Rachael Kent is a literary agent with Books & Such Literary Agency in Santa Rosa, California. She represents fiction and nonfiction for adults and has a special interest in books for teens and readers in their twenties and thirties.
Many new authors hope publishing a book will be the fast ticket to fame and fortune. Knowing that no two books are the same, from your experience, how much (in ballpark figures) should a first time author expect to make on their first book?
Also, don't expect to quit your day job when you get published. Writing is more often a hobby than a career, and the money comes infrequently so counting on it to pay all the bills is dangerous. Most authors I know write because God gave writing to them as a passion, and they want to touch lives. In my experience God always gives his servants what they need to continue doing his work.
Part of your job as an agent is to attend writer’s conferences. What has been your best Christian writers’ conference experience? What has been your worst experience?
Most of my conference experiences have been wonderful! I've enjoyed every Christian conference I've been to, and I love meeting with authors and editors.
My best conference experience, if I have to pick one, would be when my client Sarah Sundin won the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference in 2011.
It was great to be there to celebrate with her, and I was so proud of her. I knew she had been selected for the award before it was announced, but I was able to sit next to her and keep a secret. I purchased flowers to give to her that I kept hidden until the announcement was made.
My worst conference experience was when an author who was serving on faculty at a conference asked me in front of a large group of writers if I was twelve years old and said there was no way I could be old enough to do my job. I have always had a strong work ethic, and I work hard for my clients so it was hurtful for someone to be so demeaning to me because of my looks, especially in front of others.
Thankfully God addressed situations like this in the Bible with the verse in 1 Timothy 4:12: "Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity" (NIV).
Thank you, Rachel. Is there anything you would like to add?
I'm looking forward to the Write! Canada conference. Thanks for taking the time to find out more about me through this interview.