Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Interview with agent Jennifer Schober

I have a special treat for you today. Agent Jennifer Schober from Spencerhill Associates has been kind enough to stop by Three Wicked Writers today and answer a few of my questions. I know she has a very busy schedule so I really appreciate her taking some time out to let me be nosey. Enjoy!

Hi Jennifer! Thank you so much for letting us pick your brain. We're so glad to have you here at Three Wicked Writers.

It’s a pleasure to be here with you today, and thanks for the invitation.

1. Why did you decide to become an agent?

I had an amazing opportunity to work with Karen Solem , and I was at a place in my career where I wanted and needed a change. It was fate and I jumped at the chance. I’m so glad I did!

2. In what ways to you try to shape/mold a writer's career?

Every writer is different. Some writers want intensive focus on career building, other’s need help editorially, some feel perfectly happy where they are—so each writer’s needs are unique, and depending on what they are, I try and meet them in ways that will facilitate their creativity, and their business. Some examples could be building their brand, editorial help, market / publicity advice, goal setting (short and long term), coaching, managing creativity in the writing profession etc.

3. What are the benefits of having an agent? Do you think a writer really needs representation?

You’re asking an agent if I think a writer really needs representation? Why of course they do! Ok, not all authors need an agent. But…

The biggest benefit to having an agent is this: We work for you! We are a conduit between the author and the industry.

We advocate for you. We sell your work, we negotiate contracts, we demystify and simplify the ‘business’, we coach clients when challenges arise, we cheer when milestones are reached and goals are met.

4. What is the most FUN aspect of your job?

Selling an unpublished author’s first novel is very very fun. Traveling and meeting all of the talented authors we work with as well as potential clients is always fun, reading for a living? FUN!

5. What current trends are you noticing in the market? What do you see publishers really clamoring for?

Currently I am seeing more interest in meaningful, inspiring, heartwarming work, be it contemporary or historical. Times are tough right now (and that’s an understatement) I believe that the market is reflecting a desire for comfort and security—a good book to fall back on can lift us up.

OF course, I am not a trend heavy person—I think the market always looks for good books, regardless of genre. If you are an amazing storyteller and can engage the reader instantly there is a market for you.

6. What type of books are you specifically looking for?

See above. I would personally love to find an uplifting women’s fiction; I love stories featuring a slice of life, with strong women characters and a layered cross generational family arc—plus a little magic thrown in for good measure.

7. Do you like to get the full MS from an author or query, synopsis and first three chapters?

first three chapters, synopsis and your query letter of course.

8. What are the word counts you'd be willing to represent with a new client?

I represent category romance and single title length work.

9. How would an author go about contacting you? Do you have a website?

Website under construction. You can email me a query @ Jennifer@klsbooks.com please do not send me children’s work, non-fiction (unless you are the next Elizabeth Gilbert !!) or novella length work. Allow 6-8 weeks for a reply, and this can vary depending on my work/travel schedule.

Another big thanks to Jennifer for stopping by today!


Regina Carlysle said...

Hi Jennifer! So glad you could come hang out with us today. Ohhhh, I'm so glad about the "comfort reads" being in vogue. I write erotic romance but there are just some days when I NEED a warm and comfy historical. Kind of like fixing a big pot of stew and homemade cornbread on a cold, snowy day. You just can't beat it.

Anne Rainey said...

Wonderful interview ladies! Interesting about the comfort reads. How do you see erotic romance doing over the next few months?

Regina Carlysle said...

Oh yeah. Inquiring minds want to know about that one. I've been reading lots of reviews lately where reviewers are actually saying...too much sex! Hm. Makes me wonder if we don't overdo that. Don't readers WANT lots of sex in erotic romance?

Anne Rainey said...

It confuses me that a reviewer would pick a book tagged as erotic then complain about too much sex. LOL If it didn't have lots of sex, then wouldn't it just be called 'mainstream romance'?

I do remember at the Lori Foster Get Together in June, there was a woman there from Borders (I think!) who said that erotic romance continues to sell well...maybe I'm mistaken, but I could swear that's what she said. Kelley, do you remember that?

Genella deGrey said...

This was great - very informative.
Thank you, Jennifer and Kelley!

Kelley Nyrae said...

Anne, I think you're right. I can't for the life of me remember her name but I remember her talking about erotic doing well.

Genella, I'm so glad you enjoyed the interview!!

Molly Daniels said...

Wonderful interview! I've had a lot of people ask my if my work is Christian inspirational this summer. I was almost ready to promise to clean up my series...but then it wouldn't have been MINE!

Linda LaRoque said...

Hi Jennifer,
Thanks for sharing your expertise. I too am glad to see the 'comfort' stories returning.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the brief insight!

Sophia Danu said...

Hi Jennifer! Nice interview; good info! Thanks!

Shelley Munro said...

Hi Jennifer,

I enjoyed the interview. I definitely want a comfort read and an author who will entertain me. :)

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Jennifer,
Nice meeting you. A warm, comfy historical sounds good to me, maybe because that's what I write. Oh they have a bit of sex in them.

Margaret Tanner


Clover Autrey said...

Nice answers, Jennifer. Your love for the business comes across well. Thanks.