Sunday, June 13, 2010

Client Referrals and Critique a Week

First off, anyone who writes romance, romantic YA, fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi, etc. and who is ready to query agents needs to check out my last post. My agent Sara Megibow is looking for romance writers and I'm giving blog readers a referral.

Second, the winner of last week's 10 page critique is Tracy! Tracy, I'll email you sometime today. Commenters today can be eligible for next week's critique. Just make sure to say you would like to win a critique in your comment and include an email address. If you want more info, this post explains everything.

Since Sara's offer has created such a stir, I thought I'd write a little about client referrals, (or at least my experience with them).

What is a client referral?

Referrals are basically a recommendation from a client. I have given Sara 3 client referrals since I started working with her last fall. I only refer when:

1. I have read a full manuscript AND loved it
2. And I feel like the piece might be a good fit for her
3. And the writer is interested in being referred

(That probably gives you an idea of why this blog referral is so cool!)

Why would I want a referral?

The reason client referrals are desirable is that an agent is more likely to request material when a writer is referred. A referral gives a query letter a little more weight. If an agent is debating over whether or not to request a partial from a query letter a referral might be the deciding factor.

What happens after a partial (or full) is requested?

At this point the referred piece gets about the same consideration as any other requested material. The agent has to LOVE it and believe it's salable. The agent knows their client loved the manuscript, but unless the agent loves it too they can't offer representation.

So, in summary, referrals are cool. They can definitely help to get your writing (and not just your query letter) in front of an agent. But they aren't magic. In the end, the only thing that will get you an agent is a great book that an agent thinks she can sell.

But remember, just because one agent doesn't connect with your work doesn't mean another agent won't. There are hundreds of agents and it only takes one yes.

Have you ever been given a referral to an agent or editor? Was your experience similar to what I outlined or totally different? Agented authors: Have you ever referred writer friends to your agents?

33 comments:

Ted Cross said...

I would love a critique! As a first time writer I am sure I can improve much in my first book no matter how much I love it. knight_tour at hotmail dot com

Kelley Vitollo said...

Congrats Tracy!

I have gotten one agent referral from a friend.

I would also like to be entered for the critique. Thanks! writerkelley@yahoo.com

Diane said...

Congrats to the winner. Very great of both of you for helping out other writers.

Hope you're feeling well Natalie! :O)

Jamie said...

I'd love a critique, too: jamiesmithhopkins (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Congratulations to Tracy! And thanks for doing this, Natalie.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I had one agent in an agency refer me to someone else in the agency. I hear that usually the ms. is just handed over, but that was not the way she suggested I proceed.

I haven't yet referred anyone to my agent.

Congrats, Tracy!

Matt said...

So, your agent is now interested in more than romance? I'm about ready to query again. Time for some research.

And I'm ready for a critique, too.

Matt said...

Oops. Mhcalabrese @ com cast . Net

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Hi, Natalie! Yes, please, enter me for the critique.
I have neither referred, nor been referred. Someday maybe. :)

Melissa said...

Hey Natalie. I'd love to be entered to win a critique: melissa.wideen@gmail.com

It was so cool of you to refer your readers to your agent. I only wish I was finished my manuscript so I could have participated!

Hope things are going well with you.

Sarah Skilton said...

I haven't referred anyone to Sara yet but I hope to once a friend finishes her manuscript. Awesome that you're getting increased traffic and interest in the blog! :)

Aubrie said...

I've never been given a referral, but I've had my fair share of partials and fulls, so the problem for me isn't getting noticed, it's getting to the next step.

Oh well. :)

Sandy Shin said...

Thank you for explaining about client referrals! I think it's a great boost for those who query, but you're right: it really depends on your manuscript.

And I would love to be entered to win a critique. :)

sandyshin7 [at] gmail [dot] com

Adam Heine said...

Count me in for the critique, Natalie. And thanks for the opportunity. adamheine[at)gmail(dot]com

Corey Schwartz said...

Referrals are definitely great. I got my agent through a referral. In my experience, agents are more likely to give you some feedback when you come recommended by one of their clients. (rather than a blanket no)

Jessica Nelson said...

My crit partner offered to refer me to her agent and I was so honored!

Tracy said...

Thanks Natalie!

Erica Chapman said...

Awesome Natalie! How cool of you. I haven't had experience in any of this as I have yet to complete the novel (I'm in the middle of revising mine) but I'm sure there are some great referrals just waiting to be given ;o)

Congrats Tracy!

Patti said...

I've had a couple of referrals, unfortunately they didn't pan out.

Would still love to win a critique.

Jody Hedlund said...

What a great idea, Natalie! What a wonderful way for you and your agent to partner together! I love working with my agent too. She actually just asked me to guest post for her on her blog this week. So that should be fun!

Thomas Taylor said...

Hi, Natalie. Your name has been carefully selected by my canine assistant as the winner of my picture book give away. Congratulations! Pop over to my blog to find out more:

http://thatelusiveline.blogspot.com/2010/06/nose-of-not-letting-go.html

Melissa said...

Hey Natalie, I know your really busy right now but I just wanted to let you know I have an award for you on my blog!

Valerie said...

That's very generous of you both to offer critiques and to have referred writers to your agent!

I would love to win the critique! valeriekwrites at gmail dot com

T. Anne said...

Congrats to Tracy! And yes, the agent must love the work or at least believe he/she can sell it.

Julie Musil said...

Lucky Tracy! If it's not too late to jump in for a critique, I'm all for it. If it's too late, I'll come around again. Thanks!

I tweeted about your agents request for romance writers.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'd love to enter for a chance to win a first chapter crit. stinalindenblatt (at) shaw (dot) ca :D

Lola Sharp said...

I'm not entering, BUT, I do adore you and wanted to stop by and say hello. :)

AND, I wanna know...HOW do I make a book montage like yours?

Good luck to everyone!

Love,
Lola

Jen said...

Wow you are so sweet to do this!! If I had a manuscript ready for that genre I would surely send it your way! How inspiring! In all honesty you really gave me inspiration just from this post.

I'm in the revisions phase and I'm stuck, today's post was titled -writing is hard- so I think that pretty much wraps up my thoughts, but I think I can break through this tough outershell! I hope it happens soon!

Janet Johnson said...

You are so awesome! Sara is definitely at the top of my "to query" list. Mine's a YA fantasy, and while there is a love interest, it's definitely not the main focus. Does that fit with what she's looking for? If not, I'll just query her the old-fashioned way.

And as always, I'd love a critique. You are so nice to do this. Lucky Tracy. :)

Medeia Sharif said...

Congrats to Tracy. You're awesome for giving this opportunity to others.

A Pen In Neverland: Angela Peña Dahle said...

Congrats Tracy! Too bad I don't write in this genre, I would love a critique from someone with such a level of expertise. LOL. I'm counting my lucky stars on the "someday". It will be quite an event for me the day I find an agent or publisher.

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

Hi Natalie! Glad I found your blog it's stellar!
Congrats Tracy!

storyqueen said...

This is an interesting topic!

Shelley

Amy Tate said...

Congrats to Tracy!