Pub Rants

4 Submissions

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STATUS: I actually caught up on quite a few things sitting on my desk so I’m feeling like it was a productive day.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? IF I HAD EYES by Jack Johnson

As I mentioned, Sara and I have tried to do a lot of reading as of late. Since you guys seem to like these reports, I don’t mind sharing although I personally don’t think they help you blog readers all that much. So much rides on the writing.

But anyway, last night I read four different sample pages.

Submission 1—Was a nicely written work but didn’t feel big enough for what I’m looking for in women’s fiction.

Submission 2—I’m a pass because the work was not my cup of tea but I thought Sara might like it so I sent on to her (romance).

Submission 3—Liked it. So did Sara. Fantasy genre. We asked for a full. Author’s name did not indicate gender (big grin here). Even if we are looking to add some more male authors to our client list, if the writing isn’t there, it’s a no go.

Submission 4—YA. Great concept. Didn’t find myself getting attached to the characters or the story. I did read all of the 30 page submission as I kind of hoped it would eventually grab me. I can see another agent liking it though. Told the author so.

Not sure if I’ll get any more reading done tonight as I’ve been reading a client manuscript that has me really excited so I can’t wait to get home to continue reading it.

26 Responses

  1. Guinevere said:

    I don’t know how helpful it is necessarily either, but it certainly is interesting. I know I appreciate the opportunity to peak over an agent’s shoulder, virtually speaking.

  2. Connie said:

    Thanks for the commentary. It helped me. I’ve gotten comments like the ones you’d written on submission 4, and I always wondered if the agent was just being nice when they said that it was just a matter of finding the right agent.

  3. Diva Donna said:

    Whether or not it helps anyone else, I love to see what goes through your mind while you’re going over submissions. It helps me see what agents might be looking for when they read my stuff. More specifically, last summer I submitted sample pages to Sara and was sad that she didn’t end up requesting a full manuscript, but then you posted about how crazy your week had been and the number of submissions and what you liked and didn’t like about two YA submissions and it really helped me understand what I was missing in my work. I learned a lot and have kept writing because of a post just like this one.

  4. NipponBeck said:

    Even if it doesn’t say much for my chances either way, it encourages me to hear that you’re still in a reading mood, especially since I finally sent you my query! I love that y’all are so communicative with potential clients.

  5. Anonymous said:

    We love it when you share this kind of info with us. Don’t worry, we understand that ultimately, it’s about the writing.

  6. Abby Stevens said:

    You are right, of course – this doesn’t really help us since there are so many factors regarding what makes sample pages amazing, but it FEELS like this is helpful. I feel like I am getting some real insight into an agent’s mind (and not just any agent’s mind, an agent who I plan on querying in the coming months), so this is a real treat. Thanks, Kristen!

  7. Elizabeth Lynd said:

    It’s really interesting to hear you say you can see another agent liking something. I’ve gotten that comment before, and I’ve wondered if it’s part of a polite, personal sounding-yet-form rejection, or if they really meant it. Seeing that you really meant it is nice to hear; perhaps the other agents really meant it as well.

  8. Sarah Olutola said:

    Always interesting to read what an agent thinks when reading submissions.

    Really bring home the fact that agents are readers just like the rest of us…what impresses some may not impress others and vice versa.

  9. catie james said:

    You’re right about these types of posts not really being “instructive” in any sense, but they’re always interesting and enjoyable reads. 🙂

  10. Liana Brooks said:

    Thank you for this, I like the updates and seeing how the submission process works from your side. It wasn’t that you hated any of the work, it’s just that there wasn’t enough to make you love it. And that’s important for authors to know. :o)

  11. Dara said:

    Thanks for posting this. I know much of it rides on the writing, but it’s interesting to see your thought process behind it.

  12. Anonymous said:

    Yay. It’s great to hear you getting excited about a manuscript. It’s always refreshing to encounter people who actually LOVE their jobs 🙂

  13. Joseph L. Selby said:

    Four your fourth submission, the one by the gender-neutrally named author, if (s)he had included a website as part of his/her query, would you have investigated as part of your review process?

  14. KLM said:

    Do agents really mean that “I’m sure another agent will feel differently” thing? I’d always assumed that was just a nicer way of saying no.

  15. Alli said:

    Getting an insight of how an agent looks at submissions is not only interesting, but it can be encouraging. It just reminds us how subjective this business is (especially the comment about submission 4). Thanks for sharing this – the post is probably more helpful than you realise.

  16. JaredNGarrett said:

    Hi! New to your blog, but I’m enjoying the insider’s look into your work as an agent.

    I really like your music choices so far. Listened to any Tracy Chapman lately?

  17. WriteTime said:

    A post like this is very helpful–gives aspiring authors some feedback on what kinds of things you look for when you read through sample pages. More posts like this would be great! Very much enjoy your blog.