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Friday, June 29, 2012

Agent Tweets~ The "#askagent" Addition

For those of you who don't know, #askagent is an awesome stealthy Q&A that pops up on Twitter now and then. An agent will usually say something along the lines of, "I feel like doing an #askagent in an hour. Who's with me???"

That's your cue to get prepared for any agents who might show up to address your burning questions about publishing.

You ask the question, making sure to include the hashtag #askagent in your tweet. It's an amazing opportunity to interact with literary agents and you can learn TONS by following the twitter feed, even if you're feeling too shy to ask a question.

Here are some questions and answers from a session earlier this week:


QUESTION: Can a YA MS have an adult perspective? I've heard it's rare, but haven't heard if this is automatically a bad thing. #askagent

AGENT ANSWER by: Sarah Davies@SarahGreenhouse Very difficult; more likely to turn itself into an adult novel if an adult perspective.#askagent

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QUESTION: To clarify- can a YA novel alternate between a YA and adult POV, or must it only be a YA POV? #askagent

AGENT ANSWER by: Julia Churchill@JuliaChurchill If it's a POV, rather than MC, perhaps. But does the book stay true to core reader? A challenge there. #askagent

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QUESTION: Once you sign a writer, how much personal time do you spend on each client? What should we expect, roughly?

AGENT ANSWER by Sarah Davies@SarahGreenhouse: Impossible to quantity; a lot! Often couple rounds of edits then regular contact. V close professional r/ship. #askagent


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QUESTION: I thought I read somewhere that publishers don't want pre-illustrated picture books. Did I misread, or have my genre wrong? #askagent


AGENT ANSWER by Sandy Lu@sandylunyc: Publishers often work with their own list of illustrators. It's harder to sell both texts and illustration as a package. #askagent

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QUESTION: Do you believe genre fiction can also be literary? #askagent

AGENT ANSWER by: Annie Bomke@ABLiterary Usually the genre designation trumps a literary one. If you have a literary sci-fi novel, it has to be sold as sci-fi. #askagent

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QUESTION: #askagent Say ur hooked on first chapter, second ch is mediocre, third is fine, and 4th-end is great. Would you rep? (i.e., "mostly" great)

AGENT ANSWER by:   Julia Churchill@JuliaChurchill If it's mostly great, then quite possibly. 'Mostly great' doesn't have too much of a leap to 'totally great'. #askagent

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QUESTION: On that note what would you like to see more of? #askagent

AGENT ANSWER by: Sarah Davies@SarahGreenhouse Contemp real-world stories. Always love intriguing thrillers! Luminous MG writing of any kind. #askagent

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QUESTION: Do agents typically want new author to focus on nonfiction OR fiction? I write both #askagent

AGENT ANSWER by:  Sarah Davies@SarahGreenhouse If you get a fic deal best to follow up with more fic (publisher will prob want you to). At least start with one genre.#askagent

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QUESTION: Is it bad to query two projects at once? Or should you pull subs on a book u don't think is as strong to query a new book? #askagent

AGENT ANSWER by:  Jodie Marsh@Jodiemarsh31 I'd say best to let a sub run its course before next. Might be interest to follow up on from first sub with second. #askagent

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QUESTION: #askagent Should those seeking representation cease using sites like critique circle, authonomy, bookcountry, ssf online writing workshop?

AGENT ANSWER by: Julia Churchill@JuliaChurchill No. Community helps. I've asked authors to come off Inkpop or similar, but only once I'd signed them. #askagent

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QUESTION: Should specific projects in process of being submitted be removed or are they ok to remain on such sites? #askagent

AGENT ANSWER by: Julia Churchill@JuliaChurchillThey're fine up there. I don't mind. If I offer to represent the author, I'll suggest they bring them down. #askagent

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QUESTION: can a book with specific historical context be either, literary, comercial, or general fiction? #askagent

AGENT ANSWER by:  Annie Bomke@ABLiterary Yes, it all depends on the plot and writing. #askagent

AGENT ANSWER by:  Sarah Davies@SarahGreenhouse I don't really see those distinctions - or not in children's/YA. All eds want quality writing with a commercial hook.#askagent

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QUESTION: #askagent Ever rep'd a book that you weren't personally passionate about but that you knew was marketable?

AGENT ANSWER by: Julia Churchill@JuliaChurchill  I rep a debut 'cos I think it has a place in the world, & want to help make it happen. Sounds bit worthy. True tho. #askagent

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QUESTION: #askagent How much of 'personal preference' is characterization? If 1 agent rejects full with that as deciding reason, fix or keep subbng?

AGENT ANSWER by:  Sarah Davies@SarahGreenhouse  If your wise critique partners love it, keep going. If the crit confirms your own instincts, take another look! #askagent

AGENT ANSWER by:  Annie Bomke@ABLiterary I'd say everything is subjective in publishing. One person might not connect to the characters, but another might. #askagent

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QUESTION: #askagent If you really loved a story and its voice/concept but not the author, would that be an issue?

