on Writer’s Digest:
Let’s get this out of the way first: Literary agents (like acquisitions editors) are human beings. They’re not magical creatures that emerge from and disappear into the void to sell manuscripts. They do love to read great writing and work tirelessly to advocate for their clients. And if they’re ethical, they don’t get paid until they sell their client’s work. So in that sense, I guess they are a little magical, right?
That said, they are still human. And human beings have different personalities, different methods for getting their work done, different strengths and weaknesses, and different preferences for their clients and potential clients. That’s the one thing that was abundantly clear to me during the 2019 Writer’s Digest Annual Conference.
In this post, I’ve attempted to share a few of the things that agents seem to agree upon and where they can sometimes differ.