Naomi Davis, Literary Agent
Gretchen A.Van Lente @GretchenVanLent@NaomisLitPix third person family drama. The main characters is trying to piece together the story of her family, and she is hearing stories from people. And I am hoping the story tellers are visual, showing, not telling what happened. Thanks if you can enlighten me.
Told: "I watched her walk along, feeling helpless. She looked so sad. I didn't know what to do."
Shown: "She walked along,her head hung, dashing away tears every few minutes w/the back of her hand. I reached for her, but pulled my hand back. How could I help?"
Evette @EisforEarnest#askagent #mswl Pardon me if I'm intruding. Anyone can answer this and multiple answers from multiple persons are appreciated. I'm trying to learn.
What do you wish writers knew before they started their writing/publishing journey?
Not intruding! Ask agent anytime. :-)
I wish authors knew that rejection happens at every stage of the game - before rep, on sub after rep, and even bad reviews later. It's something to learn to embrace, not to fear. And it isn't indicative of your value as a creator. #askagent
David Rozansky @DavidRozanskyQ from @CelesteHarte: Hello, I was wondering if someone could answer something that just occurred to me; do agents consider writing sites like Wattpad to be self-publishing? And does that hinder chances of representation? #AskAgent #AskPublisher
I do consider Wattpad etc self publishing. If something has a ridiculously high number of readers there is a chance I can interest a publisher in it, but in general I stay away from watty projects. Best to bring an agent something fresh. #askagent Others may feel differently tho!
Naomi Davis @NaomisLitPix@hwjohnston7 My $.02, for what it's worth - you definitely want to strike SOME familiar notes with your target audience. But that's more about what emotions your book evokes in your genre, rather than the events.
Predictable events or conclusions or even settings ruin it for me. *shrug*
On predictability (or originality) in your manuscript. #askagent (I wasn't actually asked, really, more just the natural development of a conversation that may be an answer to a question someone else is asking!)
Naomi Davis @NaomisLitPix@KCGallagher13 Several things stand out as repetitive in my passes. Often, the dialogue didn't feel natural & felt relayed to reader rather than b/t characters. More often: pacing didn't keep up steady. Even more: writing had an uneven quality, such as 2nd 30 pgs weren't as polished as 1st.
#askagent response about why I pass on full manuscripts. Other key reasons: multiple POVs were not deeply immersed enough for me to experience a cohesive story, characters who felt lifeless, story was predictable, plot wandered too much, worldbuilding lacked in multiple scenes.
KC Gallagher @KCGallagher13@NaomisLitPix Wow! So out of all those requests that didn't pan out, is there a similar thing that made you feel they MS wasn't for you after all?
But MOST often, the skill level is where I needed it to be but it just didn't DRAG ME IN the way I'd hoped. It's a subjective reaction not indicative of anyrhing wrong with the book - just didn't make me feel like I MUST have it. #askagent
InterContinentalBallisticMissile @InterMissile@NaomisLitPix You know... & this is an irrational idea in this modern world.... But if you ONLY accepted HANDWRITTEN query letters through snail mail.... Not only would you have 75% fewer queries, but you'd have 90% fewer waste of time unprofessional not ready to be a writer type queries
Just because they aren't "ready" doesn't mean they aren't worthy of my time, attention, and response.
Nor is my opinion the be all end all of responses.
And think of what I might miss for those who cannot afford the postage to send out a batch of 15 page q packets! #askagent
Jennifer SantaPutten 🌊⛄🎄 @JenVanderputten@NaomisLitPix I'm going to have to watch myself for this. My nature is to assume that I'll be lucky to get an offer at all & I might jump too quickly. Question: is it okay to let an offering agent know that you are going to take a little time to consider? What is a reasonable time period?
