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Agent 101 — Finding a Literary Agent

October 2, 2012

Red Sofa Literary is one of Writers Digest’s 101 best websites this year. Two of their agents, Jennie Goloboy and Dawn Frederick, will be at the conference this year. They have also agreed to a little slumming, posting on our humble blog. A hearty thanks to them as we pass these posts along to you.

By Dawn Frederick

Here’s an excerpt from a post on Red Sofa Literary in 2010:
Literary Agent seeking Writer – looking for a smart M or F, with a great book idea.  Nonfiction books, including humor, history, cooking, pop culture, dating/relationships, and current affairs. Must have a noticeable writing platform, a good writing voice, a desire to work collaboratively on any book project, have a good sense of humor, allow me (the agent) to do said job, and be able to handle criticism (be it from editors and/or future readers).  A love of coffee is always a good thing too, but not necessary. 

Let’s face it. Finding an agent seems to be as easy as finding a four-leaf clover. Yes, there are many agents, but finding the best one for your book – and you – takes time.  It can be a frustrating experience, but with some preparation and a big picture view of the overall process, your search for an agent will run smoother.

General questions during the agent query process include:  What materials do I need to prepare? How do I choose which agents to query? How will my query stand out to agents? What is an author platform?

In Agent 101 we’ll cover these bases and more, while defining the necessary steps that any writer should take during the agent query process; before and after approaching agents.  My goal is that any writer in attendance will have a better idea of the best practices in publishing, along with a newfound confidence upon querying agents.

Dawn Frederick brings a broad knowledge of the book business to the table—with multiple years of experience as a bookseller in the independent, chain, and specialty stores; an editor for a YA publisher, a published nonfiction author, and an agent associate literary agent at Sebastian Literary Agency in 2002 (before Red Sofa Literary was established).

In addition to her literary agent duties, she extensively volunteers with her local library system, while still finding time to spend quality time on her “wheels.” She carries a B.S. in Human Ecology, and a M.S. in Information Sciences from an ALA accredited institution.  “Not only do I know what people like to read and are currently  reading;  I also have the experience of  working one-on-one with authors, book distribution centers, and literary organizations.”



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