Thursday, December 11, 2014

J.T. Ellison guest blog on How She Found an Agent

After my over-long trilogy of how I found an agent, my good friend JT goes right to the point and is as entertaining as always. After the first of the year, we'll hear about our own Jackie's experience.
--- Jim Born

How I got my agent - sheer freaking serendipity.
Long story short - I’m sure you’ve heard of Publishers Marketplace. Publishers Marketplace has a neat little function where you can setup your own webpage. I built that and made it my website. I put a little query, a little synopsis of the book I was getting ready to query, and I check marked the box that said this writer is looking for an agent.
After doing a lot of research, I had decided who would be the best agent for me. His name was Scott Miller from Trident Media Group. He was in the news selling crime fiction everywhere and they were calling him the ‘it boy’ of crime fiction. That’s who I wanted. But Scott Miller and Trident Media - that's Harvard. It was a pie in the sky wish, and I knew it.
But I was determined, and so I began crafting the perfect query letter. And while I was doing that, I received an email from his office asking to see the manuscript. They had seen the synopsis on Publishers Marketplace and were interested. I thought it was a joke. I thought it was one of my friends playing with me, but it wasn’t. I sent the manuscript, and the next day they wrote back and asked for an exclusive. Two weeks later Scott called and offered representation. We never looked back.
A good agent is worth his or her weight in gold. A good agent is your business partner, but even more so, your career manager. I trust mine implicitly, and we spend an awful lot of time planning my next moves, in addition to all the other things he does to earn his 15%. I'm really grateful his assistant all those years ago was from Nashville and liked my book enough to recommend it to her boss, and grateful I have a solid agent from a solid agency behind me. 

J.T. Ellison is the New York Times bestselling author of twelve critically acclaimed novels, including When Shadows Fall, Edge of Black, and A Deeper Darkness.

She is also the co-author of the Nicholas Drummond series with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter.

Her novel The Cold Room won the ITW Thriller Award for Best Paperback Original and Where All The Dead Lie was a RITA® Nominee for Best Romantic Suspense. She lives in Nashville with her husband. 


  1. James O. Born12/11/2014 11:03 AM

    Thanks, JT. I remember meeting you at a book festival in Birmingham before you were published. You done great!

  2. Which just confirms that there are many paths to reach the destination. Thanks for sharing, JT!

  3. from Jacqueline: What a great story, JT! Just shows how knowing specifically what you want will very often get you there. Thanks for posting with Naked Authors!

  4. I'm a firm believer that the universe wants to give you what you dream about. Funny story: years later I sent Scott the query. He said he would have passed. So I really got lucky.

    Jim, meeting you in Birmingham, at my first ever conference, was a brilliant moment for me. You, Quertermous and Swierczynski gave me such amazing advice, and really helped me get started. So thank you!!!!!!