Your Questions Sweetly Answered
Kati Patrianoceu asked…
Do you get tired of writing about the same things on your blog over and over? Do you enjoy writing dozens of blogs about good-and-bad-queries, or does it drive you nuts?
I like writing the same things over and over. I like writing the same things over and over. I like writing the same things over and over. I like writing the same things over and over. I like…who am I kidding? It drives me nuts.
Steven Till asked…
Does getting your book on the front table in a bookstore have something to do with how much a publisher will pay for that spot? I’ve always heard that’s valuable real estate, and publishers compete for those spots to promote their titles.
That’s an urban legend. Books are chosen for the front table based solely on how well they stack. Also, the attractiveness of the author photo on the back cover. Okay, maybe that’s not exactly accurate. Yes, publishers pay for that very expensive real estate, so if “front table” is in your marketing plan, you should require all other authors bow and genuflect in your presence.
Terri Tiffany asked…
Ok –here’s a dumb question but I know others have asked this. If you write 77,000 words, do you list it as 75,000 when querying? Do you round up or down?
Always round to the nearest Harry Potter Book. In your case, you’d say, “My novel is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone-ish words long.” Agents love this. But if (gasp!) you don’t have the entire Harry Potter series on your shelf with which to compare your book, simply round to the nearest thousand. So 77,000 is fine.
CFD Trade said…
What do you think of authonomy.com? Do they really fish the great ones or is this another form of slush, only done where everybody can see?
It’s a great place for authors who are truly dedicated to the craft of building unrealistic expectations. But occasionally the process works and someone gets a publishing contract. Not anyone I’ve ever met or heard from firsthand, but people tell me this is true, and I believe everything I hear.
Lynette Benton asked…
When an agent surprises you by asking to see a manuscript in passing, is it okay to say you’re (truly) revising it, and would it be okay to send it in a month?
It’s probably best just to admit you haven’t actually written the book yet. (Good rule of thumb: the truth, whatever it happens to be.)
Walt M wondered…
I want to understand why, even though I’ve set up a writing space within my house, I still get more done if I leave the house and go to my favorite coffee shop.
Because your house was built over a cemetery and the ghosts don’t like your writing voice so they’re always trying to distract you from writing. Either that, or your muse is invigorated by the scent of coffee and yuppie desperation. Plus you need a handy excuse to get away from your family. Hey, you’re the one leaving home, not me.
Daryl Sedore asked…
Why do agents use cartoon avatars on Twitter? Are they ashamed? Hiding? Is this a joke? Is the industry laughing at itself?
Those aren’t cartoons. Those are actual photographs, and here you are making fun of them. I bet you laugh at dead puppies on the side of the road, too.
I wonder if editors are more receptive to unagented submmissions now. I see a lot more editors who work for top publishers attending writer’s conferences these days…Do they want to bypass agents to save time and money?
Editors don’t go to conferences to bypass agents. They go to conferences to earn more frequent flyer miles and get the great chicken dinners. By the way, editors for top publishers have always gone to conferences. And when they meet authors they’re interested in? They often recommend the author get agented pronto (if the author isn’t already).
Christopher Grisham asked…
When reading manuscripts do you utilize speed reading strategies, read for comprehension, somewhere in between, or does it vary?
I only read the good words. That’s how I get through so many manuscripts in such a short time.
Hope that helps! I’ll post another set of questions and answers next Wednesday.
(c) 2010 Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent