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Savvy Literary Services

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So what exactly does a literary agent do to earn his or her agenting fee?

Of course, I can't speak for other literary agents out there, but here is a description of services you can expect from me if I become your Guardian Agent.

Agent Introduction (Teleconference)

Good communication is the key to a healthy author-agent relationship. Without it, chances are this kind of working relationship isn't going to amount to much. An author should feel as though he or she can speak freely to their agent and vice versa. To get off on the right foot, it is important for both the author and agent to speak with one another over the phone. This will be the perfect opportunity for the author to share his or her representation expectations. The agent will also get a feel for the client's personality, future goals, and willingness to work toward publication. Speaking directly with one another from the start will not only help build a strong foundation for the author-agent relationship, but it can also bring to light any potential problems.

Manuscript Assessment

Before a literary agent can launch an aggressive marketing campaign for any manuscript, he or she must become familiar with the work in question. It is imperative that the agent of choice read and perform a light edit of the work. This will help him or her come up with a plausible marketing strategy. In many cases, an agent acts as a preliminary editor. If the manuscript has some major flaws that could impede it from selling, any experienced and professional agent should have a trained enough eye to catch this.

Additional Manuscript Editing and Revising

In the event a manuscript needs further editing and revision to enhance its chances of selling, the agent of choice will work diligently with the author to improve the quality of the work. The agent will perform a thorough line by line edit and prepare developmental notes for the author. If the author requires help writing a synopsis the agent can also help with this.

In regard to nonfiction works, the agent will assist the author in putting together a well-written book proposal.

Publisher Research

Knowing which publishers and editors to approach is a continuous learning process for literary agents. This kind of first-hand knowledge can only be acquired by thoroughly researching publishers. If the agent expects to have a good pulse on who's who in the publishing world, he or she must dedicate a good-sized portion of working time to publisher research. Three hours of careful research should be sufficient for fiction works. On the other hand, researching publishers for nonfiction works will require even more time.

Writing Query Letters

Penning query letters is an integral part of an agent's life. The amount of query letters he or she must write all depends on the scope of the work and the number of publishers on the pitch list that has been put together. Unfortunately when it comes to query letters, one size does not fit all. Each and every query letter will have to be tailor written. A qualified and well-trained agent should be able to write three query letters an hour.

Preparing and Mailing Submissions

Preparing and mailing submissions, is by far, one of the least glamorous aspects of an agent's life. It is a necessary evil that comes with the job. While it may not seem like it, this process can be very time consuming and tedious. Once the agent of choice has been given the green light to submit a manuscript, he or she must pause the marketing process to prepare a mail-out. This involves printing out multiple copies of the manuscript, typing up address labels and envelopes, carefully preparing packages and making more sufficient postage has been added.

Follow-up Work

The one thing an agent can always count on is follow-up work. If an agent has no follow-up work to perform, this is a tell-tale sign that he or she is not doing her job properly. Normally, follow-up work arises when the agent least expects it. This is why an agent must learn to multi-task and be flexible. The agent of choice will engage in any follow-up work that may arise as a result of his or her marketing campaign. Follow-up work typically involves, contacting editors to check on the review process, fulfill unexpected requests to submit the manuscript and other incidentals and accidentals that crop up in this business.

Assessment of New Works

When all the smoke from the submission process has cleared, the agent of choice will now have the opportunity to assess an author's new work. He or she will also have more time to brainstorm with the author and try to come up with more marketable book ideas.

Miscellaneous

As difficult as it may seem, an agent must set aside some time to bond with each and every client. Sometimes, a client will approach an agent and ask for career advice. An agent should always have a client's best interest at heart and on the back of his mind at all times. If an agent happens to come across a great writing opportunity for a client in a specific genre of interest, he or she can help her client make the connection by serving as a liaison. Some time must be earmarked for these kinds of things.

Testimonials from some of my clients.

"I am pleased to be working with Leticia. She has been diligent about sending out my manuscripts to significant editors and has kept me informed on a regular basis. So far we've had three requests from reputable publishers to see the entire novel. I am confident that Leticia will find a home for Searching for Dolores."

Debbie Thomas author of Searching for Delores

"Perhaps what impressed me the most about Leticia Gomez and Savvy Literary Services is the level of professionalism exhibited in dealing with me as an author. Let's not forget that Leticia has filled a very important void in the literary industry. She is the first bonafide representative for Hispanic themed books in the United States. I am extremely happy with her services."

Jose Paredes author of The Man Who Altered History - The Hector Sanyustiz Story

"After being represented by several harried and hurried literary agents long on promises and short on results, I am delighted to have one now who shares with me a similar cultural background, works hard marketing my manuscripts, and perhaps more importantly, keeps in touch via telephone and e-mail."

David Pereda author of Who Killed Fidel Castro and Havana-Top Secret

"Leticia Gomez is the kind of literary agent most writers only dream of having-talented, dedicated, and willing to stick with you because she believes in your work. I am thrilled and grateful to have her as my agent.

Paula Meseroll- Author of Little Hot Mama 

 

I found Leticia through a page dedicated to literary agents on the Web. I came upon her name and I contacted her immediately without contacting no one else. I had a strong intuition that she would be the one to guide and help me. I had arrived in Dallas after I had fnished my last book which I published in Caracas, Venezuela, my native country. Her specifications suited my aspirations and line of work. The books I have published are not fictional they are mainly interviews: My themes range from family issues to femininity and the last on success. I explained in detail what I wanted from her and asked if she would review some of my work.

Leticia answered me that she was in fact interested in assessing my work and although she had her agenda full with other submissions, she would read it and let me know if she wanted to represent me. She sent me a document where she described what she had to offer in the way of professional literary representation and said she would take a while because of her previous obligations and asked me to be patient. I sent her excerpts of my books and chapters of the latest. I was patient and sure enough she answered me that she had read my work and liked it. We agreed on doing a version of my book of success with Latin American figures who lived in the U.S.A.

Soon after that, she called me to say that she had already a possible assignment for a high-profile ghost writing project, so we signed our agreement and were ready to go. I even had some stipulations of my own and she agreed on my "must haves" and I went along with hers.

The ghost project fell through because the celebrity in question lived in New York and needed the ghost writer to live there as well and I could not make the temporary move.

Shortly after that Leticia contacted me on another ghost writing project which I turned down. I was not comfortable with the subject matter.

All through these processes, Leticia always behaved with the utmost professionalism. She is a bright, polite, flexible, and accessible person who I've come to respect and consider a friend. At the moment I am very much involved in an enterprise that does not give me the time to produce a new literary project but as soon as I am ready there would be no one else I would rather have by my side as an agent than Leticia.

Marianella Febres-Cordero

In the year Savvy Literary Services has represented me, Leticia Gomez/Senior Agent has been nothing less than professional and courteous. She followed through with everything she planned out for my work and has kept me regularly updated with responses. For Leticia to have believed in my work enough to sign me on is priceless. There are no words to express my gratitude. For her background and experience and belief in me enough to put in the hours upon hours that goes into marketing, I have the utmost respect. I hope for a long and prosperous author/agent relationship with her and Savvy Literary Services. Antonio Marquez author of The Children of the Pentagram

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