Pub Rants

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

9 Submissions in 9 Sentences

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Status:

Two contracts to tackle this afternoon. Doesn’t feel like a Friday.

Listening To:

GALILEO by Indigo Girls

What I’ve seen in the last 2 weeks and why I passed:

4 Full Manuscripts (2 with offers of rep on the table)

1 – New Adult/wm’s fic. Recommended by a former editor we know well and like. I totally enjoyed the writing but for me, the story didn’t have a foot solidly in one genre or the other. I didn’t have the vision/passion for it so I passed.

2 – Wm’s fic/erotic leaning. Probably one of the more interesting concepts for a story that I’ve seen in a long time. What was interesting is the writing was quite literary but if I were to explain the plot, it would feel like contemporary romance. I went back and forth on that one as so intriguing. I did end up passing despite how smartly it was done.

3 – Middle Grade. Great great concept. But I had reservations that the voice didn’t quite nail the middle grade age range and although cool, a lot of the story felt too sophisticated but not exactly right for YA either.

4 – Middle Grade. Multicultural main character which I love. Great MG voice. Story line needed some work and with my current work load, I was afraid I couldn’t give the author the attention deserved.

5 Sample Pages

1 – Adult literary. Too literary for what I can be successful with. But terrific writing and a wonderful multicultural story.

2 – Young adult. Previously published author with great background. Fun paranormal. Snappy writing. I liked it but didn’t love it.

3 – Adult steampunk. Author had very cool background and the writing was nice but the opening didn’t grab me.

4 – Adult literary. Same as the other above. Too literary for what I tend to have success with. Wonderful multicultural angle though.

5 – Contemporary romance. Previously published author with great backlist and background. I liked it but didn’t love it. With a full client list, it makes a difference on what I’ll take on.


5 Responses

  1. Pingback: Saturday Summation – 20 April 2013 | It'll All Work Out

  2. Nic frances said:

    I waver between finding these posts daunting and encouraging, but they’re DEFINITELY useful, and much appreciated!

  3. Her Grace said:

    I find the “great stuff, but not for me” angle very frustrating. I get a lot of that from editors and agents. Alas, there isn’t a way of divining which agents/editors a work would be a good match for.

    That said, i have made sales due to an editor saying, “This isn’t for me, but X might like it.” And X would, and they’d buy it.

    1. J.C. Folsom said:

      Seeing this list of really good writing projects for which you “took a pass” helps me understand how much competition is out there, and that a rejection by any given agent is not a personal commentary on my work or any work. Still, one gets discouraged thinking about all the great writers out there. Why keep trying? It’s hard work writing and submitting! Would love to see you address this in your blog.

  4. James Work said:

    Years ago I heard a publisher say “match my passion and I’ll publish it.” Now I’ve published sixteen books and it’s true: in each case I hit the publisher with an idea they were passionate about. Pity I couldn’t divine what other publishers wanted.

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