Kelly Is CLOSED To Queries
Ashbash 👑 @Ashley_addymom@LitAgentKelly When you request a full manuscript do you always finish or do you sometimes stop if you know it’s a no go?
A lot of times agents will stop reading once they realize it’s not the best fit for them or isn’t quite ready. We unfortunately don’t have enough time to finish reading every full we request if we know it’s not for us.
Christy Swift is querying @christyswift27@LitAgentKelly Hi Kelly. Thanks! How often do you (and agents in general) ask for R&Rs? Do R&Rs usually end up as a contract? What makes you willing to take that extra step to do an R&R for a writer rather than rejecting?
Not very often, actually! We have to really see something in the writer and the story and in my case, an R&R is more so giving the author the ability to prove they can handle the edits I’d be throwing at them, as well as making sure our visions align. :)
J.W. Berwyn @berwyn_j@LitAgentKelly @CooksUpAStory I'm self publishing my first book, writing my second. Should I wait to see how sales are from my first book before I think about getting an agent for my second?
Well you don’t want to query agents with an incomplete manuscript! So finish your second book first, but make sure you’re not trying to have an agent represent a second book in a SERIES. They need to be two separate stories/series completely. :)
𓂀 Sam Nicholson @samapplepie@LitAgentKelly @CooksUpAStory How did you become an agent?
I started as an Intern and then move dup to an assistant/apprentice! Before the internship, I started as a book blogger. :)
M. Joan Morgan @mjoanmorgan@LitAgentKelly Any trends you are seeing in your query box right now?
Thrillers and horror at the moment, which I’m totally down for! I’m so ready for the fall spook season! I’d love to see more ghosts too, and MG and Adult stories!
Deidre Huesmann @DeidreHuesmann@LitAgentKelly Compared to pages, how much does synopsis weigh on your desire to read more? Can it change your mind if you're on the fence?
I’m the black sheep in this and I know it. I don’t like to read your synopsis unless I AM on the fence about requesting more pages. I know that a synopsis showing how your story unfolds can have a large impact on other agents though.
Jacqueline Stefanowicz @J_PlainandFancy@LitAgentKelly Why is it that some agents want a book proposal and others don't?
Book proposals are usually utilized for non-fiction only! And sometimes if agents believe they can sell your next book (because they already sold one or a few) quickly, we may ask for a proposal and sample chapters in order to garner some interest in your next idea.
Gillian Harris🥀📚🖋 @paperwingspages@LitAgentKelly A silly question maybe, how much do agents pay attention to word count in a specific genre? Or is the premise more important?
The wip I’ve been querying is a YA/NA fta 105,000 words. I’m currently revising it, trying to trim, as I’ve heard it’s too long for genre?
It’s a little on the long side, but I’ll sometimes go over a bit without a fuss. It depends on the agent I think.
Hope N. Griffin @HopeNGriffin@LitAgentKelly Do I add something different for the agents? Maybe include future work ideas along with the current manuscript?
Nah, that would be a conversation to have with them if/when they ask and offer representation. :) You just want to personalize for the agents, so “I saw on your MSWL page that you’re looking for historical in the vein of Ruby from Cold Mountain. This manuscript has her voice and
Cody DeBos - Writing @CodyDeBos@LitAgentKelly Big oof indeed. If I may follow up, any tips for marketing myself? As a young writer pursing a degree in nursing and not English it feels impossible to stand out in the publishing world. Besides growing a following here on Twitter, what else can a 20-something do to stand out?
Website! Connections! Blog! Instagram and Bookstagramming! And literally just conversations and being nice to people on twitter consistently.
Mason @faeryfIoss@LitAgentKelly If you’re wanting to query as a duology, do you need to have both books drafted in full? Will it hurt your chances if the second book is only partially written?
No, you should only focus on one book in a query anyways, but you can say it’s an expected/proposed duology. :)
Jaromy Henry @jaromyh@LitAgentKelly If an author was picked up by a very small publisher on another book deal, is this something agents like to know about?
In an initial query, yes. As a nudge when deciding on a book, not necessarily. :)
Amelia Kingston @AKingstonBooks@LitAgentKelly Not to be a thread hog, but one more...
If you're willing, would you mind saying what percentage of queries you receive end up signing a writer? Would help me put some of these rejection #s in context. Thanks. BTW, you rock for taking the time to answer questions!
I posted a query stats post at the beginning of this year, but I believe it was a 0.013% of queries and submissions who actually became my clients/received offers.
Cody DeBos - Writing @CodyDeBos@LitAgentKelly Hi Kelly! Any tips for making a pitch/ms stand out in a YA dystopian market that can already be oversaturated?
Oof, that’s tough. The only tips I can really give without knowing anything is to make it personal and write what you feel you need to write. Market yourself as a writer, not just marketing the book. And give specifics for comp titles (i.e. the games of The Hunger Games meets the
Amelia Kingston @AKingstonBooks@LitAgentKelly One more question if you are willing. I know every agent is different, but how much time should you spend in the beginning of the query about what why you're querying them? If it's just an interview they gave, worth mentioning or just get to the pitch?
Not much. Three to four sentences at most. :)
Kelly 📚 @LitAgentKelly@supes23 Because if you’ve already published, it means the rights are usually not for sale, and even if they could be bought, then it will cost more money to get out of the contract with a small press, so the book would have to have the potential of earning A LOT of money in order to make
It worth the time and energy spent negotiating contracts, buying out of contracts, re editing it, getting it down from Amazon and such.
MichaelLackey-Author @supes23@LitAgentKelly I have a question. Why do agents not consider previously published novels unless they hit #1 status? I would love to sign with an agent for upcoming novels, but only have my current works.
Because if you’ve already published, it means the rights are usually not for sale, and even if they could be bought, then it will cost more money to get out of the contract with a small press, so the book would have to have the potential of earning A LOT of money in order to make
Leah Boudreaux @LeahBoudreaux2@LitAgentKelly If you have time to indulge another from me, I’m just curious: how does the agent side of the process work when you request a full? Do you dig into requested materials right away? Set them aside and proceed in the order you requested? Whatever floats your boat at the moment?
Whatever floats our boats at the moment usually. It depends on whether we need to stick to a schedule, do edits, make calls, meet edits, look over contracts, etc., and if there’s Pitch contests coming up or something. All dependent on what’s happening!
Cathrina Constantine @cathconstantine@LitAgentKelly What is the difference between voice and narrative in a story?
Hopefully this helps explain better. :) Narrative is usually insinuating a narrator, whereas voice has a bit more of a personal feel/connection with the main character. google.com/amp/s/hilbertt…
Lydia R. Weltmann @lrweltmann@LitAgentKelly This might be a dumb question, but what's the standard formatting agents prefer? 12 Times New Roman, double spaced? Do they prefer chapters on new pages or just separated with a few lines of white space?
Yes, yes, and new pages. :)