2019 Literary Agents and Marketing Consultants
Alice B. Acheson will offer 15-minute marketing consultations. Hannah Elnan of Sasquatch Books and Natalie Grazian of Martin Literary & Media Management will hear five-minute pitches. Hannah is looking to hear from writers interested in pitching adult nonfiction manuscripts to Sasquatch Books. Natalie is eager to meet with writers of adult fiction who are looking for an agent. Learn more about the genres they're looking for and familiarize yourself with the process of pitching in the information below.
*Update: Due to a change in the agent's schedule, Natalie Grazian will not be attending the 2019 Chuckanut Writers Conference. In her place, Britt Siess, also of Martin Literary Management, will conduct pitch sessions. Please read Britt's bio, below.*
Alice B. Acheson
*Marketing consultations with Alice B. Acheson are now full.*
Drawing on 40+ years of publishing experience (McGraw-Hill, Simon & Schuster, Crown Publishing, plus many smaller publishers), Alice B. Acheson consults on national and regional book marketing and publishing. Her work as a publicist has been recognized with numerous New York Times bestsellers (four simultaneously).
She is particularly proud of her efforts for Douglas Wood’s Old Turtle—the author's first book from a publisher who had never published a children's book nor marketed any of their books nationally. It won the American Booksellers Association Book of the Year and sold 800,000 copies prior to its re-sale to Scholastic. Her successful efforts won the Literary Market Place Outside Services Award for Advertising, Promotion, and Publicity.
For the past 30+ years, she has worked independently as a publicist and now consultant, advising authors on a marketing and publishing campaign for their books. In response to the changes brought on by technology, she points out that “everything has changed, nothing is new.” Last summer, four of her clients received requests for their manuscripts at four distinct writers conferences.
Alice lives in Friday Harbor, WA and can be contacted at AliceBA7@gmail.com
A lifelong bookworm, Hannah Elnan acquires nonfiction for adults for leading independent press Sasquatch Books. Sasquatch Books’ mission is to seek out and work with the most gifted writers, chefs, naturalists, artists, and thought leaders in the Pacific Northwest and bring their talents to a national audience. Our authors’ passion for what they do becomes ours as we help transform their vision into beautifully crafted books that represent the adventurous spirit and DIY lifestyles of the region.
Hannah is looking for lifestyle books (including house, home, and crafts), gardening and outdoors, creative inspiration, gift books, and journals. She also has a particular interest in women’s issues, social issues, science, and cute animals.
Her books include Moorea Seal’s bestselling 52 Lists series (with over 600,000 copies in print); books, journals, and paper products with Instagram sensation @Flora.Forager; and the award-winning Dead Feminists by Chandler O’Leary & Jessica Spring. Before joining Sasquatch Books in 2014, Hannah worked at Ballantine Bantam Dell and Elyse Cheney Literary Associates. Outside of work, she can be found tending to her jungle-like garden, in the kitchen trying new recipes, or in the yoga studio.
*Pitch sessions with Natalie Grazian are now full.*
Natalie is an associate agent of adult fiction at the Seattle-based Martin Literary Management. She has a BA in English and minor in Spanish from Santa Clara University. Upon graduating, she worked as a publishing sales representative for W. W. Norton and interned for two literary agencies: Kimberley Cameron & Associates and Martin Literary Management. For two years, Natalie was the fiction editor of The Santa Clara Review, the oldest literary magazine on the West Coast.
Natalie is building her client list in adult fiction. She looks for the sweet spot between commercial and literary, where the writing is excellent and the plot keeps the pages turning.
She gravitates toward sharp, stylish psychological thrillers, witty contemporary rom-coms, and historical stories that explore an underrepresented perspective. Rather than solidly sci-fi or fantasy, she prefers speculative elements that allow the writer to dig deeply into some aspect of humanity (as in Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel or Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro).
The common denominator in the fiction she loves is a strong voice and a strong hook. Her thematic interests include complicated families, immigrant identity and experience, powerful character transformations, and questions of fate vs. free will. More than anything, she looks for assured prose, a strong sense of place, finely-tuned plots, and smart, distinctive characters who make the unrelatable relatable.
Britt Siess has seen all aspects of the publishing industry. She is a former bookseller, has interned for the Taryn Fagerness Agency, Wales Literary Agency, and Martin Literary & Media Management. Prior to joining Martin Literary as an Associate Literary Manager, she was with the sales division of The Quarto Group where she worked in domestic and foreign book sales.
At this time, Britt is accepting Middle Grade, YA, and Adult submissions for stories with fantastic or supernatural elements. She is also accepting queries for graphic novels for young readers, preferably from author/illustrators. To read more about what she is currently looking for, see her wish list at brittsiess.com.
Britt tweets publishing tips, news, and tidbits about her life as an agent @BrittSiess. She can be reached at Britt@MartinLit.com.
On Marketing Consultations
- You must pre-register for marketing consultations by June 7. There will be no sign-ups during the conference.
- Register early! The number of sessions is limited. Consultation times be randomly assigned, and you will receive the exact time of your scheduled consultation when you check in at the conference.
- Marketing consultations will be 15 minutes in duration.
Come prepared to ask questions and bring your own suggestions. Find out which marketing ideas are the most practical, efficient, least expensive (time and money), and/or best for the genre, and leave with handouts for future guidance. Here are some questions you might ask:
- What marketing is necessary before a publisher sees the manuscript?
- What can you do on your own and what should you do?
- How can you spend your time wisely without jeopardizing the next book?
- What to tell agents and publishers asking for a built-in audience?
- How do you encourage your publisher to market your book, not just print it and forget it?
- What are ARCs, BLADs, F&Gs -- and are they important?
Preparing For Your Pitch Session
- You must pre-register for pitch sessions by June 7. There will be no sign-ups during the conference.
- Register early! The number of sessions is limited. Pitch times will be randomly assigned, and you will receive the exact time of your scheduled pitch session(s) when you check in at the conference.
- Pitch sessions will be 5 minutes in duration.
- You have the option to pitch each agent once only (on a space available basis). Please only register to pitch agents and editors who are seeking manuscripts in your genre.
- Please read the following Guide to Pitching before signing up. We hope the information will answer your questions and assist you in your preparation. Your best shot at a good session is preparedness.
Guide to Pitching
Dos and Don’ts
- Be natural—you know your material better than anyone else.
- Make eye contact; be excited.
- Don’t memorize your pitch. Just tell agents about it.
- Know the facts about your own material—word count, genre, and target audience.
- Don’t give out business cards, copies of your bio or manuscript, but have them on hand if asked.
- Read attending agents' blogs and websites. You’ll learn about them and gain an understanding of what they do and do not want to see. As a result, you’ll be more confident.
- Be able to answer the question, “Which books would your book sit next to on the shelf?”
- Practice ahead of time—you’ll be more confident.
- Don’t use clichés, and don’t recap the plot.
- Let the agent know why s/he would like to read the work and why readers will be deeply engaged.
- Mention if the work has been professionally edited.
- Let the agent know if you have been previously published.
- Be aware of personal hygiene—don’t smoke before a meeting or wear strong fragrances.
- Be cognizant of personal space.