Friday, November 2, 2012

YA Agent Highlight: Sara Crowe



Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger, Inc.

Sara Crowe is one of the top-ranked young adult literary agents on Publishers Marketplace based on the number of deals in the past year. She has a wide range of experience marketing foreign rights, translation rights, and film/TV rights. 

While researching Sara, I came across a comment she made in an interview that, though it's from 2006, says a lot about Sara’s perspective on agenting: 

“I like to think that we act as passionate advocates for an author's work, and that we play an important role, not always just in terms of securing the best deal, but in being there to support the author for the whole process. We also, I think, allow the author to have an editorial relationship with their editor that isn't hindered by business issues.

My time at Wylie taught me to look at the big picture and to always consider the author's whole career with every move, and I think we provide important strategies to that end. I also think agents are often more aggressive in selling film and foreign rights.” 

She also appears to be a fairly editorial agent. In an interview with Laurie Thompson from 2010, Sara says: 

“I am an editorial agent and do think I am very hands-on. I edit everything I take on before it goes out to editors. If I see any sweeping changes that I think need to be made before submission, I talk to the writer about that when we discuss representation. And the editing does not stop with the first sale. I continue to edit my authors’ books, and to discuss their new book ideas with them. I usually read major revisions before we send to the editor, and I read and discuss synopses and partials, or sometimes just ideas, about what the author should do next. I am always on email, but sometimes a phone call is the best thing for the situation, and I am always happy to be on the phone.”

Another 2010 interview, this time with Samantha Clark, says: “As for whether agents should edit, Sara said she loves going back and forth with writers to make the book perfect before it’s sent out and said she won’t send out anything that isn’t polished. She said that especially today, editors can’t take on a book that’s not completely polished because of the amount of work they have to do. That said, she explained that she generally looks at big picture changes, like plot and character, and leaves smaller changes to the editor.” 

Represents:
She represents YA, MG, and adult fiction and nonfiction. Many of her authors are bestsellers and award winners. Her recent deals reported to Publishers Marketplace include the following genres: thriller, paranormal, alternate history, science fiction, mystery, contemporary, and projects with historical, romantic, or fantasy elements.

Clients:
Dianne Salerni, Jonathan Maberry, Jeff Hirsch, Nina LaCour, Michael Northrop, Lisa Schroeder, Kirsten Tracy, Dan Wells. For a complete list of her clients, go here

Her best-known projects are listed on Publishers Marketplace as:
THE ELEVENTH PLAGUE by Jeff Hirsch
HOLD STILL by Nina LaCour
PATIENT ZERO by Jonathan Maberry
I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME by Lisa Schroeder
I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER by Dan Wells

History
Sara’s 13-year record in the publishing industry is extensive. She attended the Radcliffe Publishing Course, worked at The Wylie Agency for two years, and then moved to London to work as their foreign rights agent. Later on, she worked as the foreign rights manager for Trident Media Group, and then joined Harvey Klinger in 2005.

Sales
YA is her top-sold category. Most of her deals are with imprints of major publishing houses She appears to actively report her deals to Publishers Marketplace, with an average of two or more per month. She has reported 28 deals in the last 12 months. 6 of her reported deals in 2012 were six-figure+ deals.


Looking for:
She has mentioned that she represents many debut authors and likes making those sales. In an interview with Robert Kent in 2011, she said: 

“I would love to find more contemporary thrillers for YA, and a clever MG mystery. I loved WHEN YOU REACH ME. I am always looking for realistic stories for MG, both funny and serious, as long as the voice is unforgettable. I also am very interested in science fiction thrillers for YA.”

 Many of her fantasy projects seem to be set on Earth, which fits with what she says in one of her blog posts

“I am sure I have said in some places that I am not looking for fantasy or historical-- but that is not quite true. I don’t rule anything out because its historical or fantastical. Contemporary often speaks more to me because I respond to the realism of that writing, its emotional truth, but when a story is out of this world and fantastical, it can still work for me-- as long as I can believe in the characters and the world they are living in. Brian Yansky's ALIEN INVASION AND OTHER INCONVENIENCES-- due out next spring from Candlewick, is a perfect example. Yes, aliens have taken over America and the rest of earth, and this is not a situation I am familiar with, but the story is told through the experiences of two teens and Brian perfectly captures their emotions about the new world-- and the reader will believe that this is indeed what teens would feel like and be like when faced with this challenge. It is also very funny. And serious.”

Sara also participated in the Operation Awesome blog mystery agent contest, and if you go here, you can see her thoughts on the winning pitches as well as a Q&A. 

Sara posted an in-depth discussion of books she took on and what drew her to them on her blog. Keep in mind this post is from 2009, but it’s still a great look at her interests and what she wants to see in a story. 

To Query:
She is seeking new clients. She prefers emailed queries sent to:  sara@harveyklinger.com
Her website also has a form through which queries can be sent. She does respond to all emailed queries, but does not accept or respond to mailed queries. Include 5 pages below the query in the body of the email. No attachments.

Around the Web:

 


Sara is also active on Twitter. Her tweets are personable and professional, and she interacts with her followers quite a bit! Follow her at @saraagent

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