Let’s get to know Agent Jenny Bent, founder of The Bent Agency. I had the opportunity to meet her at the Spring SCBWI WWA conference. She has over 15 years of experience in agenting, including a term as Vice President at Trident Media Group. She is looking for new clients across all the genres of middle grade and young adult.
How do you grab her attention? She says, “Just make me feel.” She wants a big idea, something unique with a strong concept. If you make her cry, it's even better.
What does she think about self-publishing? You need to be willing to work. She mentions that most people are killing themselves trying to promote their work 24/7. Self pub is time consuming and hard and most people are not successful.
Is it important to have an agent? Yes! Agents sell your rights separately and will help you make more money.
What were her favorite books growing up? She loved Narnia and Alice in Wonderland. Currently she likes King Dork and Fault in our Stars.
What is she looking for? She says to go visit her website- www.thebentagency.com. But, I can tell you she does NOT want: picture books, sci-fi, poetry, academic, serious history, business, politics, reference or sports.
Want to query her? She asks that you tell a little about yourself, your book, and why you’re the one who should write it. Send it by email along with the first 10 pages.
Worried about how to query? Jenny says, “Query letters can seem hard to write. But they don’t have to be. In fact, you can break a query letter into parts and tackle it part by part.” Other advice, “As you write don’t worry about the order. Do it as a puzzle then fit it all together.”
Be sure your query is no longer than 1 page. Also, don’t be abstract, she wants concrete details. Avoid exclamation points and typos. Also know that she reads every query, she does not skip them to head
straight to the writing.
You can follow Jenny on Twitter @jennybent .