Pub Rants

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

9 Story Openings to Avoid, Part 7

By Kristin Nelson & Angie Hodapp For Part 1 and the genesis of this series, click here. For Part 2, click here. For Part 3, click here. For Part 4, click here. For Part 5, click here. For Part 6, click here. Your opening pages might be in trouble if… #7) Your novel opens with pages of […]

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What To Do If Your Books Are Popular In Iran?

The short answer is nothing. There actually isn’t much you can do. Rarely discussed in publishing is the fact that certain countries don’t recognize or honor copyright law. Persian countries (including Iran and Iraq) are an excellent example of territories that don’t. Persian publishers will often translate popular novels and publish them in their countries without a license, and […]

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Query Tip: Avoid the Checkbox Grocery List In The Pitch

Note from Kristin: Jamie is one of NLA’s first reader on queries. He reads hundreds a week so this was worth sharing. By Jamie Persichetti As a gay man, it’s always weird to read in query letter book pitches that a story “features LGBTQ+ characters” or “has diversity” like they are bonus content on the […]

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9 Story Openings to Avoid, Part 6

By Kristin Nelson & Angie Hodapp For Part 1 and the genesis of this series, click here. For Part 2, click here. For Part 3, click here. For Part 4, click here. For Part 5, click here.  Your opening pages might be in trouble if… #6) Your novel opens with prose problems, such as flowery or overly descriptive verbiage. This morning, while sipping my steaming hot and […]

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2016 End of Year Stats!


Wowza, did last year fly by! I was just getting used to writing 2016 on documents, and now I have to switch to 2017. In any case, it’s time for our end-of-year stats: 2 new agents at NLA (Joanna MacKenzie and Danielle Burby come on board!) 39 career New York Times bestsellers (up from 37 in 2015. So close to […]

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