An Interview with Literary Agent Marcy Posner
Marcy Posner, of Folio Literary Management, will be another great featured agent at our upcoming Agents and Editors Conference. To learn more about Marcy and what she represents, visit our Featured Agents page and read our Q&A with her below!
If a potential client could do one thing to make the experience of working together even better, what would it be?
Marcy Posner: I always urge my clients to take their time when editing. Some of my authors attempt to rush in order to finish the manuscript as soon as possible. To me, it is better to have quality revisions rather than quick ones. I appreciate when the client takes my suggestions to heart and truly dedicates themselves to improving their work.
What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to receiving submissions, reading work, etc.?
MP: My biggest pet peeve is when authors mass-email agents indiscriminately; I hate receiving emails addressed “dear literary agent.” The query letter is the deciding factor when I receive submissions, so it’s frustrating to receive queries that are haphazardly assembled: letters with typos, poor sentence structure, or derivative ideas.
You often hear that it’s the first ten pages – or even the first page – that sells a story. Is there something particular that you look for in those first few pages?
MP: In the first several pages, I look for a compelling hook. The author needs to immediately establish the central plot of the story, so the reader is drawn in to the written world. While the language and style are important, I seek innovative ideas that will grab the attention of readers.
If you could give writers one piece of advice, what would it be?
MP: I would advise writers to take their jobs seriously. It takes dozens of revisions and considerable amounts of time to produce a quality manuscript. The task requires more than raw talent–aspiring writers need to invest the necessary effort before they can achieve success.