Search Results: query

Quick Update on Query Submissions

Many of you have written that you’re not getting an immediate automated response to your query. I just found out why. The responses are generated through Outlook, and they’re only sent when Cathy, our office assistant, has Outlook running. Since she’s part-time, this isn’t a whole lot of hours each week. So if you send…
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The Art of the Query

If you’re trying to sell a book to a publisher, or an article to a magazine, you’re familiar with The Art of the Query Letter. Many of you have asked me to write more about query letters, be more specific about what “a good one” looks like, maybe give examples of query letters that got…
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Ask the Agent: Query Publisher or Agent?

Chatty Kelly asked a common question on Friday: Why would you query an agent over a publisher? What are the pros & cons? Okay, in the first place, fewer and fewer publishers are accepting unagented submissions. So if you want to get published, it’s becoming less viable to do it without an agent. Agents are…
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How Long Should I Try to Get and Agent before Deciding to Self-Publish?

  It can take quite a while to find an agent, which is usually the first step if you’re seeking traditional publishing. But how long do you go at it before giving up? As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, you might send your query to dozens of agents before finding a match. Only you can…
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How do you determine the difference between heavy competition for agents vs. if your work is just not good?

So you’re sending out submissions with no luck. Why? Well, your query may need work. The book idea itself may need work. OR… Your query and your book might be just fine. But because there are so many other queries in the queue, and perhaps bad luck and lack of serendipity and an annoying scarcity of fairy…
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How Many Queries Should I Send Out?

  When you are looking for an agent, how many queries should you send? The short answer is: as many as it takes! There are several hundred literary agents out there. Once you’ve narrowed it down to agents who rep your genre, you’ll probably still have a pool of 100, 200, or more. You can…
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What can an agent do for me? Do I need one? How much do they cost?

  If your goal is to publish your book with a medium to large traditional, royalty-paying publishing house—then you want to seek agent representation. Very few large houses these days accept submissions from unagented authors. Getting an agent is one way to know you’re on the right track. If you get a yes from a…
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Why Would Someone Want to Read Your Book?

You probably know why you’re writing your book. But do you have a good handle on what would make someone want to read it? It’s important for you to not only know this, but make sure it comes through any time you’re talking about your book — pitching it, writing a query, writing a proposal…
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Why is it so Hard to Find an Agent?

Ah, the age-old dilemma. How to get an agent? Why does it seem like such an uphill battle? It even sometimes feels like agents are actively trying to keep you out! Exactly WHY is it so hard? First, let me be clear: we agents love nothing more than saying YES. Our favorite things are finding…
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Identify Your Novel’s Genre

Writers often ask me, “How do I figure out what genre my book is?” While the answer is straightforward for some people, it can be a tricky question for others. It becomes even more complicated if you’re also resisting the idea that you have to put a classification or label on your novel at all.…
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Minimize the Obstacles to Publication

When you’re a debut author trying to break in to traditional publishing, one of the most important things to remember is this: Minimize the obstacles. You already know it’s not going to be easy to break in, so you want to avoid making it even more difficult on yourself. This is why agents give so much advice…
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Welcome to the Shark Tank

If you’re a writer trying to wrap your mind around the business end of publishing, I hope you’re watching ABC’s Shark Tank. The show has nothing to do with publishing, but it has everything to do with understanding exactly what you are doing when you put your query or proposal in front of an agent or publisher. Whether you…
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Lone Ranger

Are You a Lone Ranger Writer?

In publishing, we’re constantly asking writers—typically a rather introverted bunch—to get involved, to engage, to network, to join groups and go to conferences. I often find myself wondering how many of you cringe every time you hear that kind of advice. Maybe you’re not into the whole publishing “scene.” Maybe you don’t enjoy being in…
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Does Age Matter for Writers?

Hi Rachelle, I’m 62 and about to retire; I’m preparing to dedicate my retirement years to writing full-time. I wonder whether “age discrimination” would enter into my efforts to get published. I realize the quality of the product is the most important thing, but do you think my age would detract from consideration of my…
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