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Agent Spotlight: Jodi Reamer

This week's Agent Spotlight features Jodi Reamer of Writers House.

Status: Accepting submissions.

WritersHouse[15]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)

Web Presence:

Writers House website.

Publisher's Marketplace page.

AAR.

Twitter (actively reads but does not tweet at this time).

LinkedIn.

AgentQuery, QueryTracker.

What She's Looking For:

Genres/Specialties:

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.

Editorial Agent?

Yes. She makes revision requests as needed.  Many of her clients have mentioned doing revisions for her. 

Clients:

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.

Sales:

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. 

Query Methods:

E-mail: Yes.

Snail-Mail: Yes.  

Online-Form: No.

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.

Query Tips: 

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)

Response Times:

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:

Interviews:

Flashback Friday – Interview with Jodi Reamer at Bethany Hensel’s blog (2009).

Around the Web:

Writers House thread at AbsoluteWrite.

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.

Aprilynne Pike's post on how she signed with Jodi Reamer (01/2007).

Contact:

Please see Ms. Reamer's Publisher's Marketplace page for contact and query information.

Profile Details:

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.

53 comments:

  1. AACK! I submitted to her yesterday--jumping right into the pitch, of course. As usual, you found much more information than I dredged up. Your blog is such a wonderful resource, Casey!

    One question. My understanding is that you should never submit to multiple agents within one house at the same time, and that this agency in particular wants you to pick only one agent for any given project. Did you find something to contradict that?

    Thanks again for your amazing blog. It is such a gift!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was just going to ask that very question. So, thank you for saving me some time, lol;

      Wonderful information/page...thank you.

      Delete
  2. Yes, Martina. They only want writers to query one agent at the agency at a time. If Jodi Reamer rejects you, you can then query another agent at the agency.

    Good luck!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, great detailed insight, thanks for sharing Casey.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the great spotlight. It's good to know you could query another agent there if Jodi Reamer rejects it. Many agencies don't allow that.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I saw Jodi talk a couple of years ago at the SCBWI NYC annual conference. She's a very straight forward individual who isn't afraid to tell it as it is.

    Warning for those of you who are lucky to land a request, it takes a looooooong time to hear back from her assistant once you send it in. I don't know of anyone who received a personalize rejection for her, but that doesn't come as a surprise. She's super busy.

    Good luck to everyone querying her. She is a super agent.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow. Query Shark is always beating up writers for NOT jumping into the pitch. Title, wordcount, personalized stuff go at the END, you morons, she reminded us just this week.

    Isn't it amazing how agents expect us to read their minds? Thanks, Casey, for helping to unscramble these conflicting "rules." This shows how much research we need to do before we query.

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  7. As always, this is top stuff. I will never send out a query without checking your blog first! Thanks, Casey.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks, Casey! This is very helpful!

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  9. Do you see how INCREDIBLY VALUABLE your fabulous blog is???

    Another excellent tip on how Ms. Reamer prefers her query letters...now THAT'S truly precious information!!

    You've done it AGAIN GIRL!

    Have you seen what OUR FRIEND HEATHER KELLY WROTE ABOUT YOU ON HER BLOG?? :)

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  10. She's one of the agents I would love to work with. Thanks for the information.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you for the great comments, everyone. I appreciate it!

    Ms. Reamer has reviewed her profile and provided a few updates. The information provided here is accurate and up-to-date as of 04/15/2010.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great work as always, Casey! I was so happy to see you at my blog today. : ) Thanks for visiting! Everything I hear about Writers House as an agency is excellent.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I just read what Ms. Pike wrote about querying Jodi Reamer. I totally messed that up. I put the pitch first. Sad.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great insight found, as always. Thanks for the information.

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  15. Fantastic as usual. Interesting details.

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  16. Great information, thanks Casey. Now I won't jump straight in with the pitch when I query her.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Another wonderful interview, Casey!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Casey,

    You're really doing a fantastic thing with this blog. I've been exploring it the last few days, and I'm blown away. Thanks so much for putting forth so much hard work for the scrabbling writers of the world. (Also--thanks for the follow!)

