I am pleased to announce that I am now represented by Sally Harding of The Cooke Agency!
I met Sally at the Pacific Northwest Writers Association conference back in August. She was one of the agents in attendance, and while I wasn’t able to land an appointment with her during the conference, I had the luck to be seated next to her at the final awards dinner. My friend was being honored as a finalist in her category for the PNWA’s literary contest, and so we had an early seating with agents and editors (my friend took second place, by the way). Sally and I fell quickly into conversation that lasted through all three courses of dinner. I didn’t pitch my novel to her at the time, but before she left, she handed me her card and told me to send along my submission via her agency guidelines (4 pages + a query) and to mention we had sat next to one another at the conference.
Before August was over, I sent out 6 requested submissions to agents I had pitched to at the conference, and another 4 non-solicited queries to agencies I had my eye on. By October I had an offer from an agent, and I followed up with the agents I hadn’t heard from yet, including Sally. Sally hadn’t requested more material than the 4 pages I had originally sent to Cooke at that point, but called me back and offered to read the full manuscript quickly if I was still interested. A few days later, she called back and made an offer of representation.
Faced with the dilemma of two potential agents, both of whom I felt would be excellent to work with, I went into research mode. I looked into their agencies and how they worked (asking a lot of questions in phone calls), looked at the Publisher’s Marketplace information on both agents, and asked to speak to an author that each agent represented to hear how their professional relationship with the agent worked for them.
Choosing Sally and the Cooke Agency felt right for a lot of reasons. As an agency, Cooke has an international perspective that I think is really in the author’s favor. Sally and Cooke have a wonderful author list and I can tell that they work hard to promote them. Sally seemed invested in my work at a personal level and I could tell from our conversations that she had some great insight for how to improve my manuscript to really be its best before showing it to publishers. And, ultimately, I had an immediate connection with Sally that I knew would translate into a wonderful working relationship. Sometimes you have to go with your gut.
I feel very lucky to have Sally and Cooke on my side as I move forward in my journey as an author. It really does seem like the right fit for me. Right now, I am preparing a revision from Sally’s editorial notes on the manuscript. I already feel that the work born from this collaborative process is the strongest yet.
You can see my name on Cooke’s author list here!