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Nov 4, 2020

Agent Spotlight Series: Linda S. Glaz

 

A warm welcome to literary agent Linda S. Glaz! Linda is an experienced editor, reviewer and writer, has been a proofreader for two publishers, an editorial assistant to for Hartline becoming an agent four years ago. She has worked as a professional reviewer for a romance site, and just loves anything to do with books. She's extremely active in the judging community and speaks at conferences nationwide.  She is also a member of AWSA, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association which takes her speaking from libraries to ladies teas, churches, and conferences. Linda understands writers, because she IS a writer.

CM: What areas of the market do you think are oversaturated more recently?
Linda: I know most editors have recently been very full of historic and historic romance, and were leaning toward contemporary and suspense, but my guess is, we will see suspense getting full very soon here. Hopefully, that will be good news for historic authors. Contemporary romance never seems to see dark days.

CM: An agent-author relationship is all about the people. What attributes do your best client relationships share?
Linda: Dream clients, and I think this is true for most agents, will be authors who are very teachable. They have researched enough that they understand the industry and have VERY thick skin when it comes to rejection and criticism of their work.

CM: How many authors do you represent? How has your author list changed over time?
Linda: I have 54 at the present. Many are currently on sabbatical for various reasons, but most are actively writing and pursuing publishing credits. Obviously, I’ve learned how important the agent/author relationship is long term, and have adjusted to the different personalities who are amazing to work with, and those who aren’t. I try very hard to stick with “amazing.”

CM: How hands-on are you in the editing process before you send the manuscript out to publishers?
Linda: Probably a LOT more hands-on than my clients would like. I am fanatic about getting a proposal in its absolute best condition without annoying typos and obvious inconsistencies. I want an editor’s first take to be: “Now, THAT’S great work!”

CM: How do you pitch books to publishers in a world that requires social distancing?
Linda: Most all agents and editors work virtually at this point, anyway, other than conferences and book fairs, so not a lot has changed in that sense. But it IS always nice to be able to meet one on one when possible.

CM: Can you share with us a client success story, from their query/introduction to you all the way to publication?
Linda: There are so many: Kate Breslin, fell in love with her work on day one. Only two typos in the entire thing. Gotta love a conscientious writer. Could not put her novel down. Contacted her, signed her, and she was picked up in about a month. Her research was flawless, characters vibrant, and plot levels well above most first-time authors. Her debut book is For Such a Time and her most current novel is Far Side of the Sea/Bethany House.
Two other authors that stuck with me when their genres were moving so slowly that we ended up going with a smaller publisher (not something most authors and/or agents want to do unless necessary). But that smaller house and its superior editing brought their books into the limelight, getting noticed from Publisher’s Weekly. They are now both with larger houses and very happy. Tom Threadgill: most current novel Collision of Lies/Revell, and J’nell Ciesielski’s most current: The Socialite/Thomas Nelson.

CM: Describe the path to publication for one of the books you represent. 
Linda: How about if I describe the process for most books that are picked up by one of the major publishers to give folks an idea of the path and time it requires?

You’ve written a book, gone through critique partners/beta readers and/or a professional editor. You contact an agent who hopefully falls head over heels in love with it. After that, the two of you work through and polish the proposal to near perfection. Yes…you do! Then the agent sends it off to one of her or his contacts in a publishing house that she sees as a good fit. Then the editor also falls crazy in love with it. At that time, he takes it to his editorial board, where other editors will offer some input. If they all agree that it’s a stellar proposal and the author has a substantial platform, then it will be put on the calendar for the next possible Committee or Publication Board. Different houses have different names for the board that makes the final decision on the book. 

At that board will be the editor who is pushing the proposal for publication and possibly other members of the editorial board. Also present will generally be an executive head of the publishing house, member(s) of both marketing and publicity, and possible others with input into the selection of their titles for that month, quarter, or year. If they all see it in a positive light, then they will discuss advance and royalties to be offered. Also a tentative release date which generally runs 15-18 months but can be as early as 12 or as late as 24 months out.

Then terms are offered to the author through his agent, and once he agrees to them, the agent can go back to the publisher and agree that the author would like to receive a contract for his book. The contract is signed and the author is generally assigned their editor for rewrites. Half of the advance is most often offered at signing with the rest due when the final manuscript in edited and turned in. 

Now, the real work begins. A cover is designed, a title decided on, author signings set up, magazine interviews prepared, blog tours scheduled, and more. And if more than one book was offered to the author, then the author will also start on book two. Yes! The real work is just getting started!

CM: How is your agency addressing the need for diversity and inclusion in publishing?
Linda: We’ve always had diverse authors at Hartline. Where the industry is, at the moment, obviously determines what material and what resources are being developed to be sure that own voices are given the time they need and deserve. As with all books and authors, we are constantly monitoring what is selling well and by whom. We want every author that we work with to have the best possible opportunities that are available at any given moment.

CM: Can you describe your ideal client?
Linda: Well, first-time Dream Clients are always ones that don’t get a lot of attention because they do it right the first time. How is that possible? They are TEACHABLE! They listen to their agents and have realistic expectations of the industry. They work hard. They take every spare moment to build their platform so that their agents can more easily convince publishers to take a chance on them. They know that no one simply sits down and writes a book, then gets a gigantic offer with little to no further effort. They are constantly staying abreast of the trends in the industry, and they understand that writing a really  good book is no longer enough. A book must be excellent each and every time!
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Wish List

Genres/sub-genres you’re looking for:
  • While fiction has always been my go to, I find that I’m discovering more and more amazing nonfiction authors and signing them because I simply can’t put the material down. 
  • If you’ve got a great romance, either contemporary, suspense, or historic, you’ll probably make me happy. Please no works that include any graphic sexuality or profanity.  I continue to get this on an almost daily basis even after posting that I don’t handle it. Call me 50 Shades of Clean Reads for both the Christian AND general markets.
  • I’m crazy about most all romance genres except spec. But give me an awesome romantic suspense and I’m over the moon. Also love love love historic romance, but that IS moving slowly at the moment.
  • And any other genre, if well-written, will certainly get my notice.
What you’re not interested in:
  • Children's books. Spec fiction, and erotica.
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2 Client Examples

Baker Books - 2020
Harper Collins - 2020
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Query Tips
Please provide a couple of tips for querying authors.

Dos:
  • Always go to an agency’s site and see exactly what they want you to send for them to consider. Don’t simply blanket the agency with a mass mailing that might hit like a dart, but most often will miss by a mile.
Don'ts:
  • Don’t take it personal. I know that’s hard, but very often your work is really good but simply not a great fit for that agent at that moment. Just keep at it, keep writing, keep trying…NEVER give up. Persevere.
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Submission Guidelines:
Check to see which agent seems to be the best fit for your work. Then put together a proposal as outlined on the site, and shoot us that proposal. We generally make our decisions based on a full proposal from the author. Remember one thing: agents WANT authors to write for them. Our jobs depend on that. And we want you to succeed. That’s the goal of our work. So we really want to see those most awesome proposals!!!