    Hanna

    ReplyDelete
  19. excellent review, as always. One bit of thought would be that she is surely inundated with queries at the moment. It is no secret that she is Stephanie Meyer's agent, and so you can bet her desk is full, especially with romance and paranormal. Make sure your queries are top notch, especially if you are sending her YA. You know she must be overladen with them right now.

    ReplyDelete
  20. With regard to Jodi Reamer (but this could apply to any agent) when sending a synopsis of the plot do they prefer in depth that shows the writer's style as well as how the plot unfolds, or would they rather tight, concise, just hit the highlights of the story. Three pages (double spaced) rather than say, seven?

    ReplyDelete
  21. mittens1, I don't know Jodi Reamer's preference but most agents prefer a 2-3 page synopsis over a 5-7 page one. It's usually good to have both ready, but I recommend sending the shorter.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Advise question: When e-mailing Jodi Reamer through her assistant Alec, should it be addressed to her or him? I know it might seem like a simple or silly question but I want to be certain before I send it. You only get one first impression.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Robyn,

    I'm not sure what the etiquette is in this situation, but I would address it to Jodi since it's intended for her in the long run, especially if you're personalizing it.

    Hope that helps!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I just did a search to find out about her, and this was by far the best and most helpful page. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Casey,

    I have a question about my submission. When I looked up Jodi Reamer I saw that she is with Writers House in New York. On their submissions page the instructions say to a send a query letter, synopsis, and self addressed stamped envelope to their office's. Then, when I look at Jodi's profile in their list of senior agents page, her instructions are to send the first ten pages (or until the end of the first chapter)of your manuscript and a query letter. I am confused and I don't want to make a mistake the first rattle out of the dish. Am I suppose to send my synopsis to the agency addressed to Jodi first and let her request me or can I query her directly with my first 10 pages?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi Anon,

    I would follow the instructions posted on her publisher's marketplace page. The guidelines on the agency website are blanket guidelines, in a sense, and a lot of the agents have their own set based on their preferences. Definitely query via Jodi's assistant, per her guidelines on PM.

    Let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi,
    I just sent a query to Jodi Reamer via email through her assistant. I was just wondering if you knew what the response time would be? I also was wondering if she would reply even if it is a "no"? I would rather hear a negative response then non at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anon,

      As far as I know it's still her policy to respond to all queries (through her assistant). Her response time varies but it seems like most replies come within 4-6 weeks.

      Delete
  28. This may be a stupid question, but are the first 10 pages suppose to be the 10 before the double space or the 10 after the double space has been applied? Because it makes a massive difference. Before I apply the double space, that's the first three chapters. After the double space it's the first chapter only. Thoughts? =) Thank you! Love this blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Andrea,

      Agents almost always like to see manuscript pages double spaced, so I would definitely go that route. Even if it ends up looking single spaced in an e-mail, it should match the first ten pages of your double-spaced MS.

      Hope that helps!

      Delete
    2. Dear Casey,

      What do you mean by "ends up looking single spaced in an email"? Are we supposed to send everything AS an email, not in .pdf or .doc file?? Thanks

      Delete
    3. Anon,

      Ms. Reamer doesn't specify, but most agents who want a small sample (10 pages in this case) want it pasted into the body of the e-mail below the query. Sometimes it holds the double spaced formatting, sometimes it doesn't.

      If you're sending a requested partial or full manuscript, nearly all agents will want something that big attached as a .doc. I don't recommend sending a .pdf unless an agent asks for that format.

      Always read the submission guidelines for each agent carefully. They really vary. If you find some that aren't particularly specific, it's always safe to send just a query pasted into an e-mail (providing the agent accepts e-queries, of course!).

      Hope that helps!

