Are you curious the kind of work that goes into starting a literary agency? Wondering how Holly strategizes career planning with her authors? Want to know what happens when a client’s book doesn’t sell? We get into all of it and so much more with today’s guest Holly Root.
Holly has launched over two dozen New York Times bestsellers before founding Root Literary in 2017 where she represents authors of fiction for adults, teens, and children, along with select nonfiction.
In today’s episode, Holly walks us through how she first fell in love with the world of storytelling, what she studied in school, and how her path led her to become one of the most successful literary agents today. We deep-dive into the origin story of how she first started Root Literary agency. We touch on what Root Literary does for their clients and how they embrace and encourage the business side of their author clients. This is an absolute must-listen for Storytellers looking out for their own careers and looking into agent representation.
Books & Resources Mentioned in Holly’s Episode:
Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
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Check out these highlights:
- How Holly first fell in love with the world of storytelling, what she studied in school, and how her path led her to become one of the most successful literary agents today.
- We deep-dive into the founding story of Root Literary and a glimpse at her world as an entrepreneur
- Find out how Root Literary embraces and encourages the business side of their author clients
- Listener questions:
- What’s on your current manuscript wishlist? Any personal pet peeves on queries?
- I’d love to know how she strategizes career planning with her authors!
- Aside from writing, what is it about a client that you look for or connect with in order to build a long-term author-agent relationship? And once you’ve signed a client, how do you approach plans for their career as an author?
- In light of the relatively recent scandal with fraudulent agents (Danielle Smith / Lupine Grove), how do authors protect themselves from predatory agents or even identify literary agencies that aren’t having the authors’ best interest in mind? Especially because anyone can start up a literary agency or call themselves a literary agent? If one of your authors writes something you don’t represent, what happens? Do they get moved over to another agent in your agency that does represent that genre or do they have to look for a new agent?
- I’m curious about what her suggestions are for writers when they are on submission with editors and what she does when a client’s book doesn’t sell
“Authors have so much more power than they use.”
Say ‘Hi’ to Holly Root!
Learn More About “Root Literary”
Literary agent Holly Root launched over two dozen New York Times bestsellers before founding Root Literary in 2017. The agency’s clients benefit from our agents’ proven skills in identifying talent, negotiating advantageous deals, and advocating for our books all the way from submission to publication. We offer our clients broad-based industry insights as well as individualized strategic thinking to empower each author to define and pursue their own unique path to success.
We love what we do, and we do it best in partnership with storytellers who combine artistry with the drive to build a lasting body of work.
In short, we’re more than just literary agents—we’re career builders.
Learn More About Holly Root
Literary agent Holly Root launched over two dozen New York Times bestsellers before founding Root Literary in 2017. Originally a Southerner, then a transplanted New Yorker, Holly is now based in Los Angeles where she represents authors of fiction for adults, teens, and children, along with select nonfiction. She’s on Twitter at @hroot, and the agency is on Twitter and Instagram @rootliterary. Check out the agency’s latest releases here.