This week's Agent Spotlight features Laura Bradford of the Bradford Literary Agency.
Status: Open to submissions.
About: “Laura Bradford has fifteen years of professional experience as a literary agent, editor, writer and bookseller. Laura began her career as a literary agent at Manus and Associates Literary Agency and formed Bradford Literary Agency in 2001. She considers herself an editorial-focused agent and takes a hands-on approach to developing proposals and manuscripts with her authors for the most appropriate markets. During her own misadventures as a writer, Laura came to understand the importance of having a friendly but critical eye on your side, a career strategist in your corner and a guide who can lead you through the travails of publication.
“Her recent sales include books placed with Berkley, Grand Central, Harlequin/Silhouette, Kensington, Spice Books, Pocket, Virgin Books, Avon, Dorchester, Hyperion, NAL, Eos, and Mira Books. She continues to actively build her client list and is currently seeking work in the following genres: Romance (historical, romantic suspense, paranormal, category, contemporary, erotic), urban fantasy, women’s fiction, mystery, thrillers and young adult as well as some select non-fiction.
“She is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR) and Romance Writers of America and she is an RWA-recognized agent.” (Link)
About the Agency:
“The Bradford Literary Agency is a boutique agency which offers a full range of representation services to authors who are both published and pre-published. Our mission at the Bradford Literary Agency is to form true partnerships with our clients and build long-term relationships that extend from writing the first draft through the length of the author’s career.” (Link)
What She's Looking For:
“We are currently acquiring fiction: Romance (historical, romantic suspense, paranormal, category, contemporary, erotic), urban fantasy, women’s fiction, mystery, thrillers, and young adult. Non fiction: Business, relationships, biography/ memoir, self-help, parenting, narrative humor.” (Link)
From an Interview (03/2011):
“If the voice and character are there, I can keep reading even if there are missteps. If voice and character are absent...that pretty much means game over.” (Link)
From an Interview (03/2010):
“I do more single title work than category, so that is my general preference, but I am really open to any romance subgenre except for inspirational. I also handle mystery, thrillers, women’s fiction, urban fantasy and young adult.” (Link)
What She Isn't Looking For:
Poetry, screenplays, short stories, children’s books, westerns, horror, new age, religion, crafts, cookbooks, gift books. (Link)
“We are an editorial-focused agency and prefer to work closely with our authors in helping to build strong, sustainable careers. We believe the best author-agent relationships extend beyond making sales; in order to best serve our clients’ needs, we must also be a partner, an advisor, a careful listener, a troubleshooter and an advocate.” (Link)
“Willfully ignoring instructions can launch me into a rant (‘I know your guidelines say to do X, but I am going to do Y’). That is the same as the author saying they have absolutely zero respect for my time or my process.” (Link)
There is a list of agency clients on the website.
Ms. Bradford’s clients include: Lauren Dane, Megan Hart, Anya Bast, Ann Aguirre, Cynthia Eden, Beth Kery, Alison Kent, Corrine Jackson, Maggie Robinson, Elisabeth Naughton, Stacey Kade, Karina Cooper, Jenn Bennett, Christie Kelley, among others.
As of this posting, Ms. Bradford is listed on Publisher’s Marketplace as having made 23 deals in the last 12 months and 108 overall. Recent deals include 12 women’s/romance, 7 young adult, 3 sci-fi/fantasy, 1 digital.
NOTE: PM is usually not a complete representation of sales.
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
Put QUERY in the subject line followed by the title of the manuscript or a short message. Your submission should contain no attachments unless requested.
Fiction: E-mail a query letter with the first chapter of your manuscript and a synopsis in the body of the e-mail. Include genre and word count.
Non-Fiction: E-mail your full non-fiction proposal including a query letter and sample chapter.
See the Bradford Literary Agency website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.
Ms. Bradford prefers Times New Roman. (Link)
“I just want to see a general air of professionalism. Get to the point of what is relevant to your work...I don't really need to know your children's names and ages. I really am pretty laid back about format and form. I really don't care about margins and fonts as long as they are legible. I don't honestly care if an author addresses me as Laura or Ms. Bradford. I don't care how long your synopsis is as long as it does the job adequately. Just do your research and make sure your query follows the guidelines I DO have and I will be happy. At the end of the day the writing has to speak for itself.” (Link)
The agency’s (approximate) stated response time for queries is 2-4 weeks. If you have not received a response within 1 month, resend your query and note you’re resending.
Stats on the web show Ms. Bradford responding to most queries within hours to a couple weeks and requested material within days to a couple months.
What's the Buzz?
Laura Bradford is a highly respected agent with a great track record. She represents a number of bestselling authors and is continually ranked among the Top Dealmakers on Publisher’s Marketplace for women’s/romance and YA. Her clients seem very pleased with her representation
Worth Your Time:
Interview with Literary Agent Laura Bradford at Sherry’s Fiction Writing Tools (03/2011).
Countdown to Conference Interview with Agent Laura Bradford at Southern Sizzle Romance (03/2010).
Contemporary Romance – Hot? Not?, Interview with Laura Bradford and Carly Phillips at Romance University (01/2010).
Chatting With... Agent Laura Bradford of Bradford Literary Agency at Cindy Procter-King (09/2009).
The 7 Question Interview with Laura Bradford by Writing Raw (2009).
Agent Advice Interview with Laura Bradford at Guide to Literary Agency (reposted 06/2009).
Interview with Literary Agent Laura Bradford at editors, agents and blogs, oh my! (12/2008).
Interview with Laura Bradford at Novelists, Inc. (08/2008).
An Interview with Laura Bradford by Cynthia Eden at Pasic Basics (03/2008).
Perseverance: The Hardest P, guest post by Laura Bradford at Adventures in Agentland (05/2011).
Guest Blogger: AGENT LAURA BRADFORD at Hooked on Romance (09/2009).
Guest Blogger: Agent Laura Bradford at Genreality (08/2009).
State of the Erotic Romance Market from Laura Bradford, Agent Awesome at Dear Author (07/2009).
Guest Blogger: Agent Laura Bradford at Magical Musings (02/2007).
Around the Web:
Laura Bradford on P&E ($, AAR).
Keep an eye on the News page of the Bradford Lit website for client news, new releases, and recent deals.
Agent Laura Bradford’s Tips on Submitting Your Work and Laura Bradford Talks About The Call, Working with Editors, and More, conference notes at Manifesting Magic (05/2011).
Ask Agent Q&A transcript with Laura Bradford at Suzy Kue (05/2011).
Querying Blunders, featuring quotes and commentary from Laura Bradford at Old People Writing for Teens (03/2010).
Agent Laura Bradford on Queries, conference notes at The Sound of Rain (10/2010).
Chase the Dream Contest, Laura Bradford shares what she looks for in a submission - YouTube video (12/2009).
Please see the Bradford Literary Agency website for contact and query information.
Last updated: 10/6/11.
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 10/10/11.
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.