A New Digital Dialogue for Agent Representation

When having conversations with prospective clients the conversation has changed. It now revolves around asking plans for digital, ebooks, whether the author wants the agent involved editorially or contractually. These questions weren’t an issue 1 to 5 years ago, but are at the forefront of conversations agents are having with writers in 2012.

Questions emerge like:

  • How long are you committed to a traditional publishing deal until you may want to self publish?
  • If you do want to self publish projects do you want/expect an agent to help edit structurally, substantively, and copy edit?
  • What communication style do you prefer? Email, phone, Twitter, text, Facebook?
  • What are your feelings about agents venturing into self-publishing their own authors?
  • Are you comfortable with submitting your projects to digital-only imprints?

In some cases agents may need to make the case to authors why they need representation, but if you are going to query traditionally (ie. to agents with query letters in the hopes of them reviewing your full manuscript to represent it) then agents assume you want to pursue traditional publishing contracts.

Published by Carly Watters

Carly Watters is a SVP, senior literary agent and director of literary branding with the P.S. Literary Agency. She is a hands-on agent that develops proposals and manuscripts with attention to detail and the relevant markets. PSLA’s mission is to manage authors’ literary brands for their entire career. Never without a book on hand she reads across categories which is reflected in the genres she represents and is actively seeking new authors in including women’s fiction, commercial and upmarket fiction, select literary fiction, platform-driven non fiction and select memoir. She occasionally represents children's book projects. Carly is drawn to emotional, well-paced narratives, with a great voice and characters that readers can get invested in.

3 thoughts on “A New Digital Dialogue for Agent Representation

    1. You don’t have to flat out say which side of the ebook debate you are on as early as your query, but be ready to broach those conversations when an agent contacts you, which means you have to have thought about and decided your stance on such aspects of the business.

      The ebook stance is most often talked about with romance, women’s fiction and YA.

      In your query you can mention how you are aware of the changing nature of the business and up on digital issues and technology etc.


  1. It’s crazy how things move so quickly. I think the best thing is for both sides to open to it. My ideal would be a print and e-book in a traditional publishing contratc but we shall see :)


What do you think? I love hearing from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: