Kelly Van Sant

Kelly Van Sant - Editor

Minneapolis, MN, USA

Literary agent with over a decade of experience in the publishing industry, specializing in YA and MG developmental edits and query reviews

Request a quote
Verified identity

Overview

I love working with authors to edit, revise, and polish their manuscripts to bring forth really incredible stories that deserve to be told. I believe that writers should always retain creative control over their work, and that edits and revision suggestions should be given in service to that creative vision. No two books or authors are the same, so I want to collaborate with you to find a process that will yield successful results for you and your book.

Query reviews are a specialty of mine. I know how difficult it can be to distill your intricate, expansive novel down into a few paragraphs of effective marketing copy. Struggling to summarize your story or personalize your pitch? Are you ready to stop getting rejections and start getting requests? It’s time to kick the clichés, ditch the info dumps, and get ready to dive deeper than a list of dos and don’ts. Writing fiction is intimate, but writing a great query requires a different skillset: an objective eye, a promotional style, and the ability to consider your book as a whole. I can help you showcase both your book and your bio to the best advantage.

ABOUT:
Kelly Van Sant has nearly a decade of experience in the publishing industry. She cut her teeth in New York working at esteemed literary agencies such as Writers House and Harold Ober Associates, where she developed an eye for compelling, emotionally resonant stories, honed her editorial skills, and soon grew adept at contract vetting. She quickly gained expertise in subsidiary rights management, with focuses on audio rights, foreign rights, and permissions.

After relocating to Minnesota, Kelly joined Llewellyn Worldwide as their Contracts Manager across all three imprints and then moved to Quarto Publishing Group USA where she led the contract department. She has worked as a freelance editor with various publishers and is a teaching artist at the Loft Literary Center.
She also blogs about writing and the publishing industry at Pub(lishing) Crawl and co-hosts their weekly
podcast.


Kelly's career came full circle when she realized that her true passion was advocating on behalf of authors. She is now an agent at Red Sofa Literary and actively building a client list.
Languages
English (US)
Fiction
Fantasy
Literary Fiction
Mashups
Middle Grade
Science Fiction
Women's Fiction
Young Adult

Work experience

Literary Agent

Red Sofa Literary
May, 2018 – Present (almost 3 years)

I am a literary agent and publishing contracts expert with a decade of industry experience. I have an eye for compelling, emotionally-resonant stories and am able to advise authors on both the big picture and small details that tighten and enrich the plot, making good books even better. After years of drafting contracts in publishing houses I'm a fierce negotiator and believe strongly that all authors deserve equitable contracts that give them creative control of their careers. I work closely with my clients to edit their manuscripts, secure and negotiate offers of publication, and manage their career trajectory.

Literary Agent

D4EO Literary Agency
January, 2017 – May, 2018 (over 1 year)

Literary agent and publishing contracts expert with a decade of industry experience. I have an eye for compelling, emotionally-resonant stories and am able to advise authors on both the big picture and small details that tighten and enrich the plot, making good books even better. After years of drafting contracts in publishing houses I'm a fierce negotiator and believe strongly that all authors deserve equitable contracts that give them creative control of their careers.

Contracts Administrator

Quarto Publishing Group USA
September, 2015 – May, 2017 (over 1 year)

• Introduced best practices and standard procedures for contracts and oversaw drafting and negotiation company-wide.
• Worked closely with the accounting department to resolve internal issues and ensure that all documentation was complete and correct.
• Implemented a detailed tracking system for terms and conditions and project milestones.
• Worked both independently and collaboratively on a number of special projects as assigned

Publishing Assistant, Contracts Manager

Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD
May, 2012 – September, 2015 (over 3 years)

