This week's Agent Spotlight features Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger, Inc.
About: "Sara Crowe has been an agent with Harvey Klinger, Inc. since 2005, and represents adult and children's books. On the adult side, she represents commercial and literary fiction and a range of non fiction. On the children's side, her list includes YA and middle grade fiction, as well as picture books. She is always looking for strong, original new voices: there are many debuts among her recent sales, and she'd like to keep it that way. She represents the author and not just the project, working to establish long-term relationships and develop authors' careers. Her well known projects include ZOOLOGY by Ben Dolnick, HOLD STILL by Nina LaCour (William C. Morris Award Finalist), PATIENT ZERO by New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry, GENTLEMEN by Michael Northrop, I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME by Lisa Schroeder and LOST IT by Kristen Tracy.
"She aggressively markets British and translation rights for her authors, utilizing her seven years of experience as a foreign rights agent at Trident Media Group and The Wylie Agency in London. Recent rights sales include SHADOWED SUMMER by Saundra Mitchell in Italy, SECRETS OF TRUTH AND BEAUTY by Megan Frazer in Germany, HOLD STILL by Nina LaCour in Germany and Holland, and I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER by Dan Wells to the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Japan.
"She also actively markets film and TV rights, and recently optioned PATIENT ZERO by Jonathan Maberry to Sony TV, and I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER by Dan Wells to British based The Bureau Film, with Bertrand Faivre producing and Billy O'Brien slated to direct and write the screenplay." (Link)
Status: Open to submissions and seeking new clients.
What She’s Looking For:
Genres of interest: Children's picture books through young adult, fiction and nonfiction. Adult commercial and literary fiction and a wide range of nonfiction. Interests per Publishers Marketplace include: History, politics, current affairs, pop-culture, narrative non-fiction and humor.
From Ms. Crowe's website:
“I am always looking for strong, original new voices: there are many debuts among my recent sales, and I’d like to keep it that way. I want to represent the author and not just the project and to establish long-term relationships and careers.” (Link)
“For adult and children’s fiction, my taste tends to be for the more literary, often quirky, sometimes funny, always with a strong, original voice. While my list is mostly contemporary realistic fiction, I also like horror, mystery, urban fantasy and historical fiction.” (Link)
"I am very open to queries for children’s nonfiction, and do hope to find more. Many of my favorite books as a child were nonfiction, and it is something I remain interested in reading." (Link)
"I would love to see more YA memoir." (Link)
“I am always looking for books for boys, too--especially young adult books. I don't work with much straight fantasy, though it’s not a strict rule. I do like books with many layers, though, and often that means a fantastical or magical element.” (Link)
What She Isn't Looking For:
"I am not the right agent for self-help, health, business books, romance or poetry." (Link)
She also does not represent screenplays or illustrators who only illustrate.
Yes. "I am an editorial agent and do think I am very hands-on. I edit everything I take on before it goes out to editors. If I see any sweeping changes that I think need to be made before submission, I talk to the writer about that when we discuss representation. And the editing does not stop with the first sale. I continue to edit my authors’ books, and to discuss their new book ideas with them. I usually read major revisions before we send to the editor, and I read and discuss synopses and partials, or sometimes just ideas, about what the author should do next." (Link)
"I represent the author and not just the project, working to establish long-term relationships and develop authors' careers." (Link)
"Unless it is adult nonfiction, where platform truly matters, I am only looking at the book first—and if I love it and feel confident I can sell it, I am not concerned about a platform or an online presence. [...] Once we have sold it, I do think all authors should get online. Of course a blurb or recommendation from a well known author is appealing, as it might make the book easier to sell, but its not necessary." (Link)
About the agency:
"Harvey Klinger, Inc. began as a one-man, one office literary agency in October, 1977. Over the years, it has grown and expanded, and is widely recognized as among the top boutique literary agencies in the publishing industry. Similar to its eponymous founder, the agency's tastes range from commercial and literary fiction, to serious narrative non-fiction and self-help psychology books." (Link)
"People often send queries to all of the agents here--even though it says not to on our website, and that is ineffective --we won't look. I also ignore group queries, or those that don't address me by the correct name. I don't like queries that are not spell checked or have terrible grammar. It makes me not want to request and read many pages of bad spelling and grammar, and I think it makes it seem like you aren't sincere when you don't take the time to be careful." (Link)
A complete, up-to-date list of clients is available on Ms. Crowe's website.
