Tim Beals is a literary agent and publishing industry veteran. He’s worked for HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Discovery House, World Vision, and alongside numerous others in his role as an agent. He is currently the president of Credo Communications, an innovative publishing and agenting business based in Grand Rapids, MI. You can read his full bio here. During JOT #5 he’ll be presenting a talk called, “Agenting 101: What You Need to Know About Literary Agents.” Here are three questions with Tim:
What’s the most important thing a writer should do before they contact a literary agent?
Be prepared. Work hard to know your audience, craft your writing, present your very best work. Agents have become the first filter for publishers, so let them know what qualifies you to write about your topic, how your work contributes to an important, ongoing conversation, and what you are already doing to serve and communicate with your readers.
What is a common misconception people have about the book business?
It’s easy. It’s hard. Some people actually expect that the written offspring of their minds and hearts will automatically be loved and embraced by publishers and readers alike, just as it was by their mom or boyfriend or professor. Others believe that, while their message is important, timely, and well-rendered, it is impossible to break into print these days. The truth is both/and, not either/or.
Give us a teaser of your Jot Conference presentation. What can attendees expect?
We’ll learn together what agents need, what publishers expect, and what readers long for. We’ll also discuss when, why, and how to approach an agent about your project.