Linda Epstein (is Taking A Break)
Lauren Sevier @LaurenSevier@LindaEpstein @kaitylynne13 On the publishing/contracts end...Is it standard that when an author finally gets an offer/contract that there is a book advance attached to that offer? Esp. for debuts? Would you steer anyone away from a publisher who does NOT offer a debut author an advance? #askagent
I’m officially done with #askagent for tonight but yes, in traditional publishing it is standard to get an advance, whether you’re a debut or not. I wouldn’t advise a client to accept an offer without one.
Adrian Eves @AdrianEves07@LindaEpstein How often do you get queries from writers who think they’re the next [insert buzzword]?
Like maybe one in twenty. And I've literally never gotten one from a woman. Just saying.
Carla Naumburg, PhD @SWMama@LindaEpstein Just logged on! What's the biggest mistake you see people making when pitching fiction to agents? #askagent
Not following submission guidelines.
Adrian Eves @AdrianEves07@LindaEpstein in querying and samples, what are your pet peeves?
I hate when people get my name wrong, have multiple spelling errors in their query, don't follow my submission guidelines, query me for things I don't rep, or are rude. 😬
JRPyle-Carter @JrpyleC@LindaEpstein @AnneTibbets #askagent When's the best time to send an agent a query? Are there certain times of year when you're swamped?
Agents are always swamped. Don't query somewhen when they are closed to submissions and don't expect agents to work on holidays/vacations just because that's when most people have the time to query. And be patient.
astoria @__karou@LindaEpstein Any advice for new authors, or how to go about finding the right agent? #askagent
Advice for new authors is to keep writing, go to conferences, get a critique partner, and don't lose hope. Educate yourself on how people go about getting an agent, and do that. And remember that finding the right agent is like dating. (Sorry, I wish I had better news about that)
Kadie @KadieAWriter281@LindaEpstein @kaitylynne13 #askagent Hi Linda, I was wondering if you know about collaborating authors? If two writers work together to become an author for their book, how would this work within the publishing/querying process? Thanks! 😊📝 I’m going to collaborate with my mom for the Sci-Fi book.
If you're always going to write together then query together, because you'll want an agent who will sell books for you as a team.
Diane Callahan @QuotidianWriter@LindaEpstein Thank you for being open to questions! A few for you:
Do you reject books because the word count is too high?
What types of plots would you like to see more of in your genres?
Which comp titles are overused?
If I loved something but the word count was too high I'd speak to the author about it. If a PB comes in at over 1000 words it won't work. If a MG comes in at over 70 or YA over 100K it won't work FOR ME. The titles you think would be overused are the ones that are.
🌾Beau Van Dalen @BeauVanDalen@LindaEpstein What do you look for in a writer's first pages/chapters while reading their query? #askagent
Thanks so much for doing this! 😁🙏
First the query needs to capture my attention. If it does & I read the pages then I'm looking to be drawn in immediately, to a character or a situation (but I do ❤️a good character!) so much that I don't want to stop reading...
Laura A. Pike @lauraapike@LindaEpstein I've seen a lot of conflicting information on what age the MC should be in a MG book, and what the typical word count range should be. #askagent
Abby ⚡️ @lostinparagraph@laurenspieller how often do agents ACTUALLY take chances on debut authors with no short story/publishing credits?
I'll answer that one: all. the. time.
Being able to write short stories is a different skill set than being able to write a novel.
PJ McIlvaine @PJMcIlvaine@LindaEpstein Nice of you to ask. How often do you request an R&R? What are your expectations and does it generally lead to an offer?
Hardly ever. But when I do it usually means something global needs reworking or addressing. That work needs to be done well for me to offer. It’s often something like show don’t tell, or raise the stakes, or kill those darlings.
Summer Dazed💖💜💙 @SummerDazed420@LindaEpstein Hello. Thanks for answering questions for us. How does a debut author stand out from the other queries in your pile? What can we do to get an agent’s attention? pic.twitter.com/hvBhmLX4Az
Write an amazing story. It’s really the only thing.
Mark Budman @vrflash@LindaEpstein Is YA novel only dealing with young characters, or must it use less sophisticated language than an adult novel as well?
YA is for teens aged 13-18, characters are usually not past the summer after high school, and from the POV of a teenager. Some YA is way more sophisticated than some adult fiction. It's not about sophistication. It's about who the intended readers are.
lea is drafting book two @whatsalelo@LindaEpstein Is it ever okay to re-query an agent if the manuscript has gone through extensive revisons? For example, if there were a few major plot points that were stated in a blurb, that doesnt exist anymore. Chracters have been mushed into one. The title changed. Etc.
Jennifer Reinharz @Redsaidwhatblog@LindaEpstein Agents/publishers in general always seem to be looking for MG. Do you think this includes nonfiction for middle grade readers? If so, what’s in demand or trending? Thank you in advance. #askagent
Sure, I think mg readers would like nonfiction.
Rob Hunt @RobHHunt@LindaEpstein Thanks for doing this. Is rhyming truly dead for PBs? Asking for a friend. ;-)
Bad rhyme is dead. Excellent, brilliant, extraordinary rhyme isn't. 😬
Elizabeth Reed @LizLReed@LindaEpstein Is it ever okay to query another agent at the same agency if the book was rejected by a different agent there (if their submission instructions don’t specify) - or is a no from one always a no from all?
Different agencies have different rules. If it's not stated on their website and other online information, you can always ask the rejecting agent what their policy is.
Mongo Spark @MongoSpark@LindaEpstein @taralazar Hi, Linda. Thank you for doing this.
I have a finished picture book manuscript that I have been sitting on for a long time.
I sent it out to agents who I thought would accept it. I got rejections and got very discouraged.
I need a little success to keep me going.
Write another one. And another one. And another one. Just. Keep. Writing.
Cindy Cummins @cindy_cdcummins@LindaEpstein I’m in the query trenches. I queried you and it wasn’t a good fit for you, but wanted to say “thank you!” It’s very nice when agents do respond. My question is this.. do you recommend querying in batches? And how many at a time? Thanks again!
I would query in batches. Perhaps 10 at a time? It's up to you as to how many you can keep track of.