Wednesday, July 13, 2005

An Agent's Debut Sale

Publishing sages commonly advise unpublished authors to choose their literary agents with the same care they would in picking a mate. One of the most common bits of advice is "examine their sales record," implying that a good agent makes frequent sales. (In terms of choosing a mate, would the advice be "examine their annual salary"?) This is wise advice in most cases. But I didn't follow it. I signed with my agent when she didn't have a single sale. Nephele Tempest, an associate agent with The Knight Agency, had fielded my manuscript, THE NEXUS, after I'd made the initial query. She wrote me encouraging notes during the process from evaluation to offer. I could tell that this woman understood my book. And I could tell she was a go-getter.

When Nephele opened up the West Coast office of The Knight Agency last January she offered me representation. I was her first client. I'd like to say I was her first sale also, but that honor went this week to Nalini Singh for her novel SLAVE TO SENSATION. Nephele is on the way to being one of those agents that publishing sages prefer to refer: An agent with frequent sales. I hope THE NEXUS is next.

Applause for Nephele's first sale would be incomplete without congratulations to Nalini, whose novel sold at auction and garnered her a two-book deal. SLAVE TO SENSATION is about a young woman born to a race without emotions and her encounter with a group of sensual changelings. Cindy Hwang at Berkley won the auction. Nalini is author of four novels published by Silhouette.

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