Tessa McGovern runs a digital publishing company called eChook: http://echook.com/. She also teaches at Sarah Lawrence College on the Bronx, NY. The guest post below will tell you how to sign up for a course led by a real live agent – with connections. Read on:
Are you still making up your mind about whether agents are necessary these days, with all the self-publishing possibilities available? If so, here’s something to consider. (If you’ve already decided that you still need an agent, scroll down).
Despite the access we all have to self-publishing, there are still gate-keepers, and there will always be. Why? Because people who run publishing companies can’t sift through hundreds (or thousands) of non-qualified, long-form manuscripts. There simply isn’t time. (This is one of the reasons that eChook focuses on short stories, essays and memoirs). Ditto for the film and video producers running production companies that are beginning to supply the silent but tsunami-like growth in demand for content created by the revolution coming imminently to your living room.
So, if you’re committed to your writing career, unless you’re a genre writer (think romance, thriller, etc) with the time and resources to execute your own writing, editing, copy-editing, design, publishing, marketing and PR, you’re going to want an agent.
More than that, you’re going to want an agent who sells to legacy publishers as well as the new digital publishers (Amazon, Open Road, Premier Digital) and let’s not forget film and video rights.
Enter Cynthia Manson, a NY agent who will be teaching “How to Get Published in Today’s Market” at Sarah Lawrence College in February 2012. It isn’t often writers get this sort of opportunity to work with an agent over a period of weeks and submit the first chapter of their project. Here’s the class description:
So you’ve written the Great American Novel, workshopped it, revised it, poured your heart and soul into it, and now you feel it’s ready to send out into the world. Now what do you do? Time to find an agent and get it published, that’s what! This class is intended to help serious writers navigate the world of publishing in today’s dynamic, changing marketplace. We will discuss how to find the right agent for your work and how to successfully submit it, whether commercial or literary. How to write effective pitch letters and queries, with an emphasis on the all important “hook.” We will examine the different publishing options available in a shifting business environment: traditional legacy publishing, small presses, packagers, self publishing, and the emergent possibilities of ebook publishing. Also, what do you do when you get a deal? Information on contacts, negotiations, the production process, marketing, promotion, and distribution. As part of this course we will read and critique each other’s query letters that include “the pitch” and the respective synopses that accompany the cover letter. At the end of the course, the instructor invites each participant to submit the first chapter of their work to her.
Cynthia Manson is a well-known and respected literary agent with a small, successful list of published authors. She graduated from Scripps College for Women with a BA in English Literature and Fine Arts. She also attended the Radcliffe Publishing Course where she was inspired by Sterling Lord and his associates. Two years later she joined the Sterling Lord Literary Agency. Mason has worked in both magazine and book publishing including Putnam, Bertelsmann and Scientific American. Currently she is launching an e-book line for Advertising Age Magazine as well as representing authors in a variety of genres.
To register for Cynthia Manson’s ‘How to Get Published in Today’s Market’ class, CLICK HERE.
For information about and registration for Tessa Smith McGovern’s classes at Sarah Lawrence College, CLICK HERE.