Saturday, June 8, 2013

Beware the Agent Bio

As you probably would figure, I try to keep on top of agent news for the Monster List of Picture Book Agents as well as for Sub It Club. Plus I'm a writer and I just can't help it! Anyway, I've come across something a couple of times that made me go, huh? Now, this is definitely not the norm and I am not even going to point out who they are, but I have actually found and agent or two who has used being a parent in their bio as their qualification to represent picture books.

You do know that as writers if we put that in our bio there is a 99.999% chance that we will get the old eye roll.
Since when has being a parent become a qualification to sell children’s literature?
Now, I’m not saying that as a parent you might not be completely immersed in picture books. I hope you are! I don’t discredit the hours and hours spent reading with children. On the contrary. I think it’s fabulous. You find out what kids respond to. What they love in a story and why. What they don’t like and why not. Plus there’s lots of great snuggle time!

But, if you’re going to have someone work to sell your writing, don’t you want them to have stronger qualifications? Or at least know enough to not to use being a parent as their qualification? You need someone who knows the intricacies of picture books. Understands how the words and illustrations support each other. And if you write in rhyme you need someone who is in sync with rhythm and meter as well. All in all, when you're looking for someone to help you make writing your career, you want someone you can trust.

So, read those bios before querying, my friends! And make the best decision for you and your writing. Like the old saying goes, having a bad agent is worse than having no agent at all.

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