Stacey Donaghy, of the Donaghy Literary Group, recently signed me as one of her represented authors. My manuscript, Faces of Hatred, is now on submission, and major publishers have already requested the full story for consideration.
Why is this such a big deal?
Stacey has an amazing track record in getting significant publishing houses to look at her client’s work. Ultimately, my manuscript has to earn a contract offer on its own merit, but, as my literary agent, she is opening doors to make that opportunity possible. I don’t mind admitting I am thrilled, intimidated and hopeful.
What happens if no major publisher wants the story? Did she fail?
Agents are tasked with opening doors. As the ugly gargoyles blocking entrances to the bastions of traditional publishers, they earn a position of trust from editors by submitting exactly what they know acquisition folks are looking for. (Apologies to the many good looking agents for my gargoyle metaphor.) That position of trust results from closely matching aspiring authors to specific needs of editors. If agents waste peoples' time with marginal submissions, they quickly lose influence and doors no longer open.
Stacey Donaghy has earned the respect and trust of editors in many major houses. Her standards are impeccable and her knowledge among the best in the industry. But, there’s more she does to generate sales. She admits she is not trained as an editor, yet she provides critical suggestions to tailor manuscripts to the target acquisition editors. For example, in my manuscript, she found one minor theme that might turn off a lot of editors. I took her suggestion and modified the story accordingly. There’s no doubt about it—the finished product is better for her feedback.
Plus, it feels good to be among notable authors in Stacey's stable of clients.