Following are some brief – and to the point – notes from Tuesday’s LWC Live with agent Catherine Cho of Curtis Brown.
3 top tips for getting your work read by Curtis Brown
1/Referral – via a festival/event such as London Writers’ Club
2/Do research on the agent – identify the elements in your book which will appeal to the agent.
3/Submit directly to the agent – not via the portal.
What percentage of submissions gets a ‘call back’?
80% is an immediate no
10% is an ‘almost there’ – great writing but the concept is not quite right.
Of the 10% remaining, 1% of that will have the magical formula of great writing and great concept.
What are the HOT TRENDS?
· Psychological thrillers – lots of sex and violence with a female lead character
· Unique concepts – with an unreliable narrator
· Female driven fiction
· Cosy novels – crime or comforting to read
· Ghost stories and love stories are also seen a resurgence
· BUT no twins or sisters
What’s Reverse Engineering?
In computer speak it is taking apart an object to see how it works in order to duplicate or enhance the object. With books, it’s all about deconstructing a concept to see why it is so successful.
How to get your concept across quickly and successfully?
1/Describe it in a sentence.
2/Identify the story immediately
4/Log line? Ensure it works.
What is Pitch CB on Twitter? Check out the hashtag on Twitter – this is your chance to pitch your concept in 140 characters to agents at Curtis Brown.
What is Jonny Geller looking for? A love story!
What does Catherine Cho bring to agenting?
· She has worked in law and lobbying so knows there are other ways to do things – this means she can be innovative and constantly improve and look for the new.
· Legal eye – she has an eye for detail in all agreements.
· Business mind.
· Works closely with authors on their novels.
If you’d like to see the full film of the event, do let us know and join the Club here.