• Independently developed and implemented system for drafting, negotiating, tracking, and processing all contracts across three imprints
• Read and analyze manuscripts and advised for revision and creative development of work.
• Participated in weekly meetings regarding the acquisition and development of new projects and discussion of how to best reach target audiences
• Spearheaded tri-annual Sales Conferences, managing the creation, compilation, and distribution of all copy, data, and materials
• Provided general support to the Acquisitions Department
• Transmitted all manuscripts to production
• Managed all invoices and payment requests and coordinated with accounting department to track status of various accounts
• Hired and trained acquisitions interns, including a specific curriculum on understanding and negotiating contracts
• Completed various special projects as assigned

Foreign Rights Assistant

Harold Ober Associates
August, 2008 – September, 2009 (about 1 year)

• Read, analyzed, and edited manuscripts and advised clients for revision and creative development of work.
• Supervised Author Residency Certifications (IRS form preparation, submission, tracking)
• Drafted and processed permissions (including print, stage, and audio) for various foreign markets.
• Assisted Foreign Rights Director in all aspects of business including vetting contracts and managing correspondence with clients, foreign subagents, and publishers. Provided administrative support including generating reports and tracking and shipping materials overseas.

Assistant

Writers House
January, 2007 – August, 2008 (over 1 year)

• Wrote copy and creative content for submission letters and various press announcements.
• Read, analyzed, and edited manuscripts and advised clients for revision and development of work.
• Managed and submitted Audio rights for entire agency.
• Drafted and processed permissions (reprint, large print, book club) for various clients, including the Estate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
• Assisted both Senior Vice President and Director of Subsidiary Rights in all aspects of business including preparation of agency agreements, vetting contracts, and general administrative support including generating reports, arranging courier services, and managing correspondence with clients and editors.

Portfolio (10 selected works)

As She Left It: A Novel

Catriona McPherson

A 2014 Anthony Award Winner When she was twelve years old, Opal Jones escaped her mother's endless drinking. Now, returning to their small Leeds cottage after her mum's death, Opal feels like she's gone back in time. Nosey Mrs. Pickess is still polishing her windows to a sparkle. Fishbo, Opal's ancient music teacher, still plays trumpet with his band. And much to Opal's delight, her favorite n... read more

A 2014 Anthony Award Winner When she was twelve years old, Opal Jones escaped her mother's endless drinking. Now, returning to their small Leeds cottage after her mum's death, Opal feels like she's gone back in time. Nosey Mrs. Pickess is still polishing her windows to a sparkle. Fishbo, Opal's ancient music teacher, still plays trumpet with his band. And much to Opal's delight, her favorite n... read more

Some Quiet Place

Kelsey Sutton

I can’t feel sadness, anger, or fear. I can’t feel anything. I’ve grown talented at pretending. Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions . . . she sees them in human form. Longing hovers around the shy, adoring boy at school. Courage materializes beside her dying friend. Fury and Resentment visit her abusive home. They’ve all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. Al... read more

I can’t feel sadness, anger, or fear. I can’t feel anything. I’ve grown talented at pretending. Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions . . . she sees them in human form. Longing hovers around the shy, adoring boy at school. Courage materializes beside her dying friend. Fury and Resentment visit her abusive home. They’ve all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. Al... read more

Life as We Knew It

Susan Beth Pfeffer

I guess I always felt even if the world came to an end, McDonald’s still would be open.High school sophomore Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when an asteroid knocks the moon closer to Earth, like "one marble hits another." The result is catastrophic. How can her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis are wiping out the coasts, earthquakes are rocking the cont... read more

I guess I always felt even if the world came to an end, McDonald’s still would be open.High school sophomore Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when an asteroid knocks the moon closer to Earth, like "one marble hits another." The result is catastrophic. How can her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis are wiping out the coasts, earthquakes are rocking the cont... read more

Zeroboxer

Fonda Lee

A rising star in the weightless combat sport of zeroboxing, Carr “the Raptor” Luka dreams of winning the championship title. Recognizing his talent, the Zero Gravity Fighting Association assigns Risha, an ambitious and beautiful Martian colonist, to be his brandhelm––a personal marketing strategist. It isn’t long before she’s made Carr into a popular celebrity and stolen his heart along the wa... read more

