STATUS: You don’t even want to know how many eggnog chais I’ve had this week.
What’s playing on the iPod right now? CAN’T WRAP THIS by MTV video
Richard Curtis says the unmentionable. Where would publishers be if agents split off electronic rights away from the print rights sold to publishers? Amazon did just fly out a bunch of agents to corporate headquarters and no one there is talking on or off the record about that discussion. Now before you get too excited, the likelihood of this possibility for a debut or midlist author is slim—for now. But I know Richard is preaching to my choir…
And even though it’s not Friday, this video cracked me up so much I had to share it ASAP. Enjoy.
And now back to some Q&A so I can get my nose back to the grindstone.
What do you think of sites like Authonomy.com from Harper Collins (where authors can upload chapters of their books in hopes of getting discovered)? Do would-be authors take any risks uploading to a site like this? Do you think their books are any more/less likely to get a traditional publishing contract if sections of their works have been posted on a site like this? I know how you feel about vanity publishers, but I’d like to get an agent’s take on forums/sharing spaces like Authonomy or even Deviant Art and other such websites.
I personally don’t have a problem with writers participating in Authonomy (sorry don’t know much about Deviant Art so can’t really comment on that at the moment) but in general, I do think a manuscript that’s good enough to get attention through Authonomy will probably be good enough to get notice from agents.
Authonomy looks a little different from the Penguin sponsored contest via Amazon Breakthrough Novel where the winner of that contest is pretty much stuck with the boilerplate Penguin contract (which trust me, is not in a writer’s favor). It looks like at Authonomy, writers can still negotiate if HarperCollins shows interest and maybe even get an agent on board for that discussion. I don’t see a downside. I wouldn’t post my entire work there but chapters are fine.
It’s actually kind of smart. HarperCollins is using the general readership to read through the slush pile and vote for the works that are worth their looking at as, according to the site, the editors look at the most popular entries.
Hi! My question is this: Do you see spies being a popular trend in YA? Also, should we quit on the vampire stuff for awhile and write more classic fantasy? Which do you think would sell better at the moment?
I’m the agent for the very popular New York Times bestselling Gallagher Girl series. I’m thinking I might have a biased opinion on whether I think spies are a popular trend in YA. Grin.
As for your other questions about whether to quit on the vampire stuff and write classic fantasy, I really can’t answer that without having looked at your work. Perhaps you are a stronger writer in classic fantasy than in urban fantasy. If that’s the case, you have your answer. However, if your vampire take is wholly original, then it can probably still work. As to what will sell better at the moment is wholly dependent on how good the manuscript is.
My question is: can we send our queries to you before the 18th or should we wait until the New Year? Since you guys are in a crunch, I don’t know if that’ll affect how you read the queries…like if you’re rushing to get everything done, would you be a bit more impatient while reading a query sent to you in the next few days? Just wanna know…
We are reading all queries up to 5 pm on Friday. Dec. 18. After that, all incoming queries will get the auto-reply that we are closed until Jan. 4, 2010.
I find that if you really want a certain agent to rep you, this time of year is not the time to be querying (although I know a lot of writers have great stories about landing their agent during this holiday time).
For me, I just need the break. I really do. We are always behind in terms of reading and replying to queries. We live constantly with the thought that there is more work then we can really keep up with. It makes such a difference to believe that we are caught up for 3 weeks—even if it’s an illusion. I know some agents are still reading (Nathan mentioned he would be as he’s afraid to lose out on something good) but I don’t care if I miss out on something great. This is for my mental health and renewal. Smile.
If I were you, I would wait until Jan. 4 and then send away. We’ll be rejuvenated and excited to get back into the game. January is probably THE best time to query us.
What to do about those dreaded “Didn’t love it enough” rejections? Should the writer response be persistence, querying with the belief that someone will love it enough. Or after 3 or 4 such responses, should the writer be looking at revising, albeit in the absence of any guidance from said rejections? I would be so grateful for any words of wisdom from you!
Only 3 or 4 responses! Surely you jest. I wouldn’t worry until you’ve gotten at least 20 rejections on your sample pages. When you’ve hit that, then you might want to think about revising, working with your critique group, making it stronger, and following any feedback you might be receiving. Once that is done, go out full bore with it again. If you are still getting 20 to 30 “didn’t love it enough,” then you might revise again or keep trying. I wouldn’t be giving up on those sample pages until you have 200+ rejections.
My question is, since you and Sara both have the same email address to send queries to, should I address my query to both of you? Or just pick one? (both of you rep what I write, YA)
You can address to both us of or if you think it would work specifically better to one of us versus the other, then you can address directly. Hope that helps!