Brenda Sturgis reports on the top literary agents for selling picture books in this recent post. Let’s talk about this report.
Top Literary Agents for Picture Books
Self Reported Statistics. The statistics for Sturgis’s report was compiled from reported sales on Publisher’s Marketplace. This is a big caution because sales on PM self-reported. I know from talking to friends that their agents (some of those listed in the report) have had sales, but they weren’t reported on PM. In other words, agents select the sales to report and tend to report only the “hot” sales or the “big” sales. Sales to smaller houses or those without large advances tend to be under-reported.
Top Picture Book Agent. No surprise: Brenda Bowen, former editor and editorial director of various imprints during her time is the top selling agent of picture books with nineteen reported deals. (Read her blog; her agency.) She is very selective in her clients, because she can be. Her industry contacts makes her network amazing and she’s working it apparently.
19 down to 3. While Bowen has 19 reported deals, number 20 on the list, Stephen Chudney only reported 3 deals in the last year. If this holds true, then an agent who sells 2-3 picture book deals per year is doing a stellar job.
But again, remember, this is based on SELF-REPORTED DEALS. We really don’t know how valid these statistics are. And, overall the top twenty agents for picture book deals reported 119 total sales. Those will probably be some of the top picture books published in the nest few years.