A rundown on agent relationships

If you want to find an agent, it can be a minefield. Finding which agents to submit to is a real project in itself and each submission probably needs to be reformatted to suit the agent in question (it’s no different to a job application). Once you have them in your sights, there’s a process to follow and hopefully, these handy hints will help.

In the first instance, agent Janet Reid says, “don’t ever email to ask if an agent is accepting new clients. It doesn’t work like this.” She isn’t a doctor or dentist with a certain number of slots to fill. She says you should just send the query. If they like it, they’ll get in touch. Simple as that. Continue Reading

How to pitch your self-published book to mainstream agents

wordle my blog sept 14Having found an agent to represent my book and then having lost her again (it’s a long story) and because I’m currently still waiting for other agents to read the full manuscript that they’ve requested, I decided to continue with my plan to self-publish. This isn’t because I think I can do a better job than traditional publishing houses, but more because I wanted feedback on my writing before I started the next book, and because I thought it sounded like a challenge to see if I could singlehandedly make decisions on marketing, advertising, strategy, etc. It also felt like I was making progress (although with the amount involved and how much I’ve had to learn – quickly – I appreciate that the latter reason was completely misguided!)Continue Reading

Agent queries that worked

succ query lettersMost of the stuff written about writing is pretty useless (another ten rules on writing by so and so, anyone?) trudging out the same trite copy (like rule number ten, forget about the rules) and blah, blah, blah. I also have mixed views on WritersDigest.com; they seem to bombard me with once-in-a-lifetime marketing opportunities every twenty seconds but once in a while some of their output is really good. Take this column. It offers more than 60 examples of successful query letters and a response from the agents about why the letters were so good. You can’t ask for more useful than that.

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Reasons why agents stop reading your work

wordle_jan24You can find a great post here by Livia Blackburne on WritersDigest.com on why agents stop reading your first chapter. At the Boston Book Fest, submissions were read out in front of everyone and agents made comments. Most common turn-offs included generic or slow beginnings, trying too hard or providing too much information. Read the full article below.Continue Reading