Writing your book was easy. All you did was sit down at the keyboard, open a vein and bleed…
But now you need an agent!
Writer’s Digest Interview with Greg Aunapu
This is an interview with Greg Aunapu of the Salkind Literary Agency (part of Studio B). Before he became an agent, he was a freelance journalist for TIME magazine and many other major publications. He is the writer/co-author of three non-fiction books and once ran a successful book-editing service that allowed him to help a number of writers become published authors.
Excerpt from WD interview:
Besides “good writing and voice,” what are you looking for right now and not getting? What do you pray for when tackling the slush pile?
For both fiction and non-fiction: riveting subject matter, written with authority. By that, I mean that the author is able to communicate an intimate knowledge of the topic and takes command from the first sentence. I want to feel like I’ve parachuted into their world and their world-view from the first paragraph and can’t help but continue reading.
What do you see people doing wrong with non-fiction proposals that reach you?
The major problem is a lack of platform, writing about a subject for which the prospective author does not seem to be an ideal choice. A strong platform means you have probably appeared in the media, been interviewed in magazines and newspapers, have published widely, and are an expert in the area about which you are writing. If what you are saying is relevant enough to the public debate, you will grow a following. But just having a bunch of Facebook friends and Twitter followers does not qualify as a platform.
What we do for you
Evaluate your work for representation...
I read every query myself. If it seems like the concept and execution is something that I can sell, and for which I would be a great agent, then I’ll ask for a larger sample, a full manuscript, or — in the case of non-fiction — usually a proposal. Not every project is ready for “prime time,” or I may simply not believe that I am the right agent for it. A lot goes into making these decisions.
Help you create a riveting non-fiction proposal.
I help authors transform good, solid proposals into “killer” proposals that get editors’ attention and create in-house “buzz.” Most editors will need a compelling proposal to circulate to an acquisition panel, so this is a vital part of selling your project.
Help with editorial development & light proofreading.
I help you create unforgettable characters, zero-in on important plot points and plot holes, hone your dialog, do basic proofreading and fashion a memorable “sense of place.”
Put your work on the desks of the top editors in the business.
Not even the most powerful agent can make an editor buy something they don’t like, but I can put your work in front of the top editors at all the major houses, where I know we will get a receptive attitude and fair read.
Negotiate the best contract we can!
Today’s publisher is very aggressive about driving a hard bargain. An agent tries to find you the best publisher for the material, then negotiates the most attractive contract they can. We try for high advances, try to keep TV / Film rights and as many ancillary rights as possible. We always try to do what is in the best interest of the client and their future career.
Help with publicity, building a website & your "author platform."
Authors must start building their platform months before a book is published. You have to be ready to hit the ground running. We help with all that, and in some cases will even build your website for you as part of our services.
What I Like!
I like mysteries, thrillers, suspense and commercial fiction with strong narratives, containing original thought, about intriguing characters in remarkable situations (Sorry, I am not currently accepting fiction submissions). The same for non-fiction! Strong stories about remarkable people and concepts.
What our clients say
We love seeing them published!
“Greg’s expertise, experience as a writer, his hard work, and above all his patience were both the keys to selling this book and keeping the author’s sanity more or less intact.”
“[Greg’s] enthusiastic review and generous feedback were greatly appreciated, and I will forever remember when he said, ‘It’s a real honor to have one’s career monumentalized as a book.'”
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