A lot of new writers ask me if they need a US agent as well as a UK agent if they want their books to be sold in the US. I have to admit, I am always shocked when I hear this as I believe my main role as an agent is to get my clients published by different publishing companies all over the world – in the UK, the US , France, Germany, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Scandinavia, China, Japan…the list goes on. I want my authors to be international bestsellers so it is important I find them publishers all over the world.
I either do simultaneous submissions in the UK and US as soon as the manuscript is ready or I will submit in the UK first and use the hype from this deal to submit in the US. If I believe the book will appeal more to the US market, I will submit in that territory first. Sometimes I will submit to film companies before publishing companies. Sometimes I will submit to all territories at the same time, sometimes I will stagger the submission. There is no general rule as I have a different strategy depending on each book.
I think it is important for a writer to have one agent, one point of contact, one manager who oversees and stratergises the growth of his or her career all over the world. Agents need to be bursting with energy and have an ambition that is equal, if not greater, than their author. They need to ensure their author stays on track and they need to keep the publisher excited and energised about the author year on year to create long-term growth and success.