Frequently Asked Questions
We will grow and manage a career for you that is tailored to your specific dreams and goals. That process will include strategy on many levels, development of just the right projects for market demands and opportunities. Please find below questions we often receive and answer that will hopefully help guide you strengthening your craft as well as your career and knowledge about our agency and the publishing world as a whole.
The Knight Agency receives 15 percent commission on domestic sales, and 20 to 25 percent on foreign sales. We may employ a sub-agent for sale of film rights or foreign rights.
The Knight Agency does not charge a reading fee to review manuscripts. Nor do we normally charge clients for ordinary business expenses such as postage, shipping or phone calls.
What types of manuscripts are you currently seeking?
Please refer to our Submission Guidelines for this information.
Who are your clients?
We represent a wide variety of authors, including writers of romance, women’s fiction, commercial fiction, multicultural fiction, inspirational/motivational, business, investing, self-help, and other genres. See our Recent Deals and New and Upcoming Releases sections for more information.
What is your background?
Extensive experience in editing/writing, film production, and international sales. We are very excited to announce that July 2016 marked our 20th year in the field of literary agenting. For more background information about The Knight Agency and our individual agents and staff, please see our About Us page.
Do you provide any editorial input on manuscripts?
Because we believe that an agent and client should work together to make a book as marketable as possible, we will offer some light and limited editing suggestions for any TKA represented manuscript.
Would I have to sign a contract?
Yes, an agency agreement. This agreement is terminable at any point upon 30 days notice. As always, we are happy to explain any portion of and answer any questions about our contracts and documentation.
What exactly will you do for me as a literary agent?
We will grow and manage a career for you that is tailored to your specific dreams and goals. That process will include strategy on many levels, development of just the right projects for market demands and opportunities. More specifically, we will take your work and represent it to appropriate publishers, seeking to obtain the best deal possible for your book. That deal has many facets, including primary and subsidiary rights, the advance, and the royalty scale. A good agent will help you retain as many of the subsidiary rights--e.g., film or foreign translation rights--as possible, and will then seek to market those for you. Keep in mind, our commission is a percentage of what you make, so it's in our best interests to help you obtain the highest possible advance, etc.
What do each of you enjoy reading for pleasure?
Pamela: Besides romance, I love women's fiction and southern flavored fiction such as Anne Rivers Siddon's Peachtree Road or Pat Conroy's Lords of Discipline. I really enjoy romantic suspense: Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier, for example. I also appreciate a good historical fiction like the classic Herman Wouk Winds of War and War and Remembrance. Some of the best reads lately have been Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, and The Light Between Ocean’s by M.L. Stedman.
Nephele: Some of my all-time favorite books include Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, The Eight by Katherine Neville, Possession by A.S. Byatt, The Secret History by Donna Tartt, The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, and of course the Harry Potter series. Some memorable recent reads include A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett, Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older, Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy, and Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes.
Elaine: For fun I enjoy reading mysteries and thrillers, mainstream fiction, and hip chick lit. Generally I check out what's hot on the best seller lists. I always want to know what the market is doing and where is it headed. If it’s well written and in front of me, I will enjoy it.
Judson: To name a few of my all time favorites: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Les Miserables, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Ulysses, War and Peace, Crime and Punishment, The Red and the Black, All the King's Men, Moby Dick, and The Secret History. Other recent enjoyable reads: Cold Mountain, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Modern Times, Political Pilgrims, A World Lit Only by Fire, Into the Wild, and Guns, Germs, and Steel. As you can tell, I enjoy the classics.
Deidre: Well, I feel horribly unoriginal since others within the agency have already mentioned several of my favorites. But here goes! The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, The Secret History by Donna Tartt (can you see why Nephele and I instantly hit it off?), Pat Conroy’s Lords of Discipline, Tolstoy’s War and Peace (WAP if you’re Diana Peterfreund), Anything by Julia Quinn or Lisa Kleypas. The Beach by Alex Garland. I could list for hours! I have very diverse tastes, ranging from the more lyrical to the purely commercial. I love to lose myself in an author’s world and particularly love books that can pull me in that way.
Lucienne: I wish I had more time to read for pleasure! I enjoy everything I represent, of course—science fiction, fantasy, mystery/suspense, romance, young adult. All-time favorite authors include Mary Stewart, Jude Deveraux, Melanie Rawn, Stephen R. Donaldson, Isaac Asimov, Alfred Bester, M.M. Kaye, Rex Stout, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, J.D. Robb and so many others. Recent favorites are J.K. Rowling and Suzanne Collins (of course), Joshilyn Jackson, Ann Leckie, Mackenzi Lee (THIS MONSTROUS THING), Janet Evanovich (the Stephanie Plum books), Rick Riordan and many others from whom I really need to read more! For example, I’ve only read UNWIND so far by Neal Schusterman, so I can’t yet call him a favorite, but it blew me away, so… I need to find time to read the rest of the series!
Are you a member of the Association of Authors' Representatives (AAR)?
Deidre Knight is a member of the Association of Authors' Representatives, The Authors' Guild, and Romance Writers of America (RWA). Pamela Harty is an Associate Member of the AAR and a member of RWA. Nephele Tempest is a member of AAR, RWA, and Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Elaine Spencer is a member of both AAR and RWA.
What have you sold?
Recent sales include works to every major publisher and to many different imprints within each organization. Recent examples include Penguin Putnam, Random House, St. Martin's Press, Warner Books, Simon and Schuster, Harlequin/Silhouette, Tyndale House Publishers, Bethany House, HarperCollins, Kensington Publishing, Tor Books and many others. Please refer to Recent Deals and Current Releases for more information.
What kind of contacts do you have?
At The Knight Agency, we strive to have contacts in each field that could help further our clients’ careers. Beyond contacts at all the major New York publishing houses with editors who handle a variety of genres and categories, our agents and staff visit and network with other industry figures (publicists, booksellers, buyers, film and foreign rights agents, etc…). We also have strong contacts at mid-sized publishers throughout the country.
Why go with a mid-size agency vs. a large one?
Some writers, of course, prefer the larger agencies, which are by definition often the most established ones. While there are certainly advantages for both large and mid-size, an intimate agency like TKA offers ample individual attention to both your career and particular manuscripts while also maintaining the degree of successful networking and representation skills as any large agency. At the Knight Agency, a client becomes a friend.
But aren't all real agents in New York?
Like as in many industries, the internet and related fast-paced technology has made a necessary location a thing of the past. While it's true that most of the largest publishers are still in New York, as long as an agent develops relationships with publishers--and hops a plane if necessary--it doesn't matter where he or she is located.