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Interview with Agent, Caryn Wiseman of the Andrea Brown Agency

Interview with Agent, Caryn Wiseman of the Andrea Brown Agency

Caryn has been an agent with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency since 2003, and she has sold almost 250 books.  She handles children’s books only: young adult and middle-grade and non-fiction, chapter books, and picture books (fiction and non-fiction).  She represents NYT bestselling authors.  Caryn is looking for books with emotional depth and a strong voice; excellent writing in a tightly plotted story; and characters that stick with her long after she has closed the book.  In YA, she gravitates toward books that make her think and make her cry; in middle-grade and chapter books, laughter seems to be the common thread.  She loves books that are intellectually challenging and take risks, but in a very logical way.

Q:  When you were little did you think you would become an agent?  

Not at all.  I had no idea that agents existed.  I always did love books, though.  I was a voracious reader, sometimes reading 4 or 5 books a day (and night).

Q:  What is your favorite part of the job?  Least favorite?

My favorite part is telling a client that I have an offer (or multiple offers) for him or her.  Another favorite part is going into a bookstore and seeing a book that I helped bring to fruition.  Another is reading a manuscript that hits me over the head emotionally.  One more favorite part is that every day is different. As far as least favorite, there aren’t too many!  I love my job!

Q:  What is the most annoying question you receive on a regular basis?  

“Can I show you my sex/drugs /rock & roll memoir?”  (I just do kids’ and teen books)

Q:  If you could say one thing to people writing you a query right now - what would you say?  

Worry more about making sure that your whole manuscript is in fantastic shape than about writing the perfect query letter.   Your query letter is your introduction - make sure that it’s polished and error-free and gives me all the information that I need to know, but you can write the best query letter in the world, and, if your manuscript isn’t over-the-top fantastic, that query letter won’t get you anywhere.

Q:  What are your thoughts on writers who have previously self-published but would like to go the traditional route the next time around?  

It’s all about the quality of the content.  It can help if your self-published book has sold many thousands of copies, but, it’s truly all about the content.

Q:  How do you feel the publishing industry is changing (if at all)?  There’s consolidation in the industry, publishers are trying to hold on to more rights than they used to, self-publishing has become a viable publishing platform for some authors, but, once again, in the end, it’s all about the content.

Q:  What Muppet do you think most represents your personality? (You know, Kermit, Fozzy Bear, Miss Piggy, Animal…)  

Tough one.   I love green, so maybe Kermit, and I love to sing, so maybe Miss Piggy (although I might argue that my voice is better than hers!).

Q:  What is the weirdest trend you are watching right now?  

The trend toward horror in middle-grade and YA is weird to me, because I really, really, really don’t like horror, but that’s just personal opinion.

About the Andrea Brown agency:

Our philosophy is to remain a “small” agency at heart.  We invest a great deal of care personal attention in each project, and we are hands-on in all aspects of our interactions with clients.  We work closely with clients in an editorial capacity and we devise a strategy at every stage of the writing process that will enable us to find the best publisher for each book.  In doing so, we think about short term and long term goals for our clients, always keeping the trajectory of a successful career in mind.

To get in touch with Caryn or to learn about guidelines for submission, go to:  [email protected]

Consistently ranked #1 in juvenile sales in Publishers Marketplace


ABLA is proud to announce that several clients have placed in the top 10 of the NY Times Bestseller List in the last year. Congratulations to Tom Angleberger, Jay Asher, Ellen Hopkins, Jean Reagan, Neal Shusterman, and Maggie Stiefvater!

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2 Responses to “ Interview with Agent, Caryn Wiseman of the Andrea Brown Agency ”

  1. Shakita Ruhlin says:

    Helped me a lot, just what I was searching for : D.


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