      Delete
  29. I sent a query to Jodi Reamer via Alec Shane and received a request for the first 50 pages about five weeks later. Hoping to get a full MS request. My MS is out with other agents and publishers, but if I get an offer from Ms. Reamer, I'm going with it!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Is the synopsis suppose to be a full plot summary (multiple paragraphs) OR just one paragraph of the premise?
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi Anon,

    She doesn't request a synopsis in her guidelines.

    Are you inquiring about the synopsis in a query? Or a full synopsis that's been requested with material? If it's the query, it tends to be one to three paragraphs. Just a standard query. If you're sending a full synopsis, I recommend coming in under five pages.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Wow, thanks for the quick response.

    However, it says in here that she wants a synopsis:
    http://www.authoradvance.com/agents/jodi-reamer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon,

      AuthorAdvance tends to be horribly outdated, and I've starting excluding it from these profiles for that reason. I would only trust Ms. Reamer's Publisher's Marketplace page to have the most up-to-date information since she updates it herself.

      http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/JReamer/

      After a personal website or PM page, I would trust QueryTracker.

      Delete
  33. I snail-mailed my query to Jodi (the first query I ever sent, actually!), and got a response after 11 weeks. I'd written her off as a rejection and was just about to query another agent at Writers House when I got my SASE back, requesting my first 50 pages! It's been 3 weeks since I emailed the partial. I'm certainly not holding my breath for a quick response time, but I'm not about to complain!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very exciting, Ashley. If you haven't already heard back, good luck!

      Delete
    2. She ended up requesting the full, then a revise and resubmit. I'm sending the revised manuscript next week. Crossing ALL my fingers and toes!

      Delete
  34. I'm curious if Jodi has stated what she's currently looking for in YA so that I can use that for my personalization. I'm familiar with her work and presence, but not exactly her taste in YA novels, specifically.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jennifer,

      As far as I know, there's no specific info online regarding what Jodi is looking for in YA. We just have to infer what we can from her clients' work. If you've read some of her books, you can always draw a personalization from that. Good luck!

      Delete
    2. If Jodi requests first 10 pages or first chapter, does that mean I should send the first chapter even if it's 20 pages long or should I only send half a chapter?

      Delete
  35. Jodi requests the first 10 pages or the length of the first chapter, but double spaced, my first ten pages are nothing without the rest of the chapter, but if I send the first chapter double spaced it's about 50 pages. I feel like I'd have a better chance sending the first chapter instead of the first 10 pages but what if then she requests the first 50 pages and ironically she's already seen them? She doesn't say if she prefers the first 10 pages or the first chapter more and that's so frustrating because i feel like i'd have a better chance sending the first chapter but..

    ReplyDelete
  36. Elijah,

    It sounds like she'd prefer to see a complete chapter. So, despite its length, I would probably send the entirety of your first chapter.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Yesterday i had send my query letter with my first chapter which is 12 pages long i hope Jodi Reamer has no problem with it although i screwed up the query letter.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Does anyone know who her assistant is now that Alec Shane is working as an agent himself? Is he still handling her 'inbox?' Or has she got someone else?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alec's Publishers Marketplace page says he's still working under Jodi, so he's probably still helping with submissions. Not sure, however.

      Delete
  39. Hi! I have an idea for a trilogy in the making. I've been working on this for around 5 years, I have almost 200 pages complete, and I am pushing to get it finished. HOWEVER, I'm still around 200 pages away from the first book being completed. Due to the huge amount of time it takes for a response, do you think I should go ahead and send in my first chapter?

    Also, because my story is going to be a trilogy, do you know if she will need an outline of the two other books as well? Sorry for all the questions, but I'm new to this, and you seem like you understand how this works pretty well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jess,

      You really shouldn't query until the first novel is complete. It sounds like you're still in the middle of your first draft, which means you also have revision and editing ahead. You don't want to risk being asked for the full manuscript before it's ready as you pretty much have just one shot with each agent.

      As for the trilogy question, it wouldn't hurt to have outlines or 1-2 page synopses ready but as long as you can explain and answer questions about where the trilogy is headed, I think you can tackle that further down the road.

      Good luck!

      Delete