like a very fast pace.
It doesn’t stop there. All this Posse training was designed to get our authors ready for publication. After publication, I monitor the progess of authors. I’m the one Billie prefers as the contact person for questions so her email box stays empty.
Anyway, this article helps see things from the point of view of an agent. I’m not an agent, but I share some of the same expectations.