I met Jenny Rappaport (of the L. Perkins Agency) last year, when I was on a panel with her at the PhilCon conference. While I was impressed with her enthusiasm, I wasn’t planning on photographing her for The Wordsmiths Project. Then, I wrote up some of her comments in my Wordsmiths Journal entry about that panel (How to Lose Agents & Infuriate Editors). And the hits starting coming in. In fact, in looking over keyword statistics for this site, Jenny’s name is the second most common word that people searching on the Internet used to get to The Wordsmiths Journal.
At first, it didn’t make much sense to me that Jenny is so popular on the Internet. She is a relatively new agent, having been in this business for only a couple of years. While she has some rather interesting and talented clients, I don’t believe she has had a hit-it-out-of-the-ballpark big seller yet. Then, I looked at her Website – LitSoup.
Jenny maintains a very friendly, informative and responsive blog, making her one of the more accessible literary agents. On her submissions guidelines page, she is very clear about what she is interested in seeing and how to get in touch with her. She also tends to answer comments and questions (although not always immediately).
Like all agents, Jenny is swamped with submissions to consider, manuscripts to read and edit, books to send to editors, contracts to negotiate, etc. She told me during our photo shoot, that she finds blogging a nice break in the middle of her stressful day. What’s more, she enjoys the human interaction of blogging.
Jenny is looking to double her client list in the next year, which means she is very open to queries by new authors – as long as they fit into her focus, which tends to be genre books — science fiction, fantasy, romance, etc — and as long as they are very well written and avoid clichés. (Please be sure to read her submission guidelines first, of course.)
However, as accessible as Jenny is on the Internet. I’m not convinced that’s why she is the second most common keyword used to get to The Wordsmiths Journal. After all, the first most common – my agent, Mollie Glick of the Jean V. Naggar Agency – has very little Internet presence.
Do you have any insights as to why these two young agents are so popular on the Internet? If so, please let us hear them.