Naomi Davis @NaomisLitPix · 1d

Packy - Head Llama @nerfedllamas

The feedback I am getting on my query letter and sample writing so far has been distinctly of the non-critical “this is not for me, thanks for submitting” variety. What do you recommend for getting better critical feedback on a query? #AskAgent

Replying to @nerfedllamas

Agents read so many queries/week that most of us cannot offer feedback on a query. I always give feedback on full manuscripts, but w/ 300+ queries/month, clients to look after, & industry relationships to build (and so very much more) it's just not possible on a query. #askagent

Naomi Davis @NaomisLitPix · 1d

Ken Poirier @theking4mayor

#askagent For unpublished authors seeking representation, is a book series a turn on or turn off? #amquerying

Replying to @theking4mayor

Depends on the genre and book, honestly.
In SFF I prefer books that conclude enough to stand alone but can be pitched as the first in a series. #askagent

Naomi Davis @NaomisLitPix · 3d

rachroses @rachroses

@NaomisLitPix How important is pacing and how do you improve it?

Replying to @rachroses

Pacing is 100% a top factor in making a story work. Look at each chapter: does it advance both internal and external plots in every chapter/interaction? How about the opening and closing of each chapter: How does the chapter change the character or her goal? #askagent

Naomi Davis @NaomisLitPix · 3d

Marine von Koenig @marinavk

@NaomisLitPix What is the most common reason for you not to reject a MS but to request revise & resub? Thank you

Replying to @marinavk

If I LOVE premise but something wrong in the execution of it, or if I see the author has mad worldbuilding skills but struggles with voice immersion, etc. If there's one HUGE strength and one HUGE weakness, I'll often ask to see if the author is capable of resolving. #askagent

Naomi Davis @NaomisLitPix · 3d

Tye Tyson @TyeTyson

@NaomisLitPix I struggle with comps. Are they necessary for a query? One of the comps people have suggested is a classic (one flew over the cuckoo's nest), and I don't think that's a good comp...too classic. Thoughts?

Replying to @TyeTyson

No comp is better than an inaccurate comp. But we do like them if you've got them, since it helps us figure out market positioning, etc. If you have a crit group, ask them for comp help. #askagent

Naomi Davis @NaomisLitPix · 3d

Nancy @OfficialNancyA

@NaomisLitPix Are loglines a must, when querying an agent? 😐

Replying to @OfficialNancyA

Loglines are helpful, particularly for showing us the hook of the story. But I don't reject if there isn't a clear logline in the query. #askagent

Naomi Davis @NaomisLitPix · 3d

Jaclyn Paul @jaclynleewrites

@NaomisLitPix @mattpoirier531 I've also been told that in addition to that youthful voice, YA needs some kind of love interest in the plot to be salable. e.g. older teen character in a story that addresses more universal/grownup issues, and doesn't include any romantic element, is A, not YA. True? #askagent

Replying to @jaclynleewrites

Not true!
But much of YA tension does come from romance. If ditching the romance, DO make sure there are other relationship tensions to drive the characters development forward.
I love non romantic YA, particularly when siblings, mentors, BFFs are involved. #askagent

Naomi Davis @NaomisLitPix · 3d

Matthew Poirier @mattpoirier531

Dear Agents: How do you need when to market something as either Adult or YA? The age of the protagonist? Writing style? The content? What about dark, uncomfortable themes that are important to enter into a YA discourse?
#writingtip #querytip #500queries #literaryagent #publishing

Replying to @mattpoirier531

#askagent YA vs A often comes down to voice&character approach when age is in the gray area. Most YA stops at 18 but a particularly youthful voice, or a story about trying to learn how to use your own voice in opposition of your parents, could read YA even up to age 20.

Naomi Davis @NaomisLitPix · 5d

Julie Patterson @julie_patter

How should an author go about deciding whether or not a market is already too saturated with a particular topic/theme when deciding which project to work next? We often believe our angle is different, but is there a point at which “different” isn’t enough? #askagent

Replying to @julie_patter

Follow agents&editors&watch their #MSWL posts. If a certain theme is being discussed often, it'll be easier than if not. That said, I still do see occasional people looking for vampires, and it doesn't get much more saturated than that. #askagent

Naomi Davis @NaomisLitPix · Mar 16

Daniel M Scanlan @DanielMScanlan

@NaomisLitPix @TracyMarchini Clearly detailed feedback is impossible, but what about one liners? "Not right for the current market", "Writing quality not there", or "List too full with similar projects." Anything like that would be enormously helpful to budding authors.

Replying to @DanielMScanlan

As much as I hear you on this, please refer to the other #askagent answers about how we must prioritize our time toward our signed clients first and their submissions, revisions, editor communications, covers, blurbs, promo strategy, next projects, subrights, contracts, etc etc.