Pub Rants

A Very Nice Literary Agent Indulges in Polite Rants About Queries, Writers, and the Publishing Industry

7 Pages in 7 Sentences


Time to head home to do a little more reading.

Listening To:

HERO by Family of The Year

If I can be that succinct. LOL My current workload is as such that I’m not doing a lot of reading right now. That will probably ease up in another month or so. But from what I have read in the last two weeks, here are my sum ups of 7 projects and 7 reasons why I passed.

1) Client referral – Post-apocalyptic adult fiction. Very cool world. Strong writing so the writer has talent but I just didn’t connect with the story/characters.

2) Client referral – adult literary thriller. Really talented writer but the work was very Cormac McCarthy THE ROAD kind of dark. Not my thing. I’m not going to be a good champion for that.

3) Client referral – women’s fiction. I thought it more young adult and asked author if they wanted to revise to be solidly in that realm. If so, I was willing to give it another read.

4) Anita pulled out for me – young adult fantasy. Had the coolest concept I’ve seen in a while but the work wasn’t quite ready. Wrote an editorial letter and asked the author to revise and send back to me. Hope this person does.

5) Client referral – Contemporary Young adult. Another really cool concept inspired by a real event but fictionalized. I didn’t connect with the main narrator which seemed crucial for this story.

6) Prev. published author – adult SF. Cool concept. Good writing. Just wasn’t right for me.

7) Sara asked me to look – Contemporary Young Adult – Good writing but the main narrator had a caustic voice. I wasn’t sure if I could spend a whole novel with that character.


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12 Responses

  1. DL Hammons said:

    This is great. Reading your reasons helps me remember that the other side of querying is mostly about subjective taste and matchmaking. 🙂

  2. Elissa said:

    This is the concept I’ll bet many writers have trouble grasping: “I just didn’t connect”

    Good story, good writing, writer shows talent– why not take it on? Well, I’ve read plenty of books that had a great story and were expertly written, but which didn’t really grab me. They were entertaining for the time it took to read, and then I moved on.

    I don’t think a lot of writers understand that representing a book requires a great deal more commitment on the part of an agent than simply enjoying the read. Rejections would be much less painful if we kept in mind that an agent can’t just like or enjoy a book as the average reader would, she has to be completely in love with it. Otherwise, she’d be a terrible representative for it.

    1. Her Grace said:

      Pretend I’ve clicked “like” for Elissa’s comment.

      I’d be more confident in my agent if I knew she loved my novel as much as I did. Then I know she’d do anything to get it published.

  3. Michael Price said:

    I will be interested to see what you think about my story once it is complete. Hope you love it, but if not there are others out there that will. I am not the kind of person that gives up on something I believe in. Changes can always be made to make something better but you can not please everyone in life.

  4. Wendy Spinale said:

    Oooohh!!! More insight into the life of a literary agent. I can’t tell you how much fun it is to read your thoughts and about the projects you come across. Thanks for giving us a peek into your world.

  5. Farmer Kidd said:

    A wonderful insight that is so rare to receive. It’s also very positive to read that subjectivity plays its part. That may sound like a negative at face value, but it’s actually the opposite. From the comments, most of the writers above are a yes away from publication. They’re that good. It just needs to find the right home and the right time, with the right champion.

  6. VictoryReader said:

    Loving the new site… Much respect for Ms. Kristen and thankful for her blog. I must say I enjoy the way she KINDLY presents her views/advice in so little but remarkable words 🙂

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