Today’s interview is with Amy Tipton of Signature Literary Agency. I actually discovered Ms. Tipton through one of her clients, fellow blogger Tahereh. So check out the interview, then check out Tahereh’s blog.
KV: How did you get into agenting?
AT: I joined Signature Literary Agency in 2009. I became an agent after working as a literary assistant and office manager at several literary agencies including JCA Literary Agency, Diana Finch Literary Agency, Gina Maccoby Literary Agency, and Liza Dawson Associates. I also worked as a book scout for Aram Fox, Inc. dealing with foreign rights. So, I worked hard and paid my dues! But, really, it was working with Peter Rubie that I got to be an agent. One day, he just asked me if I wanted to be an agent and I said yes.
KV: How would you summarize your personal agenting philosophy? What do you expect from an agent-author relationship?
AT: I am a writer so, as an agent, I also edit. I'm very hands-on. I read and revise and read and revise. I enjoy bouncing ideas back and forth. I want the author to be as committed to the work as I am.
KV: What client work do you have coming out soon? What drew you to those writers and/or projects?
AT: I have several projects coming out and I'm excited about them all! Amy Reed and Courtney Summers have new books coming out. Debut author Victoria Schwab's NEAR WITCH is coming out--a paranormal YA (I normally don't do anything in the paranormal/fantasy/Sci Fi genre). And BIKE NYC by Marci Blackman, Ed Glazar, and Mike Green--an Adult nonfiction tour guide by bicycle (but it's so much more than a tour guide). I love all my projects. What drew me to these ones is their voice--each of these books has a distinctive voice.
KV: What genres do you represent? What genres do you definitely NOT represent?
AT: I like YA and MG; I also rep quirky Adult fiction and nonfiction (if you can't classify it, it's probably for me). I don't rep screenplays, poetry, picture books, or Sci Fi/fantasy.
KV: Say a writer has a YA Sci Fi/fantasy, like Victoria Schwab's NEAR WITCH--should they query you or not?
AT: It's hard to say, but probably not. No. Victoria didn't query me either.
KV: What query pet peeves and/or pitfalls should writers avoid when querying you?
AT: Misspelling is a problem for me--you have spell check on the computer. I also dislike when people don't address me properly--that's rude.
KV: What are you looking for in a manuscript right now?
AT: It's hard to pinpoint what I'm looking for; good writing, a good story. I once heard an agent say, "I want to fall in love!" Yeah. I want to fall in love.
KV: What’s the best way to query you?
Thanks, Ms. Tipton, for these answers. Honestly, if you’re looking for an on-the-ball agent who responds promptly--and I mean, promptly--to clients and non-clients alike, look no further. Ms. Tipton wins the prize in that category, hands down.
Good luck, queriers! And everybody else, thanks for stopping by!