Agent Name: Joe Perry
Agency Name/Location: Perry Literary, Inc. / 211 South Ridge Street, Suite # 2, Rye Brook, NY 10573
Agency Link: www.perryliterary.com
Social Media Links:
Facebook Page: Perry Literary
Nonfiction Genres Represented:
Music (in particular, 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s); sports (with an emphasis on football, basketball, baseball, running, and golf); film, pop culture; biography; politics; current affairs; law; medicine; journalism; history (in particular, 20th Century US history and US legal history); business books (biography, history, technology and economics); food and wine; parenting; philosophy; photography; psychology; science and technology; and social sciences.
What is your best tip for new writers looking for a book deal?
It sounds cliché, but work on your platform and writing. Speak at conferences, write articles, host podcasts, etc. It’s all of the little things that you do before writing the book that go towards publishing a book. Regarding new writers, the first question editors usually ask me is what is the platform like?
What kinds of pitches catch your attention?
Besides pitches that I’m subjectively interested in (e.g., music and sports), I like well-written, carefully thought-out proposals (no matter the subject). I can immediately tell if you rushed and put together a proposal in a few minutes. Besides platform, writing is the key factor in selling your book to a publisher. You may be an expert on a topic, but if you can’t write, I can’t sell your book.
How important is platform in getting a deal?
It’s everything. If you get an acquisitions editor to have initial interest in your book, that editor then pitches your book to the editorial department (and then to sales and publicity if it gets past the editorial meeting) to determine how many books you may be able to sell. Obviously, the more well-known you are in a particular community (or at-large) the easier that will be. In the end, this is a business, and sales will win the day.
What do you look for in a writer’s platform?
Previous publications (ideally from reputable book publishers). If there are no previous publications (I do take on many new writers), I look to see the writer’s social media presence and followers, as well as his or her expertise in the field written about.
How should writers promote themselves right now (before approaching an agent)?
See my answers above (continue writing articles, hosting podcasts, booking speaking engagements).
What should writers know about book proposals?
It’s first and foremost a sales pitch. The editor is wondering one thing at the end of the day: can I sell this book? Keep that in mind in every section of the proposal.
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