I have written a lot about the value of collaborators in your creative work. How there is a difference between creating art for the sake of your own personal experience, and in wanting to share it with the world.
In working with hundreds and hundreds of writers, I often hear things like:
“An agent said they wanted to see me have at least 10,000 Twitter followers.”
Today, I would like to share my impression of what agents, publishers, and any collaborators want to see from you and why. If you do other types of creative work, this advice applies. Perhaps you are an artist who seeks a gallery show or a licensing deal; a musician who seeks a producer or label; an entrepreneur who seeks investors or a co-founder. All of the advice below is about how to help collaborators help you.
Now, I am not an agent. I’m not a publisher. I’m someone who works with authors & creative professionals to help them connect their work with an audience. So this is my interpretation after working with so many wonderful authors, agents, and publishers. But an agent or publisher may be reading this, and will want to clarify with their own feedback. I do not pretend to speak for them. My goal is only to try to give writers more clarity to understand how to be great collaborators.
Okay, let’s dig in…
Write an amazing book that resonates
This is always number one on the list.
Of course, the first thing that an agent or publisher values is an amazing book.
The only thing I would add here is this: they want to see something that resonates. How often have you read a super popular book, and said to yourself, “The writing here is crap.” Or “this is a rip off of 1,000 other stories.” Even if you are correct, the bottom line is: something about it resonated with a massive audience.