Monday, December 15, 2008

Jonathan James - Literary Agent

How long have you been agent and how did you get your start Jonathan ?

I've been in editing and publishing for over twenty years, and opened my own agency in 2002.

What makes your agency different than any others?

I focus on a small roster of clients who are professional writers. The books I've helped get published are above all else literary. I'm not interested in genre fiction, handle very little nonfiction (only CNF), and also represent poetry. These sorts of works are given shorter and shorter shrift by profit-driven agencies these days, and so I guess I'd say the projects I'm most interested in are probably those that would appeal the least to another shop.

What are you looking for specifically that you wish you would see more of?

Book-length MSS that have heart.

Jonathan what are you tired of receiving?

Form-letter queries.

How can a new writer get your attention in a good way?

Find out how to write a real query letter before sending me one.

How can a signed writer stay in your radar without driving you insane?

I don't take on so many clients that any of them fall off my radar.

What do you wish more writers understood about you as an agent Jonathan that they don't seem to?

That I'm not interested in work designed to make a huge profit. For one thing, it's near-impossible to predict what would sell well anyway.

What's the best way for a writer to reach you?