Stacey Graham knows how hard it is to be a writer. She's a published author herself, and brings this compassion and understanding to her job as agent at 3 Seas Literary. She also brings her passion for strange-but-true stories, creepy or quirky nonfiction, and leading haunted writing retreats.
With her experience as an author, screenwriter, and freelance editor, Stacey helps writers produce work that publishers love. She comes to 3 Seas Literary after five years as an agent at Red Sofa and is excited to learn what new adventures are on the horizon.
Nonfiction Ninjas caught up with Stacey and asked her a few questions.
Why did you become a literary agent?
While my own projects were out with my agent, I loved the behind-the-scenes process and wanted to dig into the business side of publishing more. It was a natural fit!
What excites you most about working in publishing?
I love seeing writers taking chances and breaking out of what they felt were limits and discovering they were only minor roadblocks.
What are you looking for in nonfiction projects?
I would love to see more quirky nonfiction in my inbox. The more offbeat, interesting, and truly odd projects always capture my attention. I would also like more how-to books, craft books, and hobby books such as antique collecting or sports such as sumo.
Are there specific topics that interest you?
History, archaeology, antiques, adventures, exploration, collecting (mini-museums), weird places.
What trends are you seeing in the industry?
I see a lot of biographies of fantastic people and their stories that haven't been explored in depth before. It's exciting!
Who is your ideal client?
I love to represent writers that are prepared to put in the work of being a professional writer. It's a lot harder than it looks! Revisions, proposals, understanding the long haul of submission, acceptance, and finally publication can take up to two years (or longer) on one manuscript plus marketing and promotion to follow. Writers become business people so enjoying the process is key.
Are you more interested in PB, MG, YA, or all three?
What do you want to see in a nonfiction proposal?
I like to see a solid plan for marketing and promotion, plus a succinct and well-thought-out overview that focuses on the core of the project.
What are some of your favorite kidlit nonfiction books?
The Magician and the Spirits by Deborah Noyes
Pink is for Blobfish by Jess Keating
The Boxcar Children Guide to Adventure: A How-To for Mystery Solving, Make-It-Yourself Projects, and More by Gertrude Chandler Warner
What advice can you give to people who want to break into the nonfiction market?
Scour history books, magazines, and websites for stories to spark an idea to build on and become an expert in that subject. Start building a platform early (articles, conferences, podcasts, blogs) so editors and agents see that you've done the research and that you have a plan for the project.
And last but not least – are you a dog person or a cat person? And do you have a pet?
I am a human person. Most dogs and cats are not able to type as well as I can to answer these questions.
Think you have a manuscript that Stacey would love?
Then submit your query here.
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The Nonfiction Ninjas are a group of writers with diverse ideas and a strong belief in The First Amendment. The views expressed in each post are those of the author and may differ from others in the group.