What is a literary agent?
The best and most simple definition we have found was in Wikipedia (a source that no one in the publishing industry would ever suggest as a primary source) but we like it, so here it is:
Literary Agent (often synonymous with "publishing agent") is an agent who represents writers and their written works to publishers, theatrical producers and film producers and assists in the sale and deal negotiation of the same. Literary agents most often represent novelists, screenwriters and non-fiction writers. They are paid a fixed percentage (usually twenty percent on foreign sales and ten to fifteen percent for domestic sales) of the proceeds of sales they negotiate on behalf of their clients.
What do we do?
We will work with you to refine the proposal which should include a query letter, a synopsis, a chapter-by-chapter outline, a final manuscript and a biography or CV (or Curriculum Vitae, a list of everything you have ever done) as well as a marketing plan (sound familiar?)
Our agents will make contact with publishers and provide you with rejections as they are received (yes, there will still be rejections). They will also tell you when a publisher expresses interest.
We will require of you both patience and cooperation. When a publisher asks for something not already in our working file we will come to you and expect that you will produce whatever is requested in a timely manner.
Once a book is sold we will continue to be your link to the publisher, assisting with marketing decisions and distributing royalties according to your contract. We will also be the initial contact for producers, screen writers, editors and others interested in your retained rights.