First Draft with Sarah Enni


Track Changes: Selling Your Book (Part 1)

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Literary agents Holly Root, founder of Root Literary, and Seth Fishman with The Gernert Company return to lead us through how an agent prepares a manuscript for submission, how they choose which editors to approach with a manuscript, and how they negotiate common types of book sales. We get into what a writer can expect during this notoriously nerve-wracking process.

This episode is brought to you by The Slow Novel Lab, a six-week creativity and writing course from Printz-winning novelist Nina LaCour. For the summer session, beginning June 7, Nina will donate 50% of profits to Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization working with underserved communities. Learn more and sign up for the Slow Novel Lab here.


Catch up on the series so far:

Episode 1: Publishing 101

Episode 2: Agents: Who Are They, What Do They Do, And How Do You Get One?

Bonus Episode: Publishing in the time of COVID


The following agents were interviewed for this episode:

We meet Jennifer de Leon as she prepares for the release of her debut young adult novel, Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From, on August 4. Though Jennifer has been writing for years, she quickly learns that there’s a lot about Capital-P-Publishing that she doesn’t know. (Hear her First Draft interview here.)

Seth Fishman, he’s an author and literary agent with The Gernert Company and manager of their West Coast office. He reps clients such as John Joseph Adams, Ali Almossawi, and Kate Beaton.

Holly Root, literary agent and founder of Root Literary who represents clients such as Victoria Schwab (hear her First Draft interview here), Jasmine Guillory (listen to her First Draft interview here), and Christina Lauren.


  • Genre: Kelly Jensen of BookRiot says the term genre “refers to a type of art that shares similar features. Often, there are standard and common conventions and restraints, as well as common tropes and set-ups. Science fiction is a genre. Romance is a genre. Fantasy and mystery are also genres.”

  • Category: Jensen says category is “who the book is intended for. It’s part of the marketing of a book, as well as a way for those who work with books to quickly ascertain the reader for whom the book would be most appropriate.” Within the category of Young Adult there are genres like contemporary, science fiction, mystery, etc.

More Information:


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Track Changes is produced by Hayley Hershman. Zan Romanoff is the story editor. The music was composed by Dan Bailey, and the logo was designed by Collin Keith.

Direct download: TC_E3_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:00am PDT