Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Jan 13

Pitch contests, however, I wish you luck. It is then & ONLY THEN that we will welcome seeing your book details on social media and giving you a ❤️ if we are interested. Hashtags like #askagent, too, are avenues but only during the time slot the agent offers (not a week later)

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Jan 2

Matt Leyshon @mleyshonauth

@kaitylynne13 Hi Kaitlyn,

How much does a brief self-publishing stint (to garner reviews) affect the chances of an MS? Can reviews be helpful in a query? #askagent

Replying to @mleyshonauth

Many agents do not accept previously published works, even self-published, unless they sold extraordinarily well. Reviews don't often help when searching for an agent, but add in your bio if you've previously published other titles. #askagent

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Jan 2

Ok, #askagent is over for today, but here's a parting message:

It's 2018. A new year. Be sure to start off on the right foot. Be kind. Be understanding. And be strong.

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Jan 2

Rachel Greenlaw @rachelgreenlaw_

@kaitylynne13 Have you seen many fantasy ms that explore the origins of the 1st world war? The assassination,the spies,the secret deals-but w/magic?

Replying to @rachelgreenlaw_

Hm, not sure about in Fantasy. Definitely in Urban Fantasy or Magical Realism, though. Assassins and spies have become very popular, even with the touch of magic. #askagent

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Jan 2

Cassie Miller-is-writing/revising ✊🏻 @Cmiller61408

@kaitylynne13 Hi, Kaitlyn! 🙂 What is the thing that is most important to you with a query (likely to make you request more) & what is the biggest turn off? #askagent

Replying to @Cmiller61408

I love the stakes. WHY must these characters work together (or against one another) and WHAT happens if they succeed or fail? That catches me. Turn offs are usually when authors claim they are the next bestseller, or no book is like theirs, or saying genre usually fails #askagent

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Jan 2

Rachel Greenlaw @rachelgreenlaw_

@kaitylynne13 Thank you.It could actually work better with the magic system and be pretty fun to write! What's the most interesting setting you've seen?

Replying to @rachelgreenlaw_

Ooo that's a tough one. One of my current clients has a Fantasy that's made of city, island, and colonial inspirations. It's flipping phenomenal (plus, that touch of magic!). #askagent

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Jan 2

Rachel Greenlaw @rachelgreenlaw_

@kaitylynne13 How about in fantasy? I don't know whether to make dramatic changes and set my story in my Namibian inspired kingdom which is part of world

Replying to @rachelgreenlaw_

In fantasy, a lot of worlds are inspired from popular places here. Namibian could be interesting. Just be sure it stays true to the story. It's always obvious when a writer sets a story in a place just because of a "wow factor" and it sours the entire novel. #askagent

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Jan 2

Bridget Grenolds @12Gidget25

@kaitylynne13 How much emphasis do you put on a writer's social media presence? Also, would you suggest having a larger footprint on one site or smaller prints on various sites?

Replying to @12Gidget25

Platform, while important, isn't an auto no. We can always work together to bulk that presence. But I would like to see at least one frequent site where the write is active. And a website/blog is helpful for gathering an audience. #askagent

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Jan 2

Rachel Greenlaw @rachelgreenlaw_

@kaitylynne13 Think outlander, du Maurier, bronte...

Replying to @rachelgreenlaw_

I was just going to say Outlander 😂 Yes, I do see a lot of them. Especially in Romance or Historical Romance. It's popular. It's a mystical or romantic setting. But yes, it starts becoming repetitive #askagent

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Jan 2

Amanda McCrina @9inchsnails

@kaitylynne13 Would a non-graphic torture scene in a YA historical be a turn-off for you?

Replying to @9inchsnails

That would be ok. I'm not anti-dark lit (I prefer it, actually). I understand the need for some killing/slicing/gashing lol It's just Horror itself, the genre, that isn't always for me. I save that for movies on Netflix 😂 #askagent

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Jan 2

Elizabeth Van Tassel @ElizVanTassel

@kaitylynne13 How do you feel about high fantasy with a new twist? I'm a gemologist and wildfire survivor and have mixed a great story for upper MG together based on a real historical jewelry mystery.

Replying to @ElizVanTassel

It depends on the twist. High fantasy is fun and exciting, and MG mystery stories can be engaging (especially jew heists!). It's a matter of blending those two worlds seamlessly so it holds the reader. #askagent

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Jan 2

Rachel Greenlaw @rachelgreenlaw_

@kaitylynne13 What are your thoughts on retellings of fairy tales? Are you seeing a lot of one thing?

Replying to @rachelgreenlaw_

There are always many retellings on the most popular fairytales (cinderella, peter pan, etc). I only like retellings if they're subtle. A completely different story idea, but then you dig in and realize the ties. #askagent

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Jan 2

Rachel Greenlaw @rachelgreenlaw_

@kaitylynne13 Thanks, this has made me think I need to change my query a bit. I put an intro to the world and the fun magic stuff first- obvs a bad idea!

Replying to @rachelgreenlaw_

It's hard to merge world building with hook in a query. It's best not to bog down the query w/ world details. Try to convey these aspects through the character & their conflict rather than giving a passage strictly on it. #askagent

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Jan 2

Bridget Grenolds @12Gidget25

@kaitylynne13 I originally thought that my novel was young adult (d/t a fairly strong introspective aspect) but was told "kids only read up." MC is just shy of 13. I've revised extensively to reduce word count for MG and the rest of the material is upper MG appropriate.

Replying to @12Gidget25

Yup, if MC is almost 13, that's MG. If writing is on the more mature side, that sounds like upper MG. Just because a story may have introspective aspect, that doesn't determine it's category. #askagent Some kids read up, some don't. As a teen, I liked reading my own age.

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Jan 2

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13

Not all agents are the same, but here is the query format I love:

1st para: metadata; word count/title/genre, etc.

2nd para: Hook/1st MC intro

3rd para: Love interest/2nd MC or villain intro

4th para: Stakes & potential union of characters

5th para: Author Bio

#askagent

This is an example. Sometimes, paragraphs 2&3 or 3&4 are joined. But it should be short. A query is single spaced and no longer than 1 page. Also, never have a bio longer than your story info. The story is what makes me read, after all. #askagent

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Jan 2

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13

#askagent Also, I hate seeing rhetorical questions in queries. I just want to immediately read about your book, not be quizzed on unnecessary potential themes.

Not all agents are the same, but here is the query format I love:

1st para: metadata; word count/title/genre, etc.

2nd para: Hook/1st MC intro

3rd para: Love interest/2nd MC or villain intro

4th para: Stakes & potential union of characters

5th para: Author Bio

#askagent

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Jan 2

#askagent Also, I hate seeing rhetorical questions in queries. I just want to immediately read about your book, not be quizzed on unnecessary potential themes.

Kaitlyn Johnson @kaitylynne13 · Jan 2

Bridget Grenolds @12Gidget25

If there is a vague hint of a classic story (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz), but the writing style isn't comparable, is that something you'd want to know? (The fantasy element incorporates encounters with people who resembles the MC's world). twitter.com/kaitylynne13/s…

Replying to @12Gidget25

I think you can leave this out. If it was something you'd immediately picture when hearing of OZ, like yellow road or w/e, I would say it reflects elements of Wizard of Oz. But the mirroring of life, I'd leave that for discovery on the pages. #askagent

Sorry, Kaitlyn Johnson doesn't have any #askagent tweets.