As a final nod toward a fun and successful Baker's Dozen Agent Auction (that is, until the success stories start rolling in...), here are some words from several of our participating agents.
"I had so much fun participating in this auction. I thought overall the quality of the entries was very high and such a great way to stir up some friendly competition with our fellow agents. Thank you so much for hosting and I hope I can participate next year."
"This is my 2nd Baker’s Dozen auction and I hope I’m always asked to do it. The competition and trash talking with other agents is fun and all, but more than that it’s so exciting to see so much talent out there. The competition becomes very real! Thanks to all of you, and to you, lovely Authoress, for making this an annual treat to look forward to!"
"I had tons of fun, but this was tough! First of all, the entries were excellent; I had a really hard time narrowing down which manuscripts I wanted to pay the most attention to. It was also a struggle to balance my focus. You spend too much time on one entry and you miss out on the others, but if you bounce around too much, you can lose them all—and I won’t even discuss my issues with google reader home page. I was also surprisingly competitive and disappointed to lose the manuscripts I’d wanted. I’m thrilled we get to be in touch with authors whose manuscripts we didn’t win. Overall, this was a great experience, but if I do it again, I need to meditate or something beforehand."
"I find Baker's Dozen to be one of the more fun days of the year. I feel like it lets the agents show themselves to be 'real' people who fundamentally enjoy their jobs. And more than that, I feel like oftentimes folks get the impression that when we read queries or samples we are looking to say NO. I think this auction shows that really, what we want to do is say YES, to be excited about novels. When we lose to another agent we do curse! And for the writers, they are effectively getting a simultaneous submission to 15 agents, as well as a new group of critique partners--some professional--who give constructive criticism and lovely praise. And even if there is an occasional procedural question, ultimately everyone is gracious and good-natured, and that makes it that much nicer. Wonderful job, MS A, and I look forward to next year. And as an update, I've asked for a couple of fulls and a couple of 'more time's and am very hopeful for a new success story!"
"I was so thrilled to be asked to participate in Baker's Dozen again this year. There are so many things I like about it— I love seeing what other agents bid on, seeing who I have similar taste with--without Bakers Dozen, it would have taken me much longer to figure out that Tamar Rydzinski* at the Laura Dail Literary Agency is my editorial nemesis—and I love participating in the agent trash talking. And the adrenalin rush of swiping something great out from under my fellow agents can’t be beat, though I could do without the crushing disappointment of losing something I really wanted (Sarah LaPolla, and Kari Stuart,-- you are on notice for next year).
I hope you guys learned something as well. For example: did you notice the high number of car accidents in the YA entries? This happens in my slush all the time (though not always car accidents)—the take away here isn’t that putting a car accident in a manuscript is bad, but that when you have something in a manuscript that has been done before, you need to make sure the rest of your manuscript really stands out because it might be the third or forth query letter that mentions vampires/a dead mother/a high school student who can heal by touch etc. that day.
My thanks to Authoress for putting together such a phenomenal, unique and exciting event—you should be so proud!, and to my client Jodi Meadows for helping Authoress go through the submissions and pull such great ones (even though you didn’t help me cheat). And most of all, thank you all for submitting—it was extremely brave to go through this so publically and without these excellent projects to fight over the Bakers Dozen wouldn’t be worthwhile or fun at all.
*who claims she doesn’t like puppies**! Keep that in mind when we both offer on your excellent project. We may both have truly fantastic taste in manuscripts, but only one of us likes puppies.
**Well, claimed when I tried to distract her from bidding against me by sending her links to adorable puppy things on the internet. But still! How could you even say such a thing!"
I had a fantastic time participating in the auction this year! And already can't wait for the next one. The adrenaline rush was even better than coffee! And I found it really interesting to see which entries other agents were bidding on.
I especially liked beating out sneaky agents who tried to win by distracting the other participants with videos of dogs kissing. Or something. I don't like dogs so I didn't look. Next time, Lauren MacLeod, I will be prepared with videos of adorable animals doing super-cute things. Now you have a whole year to try to figure out my kryptonite. Good luck! (Cue evil laughter.)