Jennie Goloboy Of The Red Sofa Literary Agency

Our next agent is the wonderful Jennie Goloboy from the Red Sofa Literary Agency.  Below is her bio and the ten questions I set for her.  Enjoy 🙂


In Fall 2011, Jennie Goloboy joined Red Sofa Literary as an Associate Agent. Jennie Goloboy has a PhD in the History of American Civilization from Harvard. She is also a published author of both history and fiction, and a member of SFWA, RWA, SHEAR, OAH, the AHA, and Codex Writer’s Group. Her funny, spec-fic short stories appear under her pen name, Nora Fleischer.

Now down to the questions:

1.  Why did you become a literary agent?   I always say that if I weren’t an agent, I would love to be a matchmaker!  I love pairing authors and editors.

2.  What do you not like to see in a query?   I really like when a query sticks to the standard format: a paragraph telling what the book is (and how long it is), a paragraph describing the plot in detail, and a paragraph with a bio.  Generally, I find deviations from this format to be unprofessional, especially when a query is very long, or is told from the point of view of one of the characters.

3. Do you always read the attached material?   Unless I requested it, I generally don’t read it.  I just want the query at first.  The flip side is that if I did request it, I will read it.

And please, please don’t send the query itself as an attachment!

4.  How many queries do you receive in a week and of those how many, would you say, result in a request for material?   I couldn’t say!  It varies from week to week, depending on how interesting the queries are, and how busy I am with current clients.

5.  How hands on, editorially, are you with your clients?   I prefer to give my clients the 10,000-foot take on what needs to be changed in their manuscript– in fact, when I’m considering taking on a new client, one of the things I’m trying to judge is whether they can respond to editorial notes that are about the big picture, rather than smaller fixes.

6.  What is on your wish list at the moment?   I’m always looking for funny, innovative science fiction and fantasy for adults and kids.  I would also like some books (for adults) that are more romance than sci-fi.

7.  What qualities would your perfect client possess?   Talent, drive, and a sense of humor about the vagaries of publishing.

8.  If you could interview a favorite character, who would it be and why?  Actually, I can’t think of any– with a truly great character, we should know what they’re thinking and feeling, even when the author doesn’t tell us directly.

9.  Favorite food or drink while reading queries and manuscripts?  I try to avoid snacking while reading, but I do listen to music.  My current favorite is I can work and pretend I’m in Paris at the same time.

10.  Favorite book and/or movie?   Too many to count!  Whenever I want to remind myself how great dialogue is constructed, I watch the scene in the Avengers where Steve and Tony talk after Coulson’s death.  (This one:

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