Joelle Delbourgo


NYC-area literary agent, former editor, unabashed foodie, culture hound, citizen of the world, dedicated environmentalist, proud mom, dances to a Latin beat.

Montclair, NJ (NYC area)

Joelle Delbourgo Associates

Joelle Delbourgo @JLDelbourgo · 23h

Publishing is in turmoil right now. Staff cuts, pay cuts, furloughs of staff, postponed shipments, closed bookstores. I am focusing on the most timely projects and urgent concerns of our clients. Calibrate your communications to the times we are in. Patience & courage! #pubtip

Joelle Delbourgo @JLDelbourgo · 4d

For authors who are thinking of submitting new work. Make sure it's truly ready. Is is relevant to this moment? Context matters. Publishers are working from home, some are furloughed or have been cut from their jobs. Most bookstores are closed. Think before you send. #pubtip

Joelle Delbourgo @JLDelbourgo · Mar 24

From @lithub: Book tours are canceled, but authors are using social media to prop one another up. | Publishers Weekly

Joelle Delbourgo @JLDelbourgo · Mar 20

Dear Writers: We're not considering unsolicited submissions unless through referral until June 1. Instead, we are focusing on the needs of our existing clients. Other agents may have different policies in place. Check agency websites before submitting. #pubtip

Joelle Delbourgo @JLDelbourgo · Mar 16

I can't speak for all lit agents, but I suggest writers defer sending out all but the most timely new projects for now. We all have a lot on our plates, are working from home and have to focus on top priorities, plus keep safe. Spend this time polishing your work. #pubtip

Joelle Delbourgo @JLDelbourgo · Mar 4

So many writers' queries show that they have little understanding of what we're looking for. Lack of response or rejection from agents inevitably results when a writer doesn't do due diligence. Agents have websites that yield a lot of info re what they are looking for. #pubtip

Joelle Delbourgo @JLDelbourgo · Feb 10

I am constantly surprised that prospective authors will cold call an agent rather than check their website first to see if the match is a good one for their work, and what the submission requirements are. Taking that extra step can make all the difference. #pubtip

Joelle Delbourgo @JLDelbourgo · Feb 9

So many query letters from prospective writers are rambling or unclear. Often, titles are mystifying. This is a sure road to rejection. Before submitting to a lit agent, take care to craft the best possible letter to showcase your smarts and talent. #pubtip

Joelle Delbourgo @JLDelbourgo · Jan 12

I have noticed an uptick in snarky responses by writers whose work we do not take on. Lit agents know how frustrating the process can be for writers, but we are under no obligation to offer representation. The agent who fully embraces your work is the right one for you. #pubtip

Joelle Delbourgo @JLDelbourgo · 19 Sep 2019

Writers: If you don't bother to sign your query letter, it's unlikely you'll hear back. Just sayin'.
#pubtip, #litagentadvice

Joelle Delbourgo @JLDelbourgo · 21 Feb 2019

It always amazes me how many clients move without notifying their agent. If you are an author, remember to keep your lit agent, editor & publisher apprised of address changes as long as your book remains in print or available in some form. #pubtip

Joelle Delbourgo @JLDelbourgo · 11 Feb 2019

If you're pitching a book to an agent, make sure you're well read in the genre you're writing--know your competition so you can stand out in how you pitch. #pubtip, #publishing

Joelle Delbourgo @JLDelbourgo · 10 Feb 2019

Query letters to lit agents that plunge in to elaborate plot description are off-putting. Hooking in the agent with a great log line or premise is more effective. #pubtip, #publishing

Joelle Delbourgo @JLDelbourgo · 18 Dec 2018

"To Whom It May Concern" is not an auspicious opening for a writer's query letter to an agent. Write to specific person and research that person's interests to make sure it's a fit. #pubtip

Joelle Delbourgo @JLDelbourgo · 6 Dec 2018

Literary agents play many roles: muse, advocate, cheerleader, editor, marketer, negotiator, contracts analyst, accountant, publishing consultant through the life of the book. Just sayin'. #publishing, #pubtip

Joelle Delbourgo @JLDelbourgo · 20 Nov 2018

Give literary agents a break. Hold off sending your query letters until after the holiday. Just sayin'. #pubtip

Joelle Delbourgo @JLDelbourgo · 13 Nov 2018

Writers: it's rarely a good idea to begin a query letter to agents with a question (e.g. "Are you looking for your next bestseller?"). Get right to the point. Pitch your book without pretense or tricks. #pubtip, #amwriting

Joelle Delbourgo @JLDelbourgo · 7 Sep 2018

Some writers send out query letters literally as a stab in the dark, hoping to connect with an agent or publisher. By doing research into who might be responsive to review your work & crafting a superb and respectful query, you will increase your chances of success. #pubtip

Joelle Delbourgo @JLDelbourgo · 29 Aug 2018

Writers: keep your query letters to the point. Avoid meandering, long paragraphs, self-advertising, telling an agent that this will be our next bestseller. Let us decide. #pubtip

Joelle Delbourgo @JLDelbourgo · 22 Aug 2018

Self-publishing is now a viable option for authors. But that means literally doing everything yourself: writing the book, getting it copy-edited, designed, produced, distributed, marketed, and sold. Are you prepared to do this? Not to mention investing $$ in the process. #pubtip