Monday Meet-Up for November 23, 2015:
Literary Agent, Carrie Pestritto
from Prospect Agency
1. Please tell us a little about yourself, and how you became an agent?
I became an agent after interning at Writers House when I was in college and later working as an assistant there. After about a year, I moved to Prospect Agency, where I became an agent and have happily been there ever since (about 4 years).
2. What do you wish aspiring authors knew about the book industry?
I know it can be really difficult to send out your manuscript and then either wait around forever for a response or get rejected. The publishing industry is just that–an industry–so don’t get discouraged. Sometimes certain things are right for the current market or for a particular agent/editor. You just have to keep plugging away and make sure that what you are writing fits your genre and appeals to your audience. I think one of the most important things I wish authors knew was that they not only have to write something really fabulous, they have to do the research to make sure it is something that is necessary for and current with the marketplace.
3. What was something you’ve read recently that got you excited (whether you worked on it or not)?
I picked up a copy of Julie Murphy’s DUMPLIN’ at BEA this summer and loved it!
4. Is having an agent important? Why?
I mean, of course I think having an agent is important! Agents are mini-editors who help you polish your manuscripts and have in-depth knowledge of the market, editors, imprints, etc. Also, an agent is handy when it comes to contract negotiation, subrights, and many other secondary aspects of publishing.
5. Anything you’d love to see from your slush pile? A particular genre?
Something specific? I have a list of genres I’m interested in my bio on the Prospect website, and also update my Google+ page with book ideas I love under the hashtag #BooksIWanttoRead!
6. Last tips or advice?
I can’t emphasize the importance of having a strong critique group enough! If you surround yourself with careful, intelligent readers who will challenge you and not be yes men, you have something very valuable.
Thank you, Carrie! For more information and her guidelines for queries, check her out at www.prospectagency.com.