This week's Agent Spotlight features Jodi Reamer of Writers House.
Status: Accepting submissions.
About: Jodi Reamer is an agent and an attorney. She's been with Writers House for 15 years, since 1995. She handles both children's books, picture book to young adult, and adult books with a focus on commercial fiction. She represents many bestselling and award winning authors. She would love to represent a legal thriller. (Link)
About the Agency:
"Writers House was founded in 1973 with a vision for a new kind of literary agency, one that would combine a passion for managing a writer's career with an integrated understanding of how storytelling works. With this two-pronged philosophy, Writers House has played a critical role in developing the careers of hundreds of novelists and non-fiction authors. We believe in offering our clients not only our expertise in negotiating contracts, but in contributing to all phases of the editorial and publishing processes. Our goal is to maximize the value of our clients' work by providing hands-on editorial and marketing advice, as well as leading the way in branding, licensing, and selling film/TV, foreign, audio, dramatic and serial rights." (Link)
"The Writers House children's book department, started by Amy Berkower in 1978, has grown to include seven agents representing many of our industry's most lauded and successful authors. Our list includes popular series like THE TWILIGHT SAGA, SWEET VALLEY HIGH, CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE, THE BABY-SITTERS CLUB, CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS and JUNIE B. JONES -- as well as eight Newbery and Newbery Honor award-winning clients: Sharon Creech, Cynthia Voigt, Cynthia Rylant, Robin McKinley, Susan Patron, Neil Gaiman, Ingrid Law and Grace Lin. Writers House is also proud to represent the first two American authors to win Britain's prestigious Carnegie Award - Creech and Jennifer Donnelly; Christopher Paolini, who, at 20, is one of the youngest authors to hit the New York Times bestseller list; and the late Joan Lowery Nixon, the only four-time Edgar Award Winner recipient." (Link)
Twitter (actively reads but does not tweet at this time).
What She's Looking For:
Children's picture books, middle grade, and young adult -- all genres. Adult general fiction, mystery, romance, fantasy, science fiction, biography, and lifestyle. (Link)
Via E-mail (04/2010):
In the adult realm, she'd love to find a really good legal thriller, and more writers like Danny Tobey, who's first novel she just took on.
From an Interview (2009):
“I generally pass if there aren’t characters that grab me from the start. Authors can do a lot of revising, but I’ve found that it’s nearly impossible to make uninteresting characters interesting.” (Link)
What She Isn't Looking For:
She does not represent easy readers.
She’s not interested in non-fiction, except for biography, memoir, and lifestyle.
Yes. She makes revision requests as needed. Many of her clients have mentioned doing revisions for her.
Lisa Barham, Coe Booth, Bruce Campbell, Ally Condie, Jennifer Crusie, Cameron Dokey, Elizabeth Eulberg, Victoria Forester, Mariah Fredericks, Kami Garcia, John Green, James Jennewein and Tom Parker, Barbara Kerley, Ronald Kidd, Michelle Knudsen, Sarah Darer Littman, Carolyn Mackler, T.H. Mafi, Stephenie Meyer, Peter Moore, Blake Nelson, Micol Ostow, Shani Petroff, Aprilynne Pike, Jacqui Robbins, Dan Santat, Jill Santopolo, Danny Tobey, Roderick Townley, Vera Williams, Lisa Yee, among others.
As of 07/2012, Ms. Reamer is listed on Publisher's Marketplace as having made 6 deals in the last 12 months, 9 six-figure+ deals, and 26 overall. Recent deals include 4 young adult, 2 picture books.
Note: PM is usually not a complete representation of sales. Ms. Reamer verified via e-mail that she rarely reports her deals and this is very inaccurate.
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
Mail or e-mail a query letter and the first 10 pages of the manuscript (or until the end of that chapter). Queries are reviewed by her assistant, Alec Shane.
Do not query more than one agent within the agency at a time. She prefers exclusives on full requests. For further details and contact information, see Ms. Reamer's Publisher's Marketplace page.
She doesn't like queries that jump right into the pitch. She prefers a personalized intro. (Link)
“The biggest mistake to me is not sending sample chapters with the query letter. My decision is based solely on the writing. Not everyone can make a query letter sound interesting, so don’t take a chance–send the actual writing. If an agent insists that authors send only the query letter, then try to convey the tone of the manuscript or voice of the characters in the letter. But don’t write the letter as if sent from one of the characters. I think that’s been over done.” (Link)
The Writers House agency has a stated response time of 6-8 weeks on queries. Ms. Reamer's response times have fluctuated from weeks to nearly a year or more in the past. Currently, the timeframe appears to be about 1-8 weeks for queries and 1-10 weeks for requested material.
What's the Buzz?
Jodi Reamer is a top notch agent. She boasts an impressive list of children's and teen authors, many award winning and/or bestselling, and has a keen eye for potentially successful manuscripts. Her clients seem very loyal and pleased with her. She's been with Writers House for fifteen years, has great contacts in the industry, and is a fantastic negotiator.
She reportedly prefers exclusives on full requests given her full client list and limited time. She takes on very few new authors.
Worth Your Time:
Flashback Friday – Interview with Jodi Reamer at Bethany Hensel’s blog (2009).
Around the Web:
Jodi Reamer at P&E ($, AAR).
Alice Malfunctions, My Agent and Me at Disneyland, cute post at Lisa Yee’s blog (04/2011).
Tips for Querying Jodi Reamer from client Aprilynne Pike on her blog (02/2009).
Fox news video and article on getting a book deal featuring author Shani Petroff, publisher Francesco Sedita, and Jodi Reamer. Jodi Reamer speaks briefly in the video (08/2009).
The Story Behind Twilight on Stephanie Meyer's website, including her agent story.
Please see Ms. Reamer's Publisher's Marketplace page for contact and query information.
Last updated: 7/11/12 -
(Added interview and quotes, updated sales, & response times).
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 4/15/10.
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.