When I first Met Ann Rose, I thought to myself that is someone I would love to work with. She was enthusiastic, passionate, and professional all wrapped up in one. She has a wealth of experience in the publishing industry and understands what authors go through in their careers.The first meeting with Ann Rose, Bethany Averie and I wanted her to be part of a panel discussion for Authors’ March Forward. We were excited when Ann agreed and joined The Author Encounter as a supporter member and took part in An E&A Experience in March. During the panel discussion, we talked about careers, editing, query letters and publishers it was a fun experience check it out below
Ann is hosting the workshop Quelling Your Query Conundrums, which is part of our Traditional Publishing Day Event. In honor of the upcoming online experience, we thought it would be great to get to know Ann a little better as a literary agent. In this interview, we focus on her career as a literary agent. She talks about why she wanted to be a literary agent and how she applies her business skills to helping authors reach their goals. So scroll down and keep reading for the interview with Ann Rose literary agent. She will review real query letters from the audience during the workshop. So keep reading for the interview with Ann Rose literary agent. Then submit a query letter for the upcoming workshop, email it to theauthorencounter(at)gmail(dot)com. Please include your name and contact information so we can let you know if your Query was picked. She will only select 2-3 queries.
Interview with Ann Rose Literary Agent
You have a background in Business Systems analyst and Communication, do you get to apply this knowledge to your authors (clients) careers if so can you give an example?
All my work history plays into how I run my business today. But I think one of the major things working in the corporate world has taught me is how to be organized, how to multitask, and I think most importantly (for publishing especially) is how to manage an inbox.
We hear so often of how publishing professionals are inundated with emails, and this is true. We are. We get hit from all sides. Agents can get hundreds a month that are just queries. I think were some publishing people get wrong is that they think this is unique to this industry, and it isn’t. Running a portfolio of over 300 applications meant having the teams of these applications emailing me constantly, and in my corporate life email was like hot potato, and you never wanted to be the one left holding the potato. I had to get really good really fast at making my inbox as friendly as possibly so I could get tasks done.
So one thing my clients know about me is if they email, I respond. I say I have a 24-hour response time and, for them, it’s always sooner than that. Now, does it sometimes take me longer? Of course. And am I this quick with submissions? Absolutely not. But I always try to stay transparent and respond as soon as I can so the person on the other side isn’t left floundering. I joke that it’s my superpower, but in reality is was years of having hundreds of emails constantly flooding in and learning how to deal with that effectively. I also like to joke I should teach a class on it because I do think its one thing that gets overlooked in every profession and yet it is such a prevalent way of communication.
I’m sure this is boring so that’s all I will say about that.
I’ve had a number of different jobs in my past and all of them in some way help me to be better at what I do today.
What made you want to be a Literary agent?
I guess it was just that for once in all my jobs in all my life it finally felt like it was the right fit. Like it has been the job I’ve been looking for my whole life. I love working with authors and helping them achieve their dreams. I love the art of the craft and seeing how it transforms from its earliest rough draft to a final beautiful manuscript.
This is probably one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever had, and yet I don’t see myself wanting to do anything else.
What do you like best about the Query process? What do you like least about it?
I love finding those hidden gems in my query box. Those writers that just ignite a spark and make me sit up and take notice.
What I don’t like is the number of stories I get with misogynistic undertones in them. They always kind of bum me out.
I also don’t love our query system, it’s a little clunky, and sometimes I randomly find queries in my spam-box so I always question if I’m really getting all the things authors send.
As an author yourself, what’s the best advice you give an author going through the querying process? How would that advice change as a literary agent?
The best advice I can give is: be patient. This industry has its own pulse as to how it operates, and no amount of pushing makes it go any faster. This past year(+) has been one of firsts for many including myself, and so we are all still trying to find our footing and catching up from all the things that have been thrown at us.
So once you send out that query, start working on the next project. And I don’t mean book two of the series. If book one doesn’t sell, where does that leave you? So work on something new, and do your best to “forget” about the one out there.
As an agent the advice I would give writers is to wait at least three months before checking in on a full. We know you are excited, but I promise weekly check-ins will not make us read faster.
Follow submission guidelines. If it says to use the submission system (even as clunky as it is) use it. It’s not fair to your fellow authors if you try to “jump the line” by sending it directly without request. I occasionally get unsolicited emails in my inbox, and I delete them unread for this reason.
And lastly use the email chain you have established with the agent when checking in. This helps us keep all the information in one place and we can quickly look back and see the history of the submission.
Your bio on the Prospect agency website says that you love stories that push the MG boundary and explore untypical middle school issues. Can you give some examples? (expand on the subject)
What this means is that kids deal with all kinds of issues, and some of those we are just now seeing in middle grade books. So my request is to not be afraid to tackle those issues. I really like that idea that if you are afraid to write it you probably should.