Clients include: Mary Atkinson, Marianna Baer, L.A. Banks, Carolee Dean, Christine Deriso, Ben Dolnick, Marion Downs, Darrin Doyle, John C. Ford, Megan Frazer, Edward Hardy, Jeff Hirsch, Elizabeth Holmes, Troy Howell, Holly Nicole Hoxter, Varian Johnson, J. James Keels, Karen Kincy, Heidi R. Kling, Jacqueline Kolosov, Libby Koponen, Nina LaCour, Jonathan Maberry, Jenny Martin, Alexa Martin, Brian Meehl, Michael Northrop, Jason Ockert, Micah Perks, Randy Powell, Erik Raschke, Brian Sack, Susan Maupin Schmid, Peter Schmidt, Karen Halvorsen Schreck, Lisa Schroeder, Yuko Taniguchi, Kristen Tracy, Coert Voorhees, Dan Wells, Allison Whittenberg, Brian Yansky, and Elizabeth Zechel.
As of 05/2010, Ms. Crowe is listed on Publisher's Marketplace as having made 15 deals in the last 12 months, 83 overall, and 6 six figure+ deals. Recent deals include 10 young adult, 2 middle grade, 1 picture book, 1 paranormal, and 1 thriller.
NOTE: PM is usually not a complete representation of sales.
E-mail: Yes (preferred).
Online Form: Yes (via agency website).
E-mail (preferred): Send a brief query letter in the body of the e-mail only. No attachments.
Snail-Mail: Send a brief query letter and SASE.
Online Form: Send a query via the website form by choosing Ms. Crowe from the drop down box.
"As for queries, make them count! Spend the most time on your book description as its the most important thing. And do not make it all about the query—make sure the manuscript is in great shape before you start querying." (Link)
E-mail submission get the fastest response. Let Ms. Crowe know if you are querying multiple agents. Do not query more than one agent at Harvey Kinger at a time.
The Harvey Klinger agency has a no-response policy and only responds if interested with a response time of 2-4 weeks. However, Ms. Crowe is still responding to all submissions, generally within hours to a couple weeks, with an average around one to two days.
What’s the buzz?
Sara Crowe is a highly sought after agent who is very polite and professional. She has great experience in the industry, fabulous clients, and impressive sales. Her clients seem extremely pleased with her representation. Definitely follower her on twitter and subscribe to the Crowe's Nest blog to get a feel for her personality and keep up with the latest news.
Worth Your Time:
Interview with Sara Crowe at Laurie Thompason's blog (03/2010).
Interview with Sara Crowe at Cyansations (02/2006).
Posts of interest by Ms. Crowe on the Crowe’s Nest blog:
I Won't Be Sorry, But Neither Will You (03/2010).Call for Submissions - Ms. Crowe talks about some of her YA clients and why she took them on (10/2009).
Queries that Worked (10/2008).
Revision from the Agent’s Perspective (10/2008).
Blog posts from Sara’s clients (the Nesters) and their experiences with her as their agent can also be found on the Crowe’s Nest blog.
On the Website:
Sara Crowe: My Favorite First Pages - a conference summary including Ms. Crowe's likes and dislikes in first pages at Chinook (05/2010).
Sara Crowe on Finding the Right Agent - a conference summary at Day by Day Writer (02/2010).
Please see Ms. Crowe's website for contact and query information.
Last updated: 5/17/10
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes - 5/22/10
Reviewed By Agent? No - no response.
Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com.
Note: These agent profiles presently focus on agents who accept children's fiction. They are not interviews. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying an agent. The information found herein is subject to change.