In the last of our series to introduce presenters and agents, GLVWG’s Dawn Sooy took a few moments to ask Sheree Bykofsky a few questions. Sheree will be taking pitches at the upcoming 2018 GLVWG Write Stuff Conference™, Saturday March 24 (advance registration required).
Dawn – As an agent, you work with writers, hopefully, long-term, but who are strangers to you at first. Do you look at more than the work submitted to determine that relationship?
Sheree – Yes, I like to know I’m working with an author who knows what is expected of a professional author, even if this is their first book. I like authors who help me to help them so that each step of the way we both feel like we are on the same team. This professional relationship has made me feel genuine love for many, many of my authors. Ultimately, so many of them feel like they are friends and even family. Mutual appreciation makes this field so rewarding.
Dawn – Writers often say they became writers because they have to write. What drew you to becoming an agent?
Sheree – It is a perfect symbiosis of my skills. It involves my left and right brain in equal measure: assessing manuscripts, being empathetic to people, being the first to read the work of creative and brilliant minds, understanding the needs of publishers and searching for the perfect editor, negotiating contracts in the U.S. and around the world, educating authors. And when the result is a beautiful book and a happy, knowledgeable, appreciative author, what can be more rewarding than that?
Dawn – When you get a submission, how far into it do you get before you know this one is not for you?
Sheree – It varies, but it can be very quick. It isn’t hard to recognize a professional quality submission
Dawn – What trends in the publishing marketplace attract your attention? What genres are hot?
Sheree – For me the old standbys remain my favorite: prescriptive non-fiction: business, health, lifestyle, cooking, etc.
Dawn – I understand you are an exceptional poker player. Tell us a little about that; how did you start? Do you have an engaging story about a competition?
Sheree – I’m very excited that my 4th poker book THE KAIZEN OF POKER will be published in June, 2018. It is about improving your game, something everyone can do in all aspects of their life, at any level. I can’t wait to promote.
Here is a funny story. I was once playing poker at the Borgata. We discussed a rule, and I clearly said I knew the rule and they can trust me on it because I am the author of THE RULES OF POKER (now out of print). The stranger at the table, said, “How interesting that you are an author! Do you do anything else for a living?” I said, yes, I am a literary agent. He said, “Oh! Do you happen to know Sheree Bykofsky? That’s the only agent I know.” I told him I am Sheree Bykofsky and he didn’t believe me. Another man at the table confirmed it. The man said I had rejected his query a while back but had given him some guidance that he appreciated.
Dawn – I really appreciate this, Sheree See you at the conference.
Article submitted by Dawn Sooy
Dawn Sooy is a multitasker with the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group, fulfilling the duties of Secretary and Conference Chair for the 2018 GLVWG Write Stuff Conference™.
A native of Eastern Pennsylvania, and too full of energy to even consider a rocking chair, Dawn published six short stories, the most recent, “Love Knows No Boundaries,” featured in the 2016 GLVWG anthology, Write Here – Write Now. She is currently working on a full-length novel titled, “From The Darkness,” scheduled for publication in early 2018, with plans to publish a horror anthology later in the year.
You can find Dawn on her Facebook page: