By Jessica Regel – Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency
Conference Faculty Member
At the critique sessions, you and I will sit down and talk about your book– not only the pages that I’ve read, but also the market for the project, and the general publishing process. Bring any questions you have with you to the session.
Here’s a list of what I look for in new clients:
1) I want to be captivated by your writing from the first page. As far as genres go, I represent the following:
Young Adult & Middle Grade: Traditionally, I prefer books that are grounded in reality, but have elements of Romance, Science Fiction, Mystery, Horror or Paranormal. For instance, the WONDROUS STRANGE series, by my author Lesley Livingston, is brimming with fantasy, history, adventure and romance, but the story remains grounded in a realistic context. It is set in Central Park and revolves around a teen actress. I also represent contemporary children’s books, such as THE SUMMER OF MAY by Cecilia Galante.
General Adult Fiction and Women’s Fiction: I’m not a big fan of character driven stories. Plot is important to me. Books of this genre that I love include: Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee, What I Loved by Siri Husvedt, Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, and The Story of A Marriage by Andrew Sean Greer. THE TRANSFORMATION OF THINGS by Jillian Cantor is one of the books in this genre that I represent.
Fun Adult Nonfiction: I enjoy lifestyle, memoir, humor, fashion, music and pop culture books. HOW TO BOOZE by Jordan Kaye and Marshall Altier is an example of a non-fiction book that I represent.
I don’t handle: Practical Non-fiction (such as Self-Help, How-To, or Textbooks), Religion or Spirituality, Adult Genre Fiction (such as Sci-fi, Fantasy, Cozy mysteries, Romance), Political Thrillers or Crime, Picture Books, Misery Memoirs, Screenplays (while I do handle the film rights for JVNLA books, I do not represent screenwriters), Animal books (Children’s and Adult), Children’s books that are message or lesson oriented
2) A writer who can talk about their book in a way that gets me excited about it. If you can do this, then I know you’ll be able to talk to your editor, your publicist, and, finally, your readers in an engaging way. Being a writer is no longer just about writing the book, it’s about selling that book to the public.
3) A writer who knows the market for their book– and reads their own genre! You need to know (and love) your genre.
I look forward to meeting you at the South Carolina Writers Workshop!