Book Alchemy
The Secret Library Podcast
#25 Terra Chalberg on Finding an Agent

#25 Terra Chalberg on Finding an Agent

Getting an agent can be intimidating.

It doesn't have to scare you away from meeting the right person. Terra Chalberg of Chalberg & Sussman talks to us this week from inside the literary world. I am so grateful for her generosity and willingness to share her process of connecting with authors and choosing who she'd like to work with as an agent. This conversation is a must-listen for anyone considering going the traditional publishing route. If you've ever wondered how to get an agent and what it takes to get your manuscript into the hands of someone who can help you get your book out there, this episode will give you the guidelines.

Learn how to query an agent so they'll read your message rather than deleting it right away. Learn what you might be doing that turns agents off immediately. AND learn something you can be doing right away that will help agents find you. (It's not what you think- I was surprised, and delighted, to learn how Terra finds many of her authors.) Get ready to understand the agents' world a whole lot better. I know it will help you understand next steps so much better.

Show Notes for Episode 25 with Terra Chalberg:

  • Themes in looking for stories (2:45)

  • Going from film to publishing (3:30)

  • Film vs. publishing and taking risks on new stories (6:40)

  • Starting Chalberg & Sussman (7:15) 

  • Becoming an agent (8:45)

  • Publishing contracts (11:15)

  • How to get your foot in the door with a query (& how to lose an agent right away) (12:30)

  • Knowing that an author and a book is the right fit (14:45)

  • Tips on connecting with potential agents (17:00)

  • The importance of having a platform (19:00)

  • Where Terra finds a lot of authors (so cool!) (19:30)

  • Why blogging is still worth it (20:15)

  • Questions to ask an agent you're considering working with (22:30)

  • The editorial process with an agent (25:30)

  • Timing on when to get an agent (26:15)

  • Next steps once you're working with an agent (27:15)

  • The inside story on publishing houses (28:30)

  • Books Terra is excited about (29:00)

  • Book trends and rising to the top (32:00) 

  • Becoming a runaway bestseller (33:00) 

  • Upcoming books Terra is excited about (35:40)

  • Making time to read (37:00)

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Book Alchemy
The Secret Library Podcast
Most people believe that books are created in cabins all alone, where authors pound away on some manner of keyboard. Then they hand this masterpiece off to a publisher and it feels very much like it goes down a tube and comes out the other side as a book. By speaking to authors and other book lovers, I'm diving into the mystery that is the book world today.