Some flattery at the outset: it is generally a joy – as an agent – to work with journalists. Really. Of my 50-plus clients, a significant percentage have – or still do – work in newspapers. And the advantages are manifold. F
Firstly, most importantly and most obviously, journalists are professional writers; when you’re doing a book this can be a great advantage. Secondly – though we can be a little more laissez-faire about such things in the publishing world – journalists are used to working to deadlines.
It’s also been my experience that – after years of having their copy slashed to bits by editors and sub-editors – journalists are very responsive to positive criticism; they’re happy to enter into dialogue about their work and undertake re-writes when necessary. In addition, when it comes to works of non-fiction – where research and/or interviews are essential – these are skills the experienced newspaper (wo)man has down to a fine art.