Madeleine Milburn founded the Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency in March 2012, and is looking to represent authors of all types of popular and literary fiction including genres such as women’s, psychological suspense, crime and thrillers, comedy, general fiction, narrative non-fiction, children’s books, teen, young adult and cross-over.

Author care – what is involved in looking after my authors?

Writing can be a lonely business, and authors need attention to ensure that they stay on track, write top quality manuscripts and deliver according to their contracts.  I like to handle all the business side of things so my authors can concentrate on writing.  They need an agent to bounce ideas off, to edit their work before it goes to their publisher and to offer valuable feedback at all stages of their writing career.

I like my authors to be as ambitious as I am.  I need them to see writing as a long-term career.  A lot of success only happens after three or four books are published, once the writer has really grown their readership and built up a following.  There can be times that are more challenging than others, for instance when a writer is out of contract or has just delivered the first draft of a new book.  They have to trust their agent to get the best deals for them and to match them up with the best editors for them around the world. 

There is a huge amount of work involved when submitting each manuscript to all the major editors in every single country.  I have to create a huge amount of hype and convince people that they simply have to publish these books as they are getting so many submissions from other agents.  Also, keeping track of payments, making sure the contracts are fair and getting top advances and royalty rates for each deal negotiated are key factors to being a good agent.  At my agency, I have excellent contract boilerplates with all the major UK publishers which I’ve worked extremely hard to negotiate.  An agent has to be on top of the game when it comes to the nitty gritty such as high discount royalty rates, export rates, ebook rates – all areas where you need to have real knowledge of the industry so that when the book prospers, the author is rewarded.

Part 3 of What does a literary agent do? will address Deal Making.

Competition: To launch an exciting new Crime, Thriller & Psychological suspense List, the Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency is offering talented writers an exclusive opportunity to be represented. More information here.