Tag s | Agents

How Long Should You Wait for an Answer?

You have sent your project to an editor or an agent. Their guidelines state “We will respond within 6-8 weeks.” Do you mark your calendar on day 56 and send that person a query the minute the deadline passed?

This past week one of my clients set a personal record for waiting.

She was contacted by a magazine asking to publish a poem she submitted…in 1990. You read that right. Twenty-six years after submitting the work, it sold.

Various reactions centered around the question”what?” Not only had this magazine kept the submission in a file…they actually looked at it 26 years later.

We had another client sell her novel 22 months after we submitted it to a publisher. After nearly two years she had already moved on and sold other novels elsewhere. But was happy to accept the offer.

Maybe there is a lesson here. Both of these clients are consummate professionals. They don’t have just one piece they rely upon for publishing success. The non-fiction writer is always working on new material and submitting ideas to periodicals. The novelist is constantly working on the next project while writing the current one and studying the market to see if there is something she can target for her proposals.

I receive the occasional note from an annoyed writer wondering why I haven’t responded within eight weeks. A couple weeks ago one enthusiastic author called the office the day after emailing the proposal wondering if we had read it yet. Another questioned the legitimacy of the agency and my statement of faith because I had not responded to their email query (which only proved the person had not read the guidelines on our website very carefully).

Maybe the real lesson is if I contact you in the year 2042 offering to represent the proposal you sent me this month…try to act surprised.

 

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An Author’s Journey

I wanted our agency client Scott Douglas LaCounte to guest-blog today because of the anniversary it represents (see below) and how God worked through the publishing process and journey to encourage a writer and his family.  Scott is quite modest. He is the head librarian for the Southern California Institute …

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The Best Time to Submit to an Agent

Thanks to Katie Powner for her question on my May 25, 2016 blog, which sparked this blog. There have been many changes in publishing over the last few years. In fact, it seems we just get used to some element of publishing, and wham! It’s turned on its head. But …

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Why I Don’t Critique Your Work

A fantastic blog post from Ramona Richards reminded me why I, as a literary agent, don’t offer critiques on rejected proposals. Believe me, as someone who used to write books, I understand the disappointment of the unhelpful rejection letter. So much that I blogged about it (click to read it). …

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I Hate Rejecting Great Books!

If you, as an author, feel beaten down by several rejections, perhaps you have this image of an agent reading your submission: (Agent sits down at computer, armed with a steaming cup of Uber Expensive Coffee.) “It is now time to go through my submissions!” (Agent rolls up sleeves and …

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Sending Your Submission to an Agent

Submitting your work to an agent can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. A few simple steps will help you gain confidence, regardless of your method. Unsolicited submission This is when you are querying several agents and you have no connection other than seeing them on a list. …

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Tell Us All the Gossip!

Sometimes writers hear wild, wild gossip about the industry. Sometimes that gossip is true. Sometimes it is not. Sometimes it is halfway true. As your agent, I want to hear it! You might say, “Wait a minute! Aren’t you a Christian agent? Doesn’t the Bible say not to gossip?” Yes. …

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Asking for a Reference – or Not

Throughout my career I have occasionally heard that writers looking for an agent should ask an agent’s clients for references. My advice? Reconsider that advice. Why Not I don’t say this because I’m afraid of what my current clients will say to a potential client. I’m far from perfect, but I do …

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