A rising star in the weightless combat sport of zeroboxing, Carr “the Raptor” Luka dreams of winning the championship title. Recognizing his talent, the Zero Gravity Fighting Association assigns Risha, an ambitious and beautiful Martian colonist, to be his brandhelm––a personal marketing strategist. It isn’t long before she’s made Carr into a popular celebrity and stolen his heart along the wa... read more

These Gentle Wounds

Helene Dunbar

Sometimes I wish I'd lost a leg or something. Everyone can understand that. They never get it when what's been broken is inside your head.Five years after an unspeakable tragedy that changed him forever, Gordie Allen has made a new home with his half-brother Kevin. Their arrangement works since Kevin is the only person who can protect Gordie at school and keep him focused on getting his life b... read more

Sometimes I wish I'd lost a leg or something. Everyone can understand that. They never get it when what's been broken is inside your head.Five years after an unspeakable tragedy that changed him forever, Gordie Allen has made a new home with his half-brother Kevin. Their arrangement works since Kevin is the only person who can protect Gordie at school and keep him focused on getting his life b... read more

The Abyss Surrounds Us

Emily Skrutskie

For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the giant, genetically engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, Cas’s dream of b... read more

For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the giant, genetically engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, Cas’s dream of b... read more

The Child Garden: A Novel

Catriona McPherson

Eden was its name. "An alternative school for happy children." But it closed in disgrace after a student's suicide. Now it's a care home, the grounds neglected and overgrown. Gloria Harkness is its only neighbor, staying close to her son who lives in the home, lighting up her life and breaking her heart each day. When a childhood friend turns up at her door, Gloria doesn't hesitate before aski... read more

Eden was its name. "An alternative school for happy children." But it closed in disgrace after a student's suicide. Now it's a care home, the grounds neglected and overgrown. Gloria Harkness is its only neighbor, staying close to her son who lives in the home, lighting up her life and breaking her heart each day. When a childhood friend turns up at her door, Gloria doesn't hesitate before aski... read more

The Higher Power of Lucky (Hard Pan Trilogy)

Susan Patron

Believing that her French guardian is about to abandon her to an orphanage in the city, ten-year-old Lucky runs away from her small town with her beloved dog, HMS Beagle, by her side in order to trek across the Mojave Desert to start her challenging life over one more time. A Newbery Medal Book & ALA Notable Children's Book. Reprint.

Believing that her French guardian is about to abandon her to an orphanage in the city, ten-year-old Lucky runs away from her small town with her beloved dog, HMS Beagle, by her side in order to trek across the Mojave Desert to start her challenging life over one more time. A Newbery Medal Book & ALA Notable Children's Book. Reprint.

What Remains

Helene Dunbar

In less than a second... ... two of the things Cal Ryan cares most about--a promising baseball career and Lizzie, one of his best friends--are gone forever. In the hours that follow... ...Cal's damaged heart is replaced. But his life will never be the same. Everyone expects him to pick up the pieces and move on. But Lizzie is gone, and all that remains for Cal is an overwhelming sense that her... read more

In less than a second... ... two of the things Cal Ryan cares most about--a promising baseball career and Lizzie, one of his best friends--are gone forever. In the hours that follow... ...Cal's damaged heart is replaced. But his life will never be the same. Everyone expects him to pick up the pieces and move on. But Lizzie is gone, and all that remains for Cal is an overwhelming sense that her... read more

Explore the Reedsy Community

Reedsy is a community of top publishing professionals. Join Reedsy today to browse 1000+ profiles.

Kate Angelella

Former Simon & Schuster editor with over a decade of experience editing YA & MG novels by award-winning and bestselling authors.

Baltimore, United States

Jenn Bailey

I am an award-winning author and experienced editor of books for children and young adults. I specialize in humor, fantasy, and scifi.

Leawood, KS, United States

To view 1,000+ more profiles, Join Reedsy