I wouldn’t normally post an interview with a literary agent, but I thought… what the hey! It’s interesting and informative, therefore it couldn’t hurt. Mollie (very recently) took on the job of representing one of KO’s most beloved authors Imogen Rose (The Portal Chronicles) so let’s be sure to show her some love.
I present to you:
“Words with Mollie!”
Q: Is Imogen the first indie author you have represented? Please share how you found each other.
A: Years ago, when I worked on the editorial side at Random House, I was lucky enough to acquire a wonderful self published memoir, but Imogen is the first Indie author I’ve worked with as an agent. I read an article a few months ago about self published authors doing a wonderful job of getting their work out there, checked out Imogen’s web site, and was immediately intrigued.
Q: What do you look for when deciding who to represent? What in particular was it about Imogen’s work that attracted you?
A: The first thing I’m looking for is a great, original premise and a great narrative voice. But the ability to market yourself is also a big plus, and Imogen had all three of these qualities!
Q: What are your plans for Imogen and her books?
A: We’re deciding on our strategy right now. I tend to be a very editorially minded agent and I have some ideas for taking Imogen’s already wonderful series and fine tuning a bit, and then we’ll most likely start sharing the work with publishers this Fall. We’re also partnering up with a wonderful film coagent at CAA.
Q: Will Imogen still remain an indie author for some of her work?
A: TBD, but my hunch is that yes, she will most likely continue to take an indie route for some of her work, while we publish other work through mainstream channels.
Q: What do you think is the most important thing when promoting your client?
A: An amazing book! Word of mouth is the most important thing. I want everyone who reads my books to love them so much that they recommend them to friends. But an articulate, attractive, internet savvy author doesn’t hurt either.
Q: What advice would you give to those indie authors out there wanting to become traditionally published authors?
A: Give it your all. A self published book that has sold a few hundred copies is harder to sell to a publisher than one that has never been published. But if you can sell several thousands of copies, you’re putting yourself in a good position to get noticed… and published!
After graduating from Brown University, Mollie began her publishing career as a literary scout, advising foreign publishers regarding the acquisition of rights to American books. She then worked as an editor at the Crown imprint of Random House, before switching over to “the other side” and becoming an agent at JVNLA (The Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency) in 2003. Mollie’s list includes literary fiction, narrative non-fiction, and a bit of practical non- fiction. She’s particularly interested in fiction that bridges the literary/commercial divide, combining strong writing with a great plot, and non-fiction dealing with popular science, medicine, psychology, cultural history, memoir and current events. She’s very hands-on, working collaboratively with her authors to refine their projects, then focusing on identifying just the right editors for the submissions. In addition to her work as a literary agent, Mollie also teaches classes on non-fiction proposal writing at Media Bistro, and a copy of her instructional article on non-fiction proposal writing will be featured in this year’s edition of the Writers Digest guide to literary agents.