Naomi Davis, Literary Agent
When I'm reading queries, I encounter a few common barriers in SFF. #querytip #amquerying #askagent
- A mythological twist goes in a very predictable direction. I know you're inspired by other things you've read, but YOUR original twists are what will make your book stand out.
Iris Greene @WIP_IrisG@NaomisLitPix @bookendslit Situation: I've done my query research and there are 2 agents I like, but they're from the same agency. Do I query them both separately or just 1 of them? I've heard that if you query 1 agent at an agency then you're querying them all. T or F? How would I handle this? #askagent
Each agency has it's own policy. At Bookends, we ask you to query one agent at a time but if that agent passes you may query others. Check with each specific agency's website for their query policy! #askagent
C.L. Cook @CL_Cook_@NaomisLitPix @bookendslit How serious do you like to see queries written? Do you prefer a professional tone? Or could a light hearted/joking tone be okay?
My day job is pretty serious/professionally toned, so I never know if that carries over everywhere or if I can leave it at the door. ❤
I don't mind a drop of humor or personal connection as long as the query does tell me everything I need to know professionally and is clear and concise. What I LOATHE is self deprecating comments in queries. #askagent
JB McNeil @JBMcNeil15@NaomisLitPix @bookendslit So, #askagent, how often do agents go through queries on cell phones? Just realized that some formatting on my ms pages shows up really screwy on cell phones! Yikes!
I read a bunch of queries on my phone last night lol. Querymanager eliminates many of these issues for me. #askagent
Jessica Alvarez @AgentJessicaA@bookendslit @AuthorMeganVD Hmm. I think both paranormal and fantasy romance are tough right now, though I’m not looking for either subgenre. Maybe @NaomisLitPix or @wensday95 has more to add?
Epic fantasy with romance is viable for me but I'm really not on the lookout for PNR or UF. #askagent
Svea Vocke @svea_vocke@NaomisLitPix @bookendslit Hi! Do you also rep MG fantasy? And I’ve heard upper-MG might be a hard sell these days - have you see that too?#askagent (Sorry, Just realizing I missed time slot!)
Yes, I do, but I'm currently only open to adult queries. #askagent
Jean-Maré @jeanmaregag@NaomisLitPix @bookendslit It’s also plot A romance. So not paranormal? Do I query with YA fantasy/romance alone?
Query it as (YA if it is) fantasy and let your query show the romance!
Jean-Maré @jeanmaregag@NaomisLitPix @bookendslit I use an existing town so my world is real, but there’s magic and romance. But could it be fantasy and paranormal as well?
Sounds like fantasy to me! #askagent
Christine Roome @CSRoome@NaomisLitPix @bookendslit Is time travel / historical fiction considered magical realism or fantasy or neither? Think Outlander for teens. The only magic is in the time travel. #AskAgent
Sounds like Historical MR #askagent
Lynn Hooghiemstra @Nicky_Adams_Pen@bookendslit @NaomisLitPix #AskAgent is there still a market for WWII ? Either in YA or NA?
It is not something I am terribly interested in so I think another agent may have better advice. #askagent
KFSwann @KfSwann@bookendslit #askAgent If an agent asks for the full manuscript and then passes, is it okay to ask for feedback so you address the issues or does that annoy the agent?
I always provide feedback, so I do get a bit irked when authors want me to elaborate further. #askagent
Rochele Smit @RocheleSmitInciting incident. I see so much conflicting advice out there from workshops, articles, editors etc. Where do you as an agent like to see it when reading submitted YA materials? 1st 5? 1st Ch? 2nd Ch? Thanks so much! ❤️ #AskAgent
I always say I need enough exposure to the world and characters to get to know why I should CARE that the inciting incident makes the character's life change forever. #askagent
katydid 🦗 not come in peace @KatyLapierre@NaomisLitPix @bookendslit How important are comps? And, when trying to find good ones, is it best to focus on plot/theme, or something else? #AskAgent
What do readers get out of Book A that they will also get out of your book? Maybe that's a lyrical feel, or a powerful world, or a critical look at relevant social issues. Lean on that. "My book will appeal to readers who loved the X of Y book." #askagent
Michelle A. Morales 🌺✨🏞 @shelldoodle1@NaomisLitPix @bookendslit I have an A SFF that I've split into two books for the purpose of WC(approx. 160k when put together). Should I mention this in a query or query it as one book? Note: Book1 has its own plot and stakes, Book 2 explores plot opened in Book1 and resolution.
I would just say "is intended to be a duology" if book 1 stands on its own as a complete, satisfying narrative. (And if not, plz fix that prior to querying) #askagent
Michael Scott Phillips @GreyOwlStudio@NaomisLitPix @bookendslit Thank you!
I ultimately agreed with your feedback and gave the opening of my ms a significant overhaul. I'm actually more excited about first four chapters now.
That's great! Just as a caution, a common problem I see when I req a full MS is that the first 50-100 pages have clearly been worked and worked and polished and polished, but the rest not so much. I pass on these. #askagent
🧠🌈 Steve Asbell is Stimming @rainforestgardn@Magnus919 @BookEndsKim @NaomisLitPix I think a lot of other autistics keep it to themselves because they are afraid of the stigma. Hopefully we can help change that! #askagent
All I can say is I'm very interested in neurodiverse voices. I'm a parent of a child with autism and two children with ADHD, and I want them to see themselves reflected in fiction. #askagent
JO Writes @writes_jo@NaomisLitPix @bookendslit A follow up - the only real feedback I got said the first 3 chapters left him wanting more, and that the characters were fun and interesting, but at the same time it felt generic and didn't do enough to distance itself from Harry Potter. Any advice on interpreting that?
What do your characters bring to readers they've never seen before? How is your world unique from HP? How does the journey itself present a fresh take on the age/genre? Evaluate those as you revise. #askagent
Joanne Roberts @BookishAmbitionWould you say that you personally are very hands on or editorial with your clients? Thanks #askagent
Quite editorial, yes. It's rare that a project comes to me and needs no development. Part of what I offer, as an agent, is a knack for seeing where the story could be just a little bit *more* in one area or another. #askagent
Kim Lionetti @BookEndsKim@rainforestgardn I'm certainly eager to find more neurodiverse authors and characters! With the success of The Kiss Quotient and others, publishers have definitely opened up to more representation of autistic individuals. I know it's especially a goal for @NaomisLitPix and me.
Absolutely this. 100%. #askagent