AGENT ANSWER by:  Sarah Davies@SarahGreenhouse Need to feel we can work together, openly + with enjoyment, for the long haul. If one side doesn't feel that then tricky! #askagent

AGENT ANSWER by  Julia Churchill@JuliaChurchill We just need to be able to work well together. They don't need to be a future bridesmaid. ;-) #askagent

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QUESTION: How imperative is it to have a website or blog before querying?#askagent

AGENT ANSWER by:  Julia Churchill@JuliaChurchilll When I googled many of my (now) biggest authors, I couldn't even find a facebook entry. It didn't bother me at all. #askagent

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QUESTION: Do previous writing credentials matter? Some credentials more alluring than others with so many different e-book pubs out there?#askagent

AGENT ANSWER by: Sarah Davies@SarahGreenhouse I always look v closely at mss from MFA grads. But anything you've done before is interesting.#askagent

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QUESTION: #askagent Is there anything you'd like to see more of genre/age-wise?

AGENT ANSWER by:  Julia Churchill@JuliaChurchilll I'd like to see a bit more balance towards 9-12 and younger in my inbox. #askagent

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QUESTION: Should writers be wary of agents with no list of clients? Even if they are associated with reputable company? #askagent

AGENT ANSWER by: Sarah Davies@SarahGreenhouse Depends! Could be good new agent - which could mean you are top dog! I did fab deals for my 1st client.#askagent

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Always feel free to check out the hashtag #askagent to see what you've missed lately! 

I'm off to another baseball game this morning. Being on pre-evacuation notice for the fire here hasn't brought my interaction with baseball to a halt (my stepson plays in a different area, so we'll be driving into a non-smoky area with our "essentials"-packed car in case something crazy happens in the few hours we're gone).

Have a great weekend, and happy reading/writing!

32 comments:

  1. This is awesome! What a cool way to interact and get information. Thank you! Stay safe and enjoy the baseball game!

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    1. Thanks Tracy~ we ended up having four games this weekend, but luckily we're finally off pre-evac!

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  2. The #askagent hashtag is a keeper. I've seen a few good conversations there before. Hope your summer is going good, Jess. Have a great holiday!

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    1. Hope your summer is going well, too!

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  3. Great info here, Jess! The "mostly-great" one reminded me of the Princess Bride "he's mostly-dead". lol

    Hope you have a great weekend and upcoming holiday!

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    1. HA! "MOSTLY-dead." Love that movie and Billy Crystal is a genius in that role :)

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  4. WOW thank you for gathering this in a format that is easy to understand, Jess. Hope you have a great weekend and a wonderful 4th of July. :-)

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    1. Hope you have a good 4th as well!

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  5. "Luminous MG writing of any kind" - sooooooo I'm channeling luminous, luminous, luminous - will start writing by the luminous moon :-)

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    1. I know, right? I'm hoping to channel some luminous writing myself :)

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  6. Since I'm not all that good with Twitter, your posts tend to keep me enlightened on things I'd otherwise miss. Thanks for sharing the Q&A's from this.

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    1. I'm not that great with Twitter either~ it can be overwhelming to sift through tons of tweets, but the hashtags that have to do with writing can be so helpful!

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  7. How cool that you collected this. I'm with LittleWomen21--luminous, luminous, luminous....

    Shelley

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    1. I'm sure Seven Tales of Trinket is filled with luminous writing :)

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  8. I never remember to get on Twitter for stuff like this, so I'm glad to have a friend who can summarize it for me (hint: it's you).

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  9. Thanks to you, I follow a few agents on twitter, and find it extremely helpful.

    Good luck with the pre-evacuation notice. I don't know what part of Colorado you live in, but I've been watching the fires closely and hoping for the best. We'll be visiting Denver and Colorado Springs (hopefully) next month and we've been watching the wildfires with shock and sadness. Hoping everything is okay for you and your family.

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    1. Hope your trip goes as planned! We're officially off pre-evacuation as of today (Sunday).

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  10. Thanks for sharing. I think I need to get on Twitter based on what you and Beth are saying. Hope things going well with the pre-evacuation notices. Hope you aren't affected by the fires.

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    1. Even if you don't get super involved on Twitter, it's fun to follow agents/editors :)

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  11. thank you, Jess, this is always informative.

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  12. Thank you again for such a wealth of information, and the effort you take to put it together for us! It really is appreciated!! :)

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  13. Thanks for sharing. I don't do Twitter but I think I may be missing something. Fingers crossed and praying that Colorado gets dome much needed rain to help out.

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    1. I'm hoping for rain as well. The lake that our town is named after has run dry...as in, you can walk across it.

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  14. Jess, I'm so glad to hear that you're off pre-evacuation.

    I have a question about twitter. You mentioned the hashtags that have to do with writing. Other than #writing itself, are there any that you'd recommend? (I'm such a neophyte on twitter, and I know there's a ton of information out there that could help me.) Thanks!

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    1. Here are a few I check out:

      #askagent

      #pubtip

      #editreport

      #writetip

      #yalitchat

      #MGlitchat (this one is usually an organized chat on Thursdays at 9 PM)

      Those are ones that I check in with~ there are tons more out there, but it can get overwhelming to try to keep track of too many :) I'm still learning myself!

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    2. That's really helpful, Jess. Thank you!

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  15. Great round-up as always, Jess!

    -Vicki

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