Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 19, 2018

October Agent of the Month -Liza Fleissig Part Two

Liza Fleissig, with her partner Ginger Harris-Dontzin, opened the Liza Royce Agency (LRA) in early 2011. A cross-platform company providing development, representation, and strategic career management for clients in all media, their goal is to represent clients in all stages of their careers, from the most established to those developing their craft, as well as debuts. Both former partners in NYC based litigation law firms, Liza and Ginger bring a combined 40 years of negotiating experience to the field. This background, along with connections rooted in publishing, movies and television, allowed them to focus and build on a referral based clientele.

From picture books through adult projects, fiction and non-fiction, screenplays to stage works, LRA welcomes strong voices and plot driven works. Their inaugural books became available in stores January 2013.  Their first was an Edgar nominee, another was an Indie Next Pick, and two others were optioned for film. LRA’s success began right out of the gate.

HERE IS PART TWO OF INTERVIEW WITH LIZA:

How far do you normally read before you reject a submission?

Varies. If a ms is difficult out of the gate – offensive, poorly written, overly bizarre, weak voice, slow pacing – we don’t read to the end. Candidly, we just don’t have the time. On the other hand, when one catches our breath, we tend to lose all sense of time and hate to get distracted.

Any pet peeves?

Do NOT say you will “work really hard on social media and/or other platforms once your book is published” PLEASE just don’t…

Do you let people know if you are not interested in what they sent?

I think I mentioned above that if someone doesn’t hear back within two weeks, they can assume we are not interested. However, when someone reaches out after a conference, or is a referral, or even a prior submission, I do tend to get back personally to let them know if they are not a good fit.

How long does it usually take to respond to requested material?

Our general turn around for exclusive submissions is 7-9 weeks. However, it varies and often we get back before. But to be honest, there have been times we are delayed, at which point we lift the exclusivity and let the authors know we are running behind. Sometimes it might just be that we are sending out for more reads. The exception to this are submissions post conferences/contest where exclusivity is waived; however, in these instances, it’s anyone’s guess since they need to be peppered between exclusives. And, we always make this clear when we take one on for consideration.

Have you noticed any common mistakes that writers make?

Many rush to get to the “next book” without truly appreciating the intense focus they should be giving to their book launching. Writers overestimate the amount of sales/support/reach they will get from immediate friends, and assume, and take for granted, that publishers will do the heavy lifting (which sadly, is no longer the case). Without strong sales there is little hope for that next book in the first place.

Do you have a place where you keep writers up-to-date on what you would like to see? Blog?

We have a private Facebook page for current clients. As to the rest of the world, we are active on twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Do you give editorial feedback to your clients?

YES – tons. Some might say too much but we will not go out on submission with of any project until we feel it is as strong as it can be from our perspective.

Have you ever represented a children’s book illustrator?

We don’t take on that many, but April Chu and Chris Ewald are great examples of our illustrators – and we also work with author-illustrator combos, such as Patricia Keeler and Nancy Cote.

How long is your average client relationship?

Our initial term is for one year, but we truly enter into every relationship with the hope that it’s a lifelong fit. And while we have parted ways for various reasons with some clients, the majority of our clients have been with us for several years – some since the beginning! – and remain firmly rooted in our LRA family.

What is your typical response time to email/phone calls with your clients?

HA – that’s a good one! One good occupational hazard from my days as a lawyer is that I am very responsive. If my clients don’t hear from me within 24 hours, they joke that maybe they should call 911! That said, there are times when I am just slammed or on vacation, but even then, it is never more than a couple of days.

PLEASE CHECK BACK NEXT FRIDAY FOR PART THREE OF LIZA’S INTERVIEW.

HERE ARE THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR SEPTEMBER FIRST PAGE CRITIQUES:

In the subject line, please write “OCTOBER 2018 FIRST PAGE CRITIQUE”  Example: Paste the text in the email, plus attached it as a Word document to the email. Please make sure you include your name, the title of the piece, and whether it’s a picture book, middle grade, or young adult, etc. at the top on both the email and the Word document (Make sure you include your name with the title of your book, when you save the first page).

REMEMBER: ATTACH THE WORD DOCUMENT AND NOT GET ELIMINATED!Your First Page Word document should be formatted using one inch margins and 12 point New Times Roman font – double space – no more than 23 lines – only one page.Send to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com.

PLEASE FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES: Your submission will be passed over if you do not follow the directions for both the pasted email and the attached Word doc. This is where most people mess up.

DEADLINE: October 23rd.

RESULTS: November 2nd.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


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