>Why do I need a literary agent?
A good agent will do a number of things for you: she will help shape your book idea into a more commercial product; she will give you access to publishers that you would not have on your own; she will negotiate your book deal and contract terms in your favor; she will act as your advocate and deal directly with the publisher on any problems or disputes that arise during the lifetime of the book. And she will help guide your long-term writing career.
>What kinds of books does Ross Yoon Agency represent?
The vast majority of our clients write non-fiction on topics ranging from current events, politics, history, biography, and religion to spirituality, health, science, and memoir.
Our clients fall into two categories: experts and writers. Sometimes the two overlap. For example, we represent many journalists who are experts in one particular subject, as well as a few doctors who are leading researchers in their field but who also happen to be strong writers.
It may sound old fashioned, but we still believe books can change lives.
>Do you ever sign first-time authors?
Yes! In fact, more than half of our clients are first-time authors. But many of these clients either have some form of writing experience or have risen to the top of their professions.
>What do you look for in a new client?
We look for any number of things: an original voice, an unparalleled expertise or take on a subject, a timely topic that publishers can’t refuse. It also helps if the client’s biography makes him or her uniquely suited to write the book. Are you the only person out there who is qualified or experienced enough to write your book?
>What advice do you have for an aspiring writer?
Do your homework. Read book reviews. Spend time in a bookstore. Figure out where your book would fit on the bookshelves. Find ways to differentiate your idea from the competition and ask yourself what separates your profile as a new author and your book topic.
>What are your guidelines for submissions?
Unfortunately, we are not accepting unsolicited manuscripts at this time. We are only considering submissions referred to us by clients or friends of the agency. Please refer to the submissions section for details, and thank you for your interest in our agency.
>Is there a difference between a New York agency and DC agency?
No. We travel to NYC regularly and have strong relationships with editors at every major publishing house. Keep in mind that your relationship with your agent will likely last longer and be more important than any relationship with an editor or publisher. You want an agent you can trust and feel comfortable with, and you want to make sure that regardless of where your agent is based, he or she is selling books on a regular basis to credible publishers.
>Are internships available at your agency?
Yes. We hire 1-2 interns three times per year: at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters and over the summer. Internships are unpaid but high-responsibility and involve reading and evaluating manuscripts, managing correspondence, and helping to promote our clients’ books in a variety of venues. Most of our interns are graduate students or recent college graduates, but college upperclassmen are also welcome to apply, as are adult professionals looking to learn more about the publishing industry. We particularly welcome applicants with publishing, journalism, PR, or social media experience. Please email Anna Sproul for details and application deadlines.