12/15/2014

Survey Results: What Agents, Editors and Art Directors Look For Online

By Debbie Ridpath Ohi

In prep for my workshop at CANSCAIP's Packaging Your Imagination, I asked literary agents, editors and art directors a few questions about whether they research potential clients, authors and illustrators online and what they look for. 18 editors (some of whom also look for picture book illustrators), 8 agents and 2 art directors responded.

Here's what they said:

QUESTION: When you are considering taking on a new client/author/illustrator, do you ever research them online?

77% of respondents said that when they are considering taking on a new client, author and illustrator, they ALWAYS research them online. The rest said they sometimes do.

QUESTION: If you do online research before signing on a client/author/illustrator, has your research ever made you decide NOT to sign them on?

62% said that YES, they have decided to reject someone after researching them online. Some said that while they hadn't yet rejected someone after online research, they would definitely think twice about signing with someone who posts a lot of negativity (see below) or posts "with cringe-inducing syntax."


OTHER COMMENTS:

In this section, I invited respondents to volunteer additional comments, including turn-ons and turn-offs, what they look for during online research.

The following respondents gave me permission to use their names.

Christie Harkin, Consultant Publisher at Clockwise Press:

"I have been turned off by authors/illustrators who bad-mouth their editors/publishers/agents. It is amazing to me when I see this on Facebook. Even if you don't mention your editor/publisher by name, it is usually very obvious to whom you are referring. I would definitely think twice about taking on someone who did this. Also, I look for authors/illustrators who are generous in sharing news about others in the community. People who only post promo about their own books (BUY MY BOOK! LOOK AT MY STUFF!) are not generally as well-received or connected with the larger community. If you are a new or emerging creator, you need to be engaging with others who are also plugged in to the kidlit world."...more