This week's Agent Spotlight features Scott Hoffman of Folio Literary Management.
Status: Open to submissions.
“He has served as Vice-chairman of the Board of Directors of SEARAC (the only nationwide advocacy agency for Southeast Asian-Americans), a Board Member of Fill Their Shelves, Inc. (a charitable foundation that provides books to children in sub-Saharan Africa) and a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Young Associates Steering Committee.
“Before entering the world of publishing, he was one of the founding partners of Janus-Merritt Strategies, a Washington, DC strategic consulting firm. He holds an MBA from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business, and a BA from the College of William and Mary.” (Link)
About the Agency:
"Folio Literary Management, LLC, is a full-service literary management company dedicated to providing comprehensive representation and career management to authors. Like other literary agencies, we focus on selling the domestic and subsidiary rights to our clients' books. But unlike most other agencies, we don't consider our job done when a client's book hits the shelves. At Folio, we recognize that's just the start. In addition to the traditional role of literary agents, we work closely with all of our clients to develop their platforms, writing, and credentials, and to assist them in extracting the most value possible from their intellectual property." (Link)
What He's Looking For:
Adult Fiction and Nonfiction, YA, Middle Grade.
From the Website (as of 03/2012):
“My tastes are extremely eclectic; about the only types of projects I won’t consider are series romance, cozy mysteries, or Westerns. My current list is about half fiction and half nonfiction. My fiction is about half literary, and half commercial (chick lit? Sure – if it’s smart and fresh, and has a strong voice.) My nonfiction is spread out among serious journalistic or academic nonfiction, narrative nonfiction, and quirkier pop-culture books.
“If your project doesn’t fit one of the ‘established’ categories, I’m probably your guy – I love projects that can’t be easily classified.” (Link)
“I’m always on the lookout for: Experts in their fields, looking to integrate a book into their business; People who have an incredible story to tell, and who want to change the world; Books about business, history, or politics. Beautifully-written literary fiction, regardless of the subject; Spiritual or religious-themed fiction and nonfiction (it doesn’t matter what religion); Books that can hook me on concept alone; Dark, dark novels. The darker the better; Any book about a time, place, or group of people that hasn’t been extensively written about; Political, historical, or science-based nonfiction, particularly from academics; Excellent SF or Fantasy that crosses over into the world of literary fiction; Heartbreaking memoirs; Website or blog-based books; Drop-dead funny nonfiction; (I’ll probably regret this, but…) First novels. There’s nothing better than the feeling of telling an author you’ve just sold his or her first book.” (Link)
From an Interview (02/2007):
“…with Science Fiction and Fantasy…the kind of books I gravitate towards aren’t your traditional space opera or sword and sorcery. They are more the ones that happen to be like literary fiction that also have elements of the fantastic or paranormal in them. Books like The Time Traveler’s Wife or the George R.R. Martin books or Philip Pullman’s work. Those books are beautifully written; large epic novels are the type of novels that appeal to me.” (Link)
What He Isn't Looking For:
Yes, he views editorial attention as “at least 50 percent of the job.” (Link.)
There are lists of Folio clients on the website. Mr. Hoffman’s clients include:
As of this posting, Mr. Hoffman is listed on Publisher’s Marketplace as having made 4 deals in the last 12 months, 1 six-figure+ deal, and 44 overall. Recent deals include 1 women’s/romance, 1 advice/relationships, 1 history/politics/current affairs, 1 narrative.
NOTE: PM is usually not a complete representation of sales.
Online-Form: Yes (only).
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
See the Folio Literary website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines, then complete Mr. Hoffman’s form online.
“Make sure there aren’t any spelling or grammar errors. In general three paragraphs about the book, and one more paragraph about yourself. It’s been my experience that this last is the most important, for I’ve found that interesting people write interesting books. The more quirky and cool things you can put in that paragraph—without going over the top—the more likely you are to interest an agent in your work.” (Link)
Mr. Hoffman’s stated response time for queries is up to 6-8 weeks. Stats on the web show a range of just days to 8 weeks with an average close to a month. Submission response times seem to fall within a similar range.
What's the Buzz?
Scott Hoffman is a successful and well-respected literary agent who is currently open to submissions but taking on few new clients.
He is open to MG and YA manuscripts, though neither seem to largely interest him. His children’s/YA sales (that I’m aware of) include Heather Cocks’ and Jessica Morgan’s SPOILED and Chris Moriarty’s THE INQUISITOR’S APPRENTICE.
I recommend listening to his Blot Talk Radio Interview with Kristen Moeller.
Worth Your Time:
Interview with Scott Hoffman by Kristen Moeller at Blog Talk Radio (04/2011).
An Interview with Scott Hoffman, Agent at SF Canada (02/2007).
Q&A: Scott Hoffman's Reasons to Rep at Poets & Writers (05/2006).
Agent Scott Hoffman On: Making Sense of a Rejection Letter at GLA (11/2010).
Scott Hoffman: Don’t Let A Glock Kill Your Book at The Graveyard Shift (04/2008).
Scott’s Writers’ Conference Etiquette at the Folio Literary website.
The Top Five Ways Not To Get A Literary Agent by Scott Hoffman at Writer’s Digest (03/2008).
Around the Web:
There's a great list of resources on the Folio Literary website.
You can sign up for the Folio Literary newsletter here.
Scoff Hoffman on P&E ($).
Folio Literary Management on P&E (Recommended, $).
Folio Literary Management thread on Absolute Write.
Please see the Folio Literary Management website for contact and query information.
Last updated: 3/29/12.
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes.
Last Reviewed By Agent? N/A.
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.