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Writer's Room => Picture Books (PB) => Topic started by: Elizabeth H on April 02, 2016, 12:49 PM

Title: Question about agents, authors & illustrators
Post by: Elizabeth H on April 02, 2016, 12:49 PM
Do agents ever play a role in matching picture book authors and illustrators?  Are authors and illustrators represented by the same agent any more likely to be paired for projects?

I'm asking this as a PB author-only, previously published 10+ years ago, ready to revive my career and just embarking on the search for an agent.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Question about agents, authors & illustrators
Post by: HaroldU on April 02, 2016, 01:53 PM
It depends! I've seen this happen, but I wouldn't say it's standard operating procedure for most agents, and I'm not sure that I'd make it be one of your criteria in your agent search.

Jennifer Laughran (literaticat) is an agent who frequently posts here, but she's in Bologna for the next several days -- if you can wait she may comment on this when she gets back...
Title: Re: Question about agents, authors & illustrators
Post by: Elizabeth H on April 02, 2016, 02:41 PM
Thank you, Harold, that's very helpful!  My guess was that such matches would happen at least occasionally, but beyond that I had no idea. 

Naturally I'm more drawn to agents who represent illustrators whose work speaks to me, but I didn't know if that was anything that mattered in practical terms, although of course it's some indication of an agent's tastes and sensibilities.

And of course I'd love to hear anything that Jennifer Laughran or anybody else has to say about this.
Title: Re: Question about agents, authors & illustrators
Post by: koozoo on April 02, 2016, 03:24 PM
Great question Elizabeth (and response by Harold)!

I too have considered agents based upon illustrators represented by the same agent/agency.

Looking forward to more input after the Bologna Book Fair. Thanks!
Title: Re: Question about agents, authors & illustrators
Post by: JodyJS on April 03, 2016, 05:39 AM
My experience is that sometimes an agent who represents both a PB author and an illustrator will try to pair them in a pitch to editors. However, if the author doesn't like the illustrator's style, she can tell the agent and have the agent send the text by itself. This has happened twice to me. Both times, the illustrator the publisher chose was a much better match for my text.
Title: Re: Question about agents, authors & illustrators
Post by: Arona on April 03, 2016, 05:56 AM
There is an England-based agency--something like Bright Group International--that reps both, and I think they've paired, or do pair, authors/illustrators.

I've read pairing the two when shopping is a risk, though. A pub might like one yet not the other, leaving the entire work to get rejected.
Title: Re: Question about agents, authors & illustrators
Post by: JodyJS on April 03, 2016, 09:46 AM
Or sometimes a publisher will accept one and not the other.
Title: Re: Question about agents, authors & illustrators
Post by: Schriscoe on April 03, 2016, 07:41 PM
Great comments already here.

I agree, I wouldn't let what illustrators the agent reps make my decision for submitting to that said agent. If he/she has a great list of illustrators, they may very well pair you with one of them. But still the likelihood of the publisher taking you both on for the same project is slim. I would chose which agents I submit to based upon if they are a right fit for your text. This is most important.

There is an England-based agency--something like Bright Group International--that reps both, and I think they've paired, or do pair, authors/illustrators.

Yep. They do. They also submit their illustrators solo. The illustrator for Race Car Dreams is repped by them. :)
Title: Re: Question about agents, authors & illustrators
Post by: Elizabeth H on April 08, 2016, 06:10 PM
Koozoo, Jody, Arona, Schriscoe — thank you for your replies!  It seemed logical to me that it would be a desirable thing for an agent to have writers and illustrators both repped by her/him teamed up by a publisher, but I know there are many factors involved.

Jody, that's good the agent didn't handcuff you to the wrong illustrator!  I worry about the possibility of a stylistic mismatch.  I was so lucky with my two books; the illustrator not only did a phenomenal job but also became a great friend.  It felt like a true collaboration.