Q & A With Agent Ryan Fischer-Harbage

Today we bring you another installment in our series of Q & As with the agents and editors of the 2011 Agents Conference, featuring Ryan Fischer-Harbage of the Fischer-Harbage Agency. The Agents Conference is coming up on June 10-12, and don’t forget to register before the online deadline of June 3!

Register here!

How did you get started in publishing?

-Upon graduating with a BA in English, I attended the Radcliffe Publishing Course (now Columbia Publishing Course).  My first job was as an editorial assistant at Doubleday Book Clubs.  From there I went to Little, Brown, then to Penguin, then Simon and Schuster.  Five years ago I switched to agency side.

What’s the average number of submissions you receive in a month?

-Anywhere from two to twelve query letters arrive daily.

If you could give writers one small piece of advice about the world of publishing, what would it be?

-When you’re ready to send your work out, when you feel it’s complete, edit it one more time.

Who was your first client?

-Veteran journalist and editor Louise Sloan.

What was the first project you sold?

-KNOCK YOURSELF UP by Louise Sloan.

What do you love most about your job?

-Calling writers and telling them that a publisher has made an offer for their work.

What is something that you often see beginning writers doing wrong?


What is a little known fact about yourself?

– My favorite novel is LONESOME DOVE by Larry McMurtry.

What book are you reading right now?

– MATTERHORN by Karl Marlantes; FORDLANDIA by Greg Grandin; THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins.

If you could have a beer or coffee with a literary luminary living or dead, who would it be and why?

-Thad Ziolkowski.

Beer or coffee?

-Iced coffee.

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