Great question! Definitely ask for time. Any good agent will be willing to give you 2 weeks. Inform all other agents with the full manuscript that you have an offer, giving them 2 weeks to respond. With any luck you'll be able to choose from several reputable agents! #askagent
Bumbling Gardenista @BumblingGarden@NaomisLitPix Omg. That’s like rejecting Chris Hemsworth for a first date... 🤪
An author needs to feel like *I* am the right match for them as much as I do. When I lose one, it does hurt (VERY much so!), but I'm glad they are confident in the direction they've chosen. I want the best for them+book, even if that best is not me. #askagent #querystats
Kate @katenicholas007@jody_hadlock @NaomisLitPix Do you know more or less which books you can sell to what publisher? I’ve found many publishers who want similar to what I’ve written but don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts. As in, do you look at the whole of the market or just a set few publishers ?
That said, editor preferences are as wildly varied&subjective as agent preferences, and then they have the added step of convincing sales/marketing/etc that the book is a solid investment. Def not as simple as seeing a book is a good fit for a house based on prev pubs. #askagent
Jody Hadlock @jody_hadlock@NaomisLitPix Just saw this tweet in my feed & have a Q if you don't mind. When you request a full MS, how often do you sign that writer?
Kate @katenicholas007@NaomisLitPix What’s your biggest reason for rejecting? And what’s your biggest reason for accepting 🤔
My biggest reason for rejecting is that the writing wasn't ready. Or the story didn't feel original enough.
For accepting: the writing wowed me (original&dynamic voice) and the story felt like something I hadn't read before.
🔪 LD Slash 🔪 - Query Slayer 🔪🎃 @RealLDNash@NaomisLitPix Hi! May I ask your opinion on posting work on platforms such as #wattpad and #inkitt? Do agents frown on this? #amwriting
Happy to weigh in. Personally, I don't work with Wattpad titles unless substantially revised into something new. But other #askagent folks may have other opinions, and I hope others will weigh in!
Danielle Simonelli @dmsimone99#askbookends #askagent @NaomisLitPix There are many documented sources / opinions on word count, but I'd like to know your thoughts - what is the upper bound for word count for a debut YA fantasy? Thanks again! And sorry I'm late to the discussion...
I think 100k is your upper limit, and some agents will say even that is too high. Aim for 85k if you can. #askagent
Tamara Rittershaus @TRittershaus@bookendslit #askagent As a PB writer, most guidelines ask for the full manuscript, so I never get a "request for full" or any other indicator that I'm on the right track. Is it ever appropriate to respond to a form rejection and ask, "Was my MS even close?"
Unfortunately, no, this isn't a good idea. We read so many queries we cannot possibly provide personal feedback to everyone who wants it. @TracyMarchini I think has a Tweet about her query stats for the last year.
Kristin Kumm Connon @kristinconnon#AskAgent @bookendslit How important is "correct" formatting of the MS in a query? I would assume its pretty important for requested materials.
I don't think you'll get rejected for, like, having different indentations, etc - that would be silly - but as a general rule, we read a LOT, so having easy fonts and double spacing is really important so our eyes don't bleed. #askbookends #askagent
MrsFriedman @MrsFriedman2013#askagent #askbookends w the over saturated markets of some genres (i.e. paranormal with vampires and shifters) what advice do u give a 1st time writer looking into representation in the market? Would seeking a smaller online only publisher ever be a recommendation from an agent?
I think it's important to remember that trends shift, swing, and surge over the years. What's oversaturated now might make another appearance in popularity at some point. What about writing something new in the genre you love, that breaks the tropes?#askbookends #askagent
MJ @MJWheelerNU#AskAgent if someone had custom concept art for a MS pinned to their twitter or other social media, do you enjoy looking at it? Does it add anything to your experience when considering a MS?
This doesn't influence my decision - the writing should paint the picture for me. That said, it doesn't harm anything, either, and when I sign a client I love seeing their Pinterest boards. #askbookends #askagent
Mary Rowley @MRowleyWriter#AskAgent Hi! If an agent requests a full or partial based on my query, should I start a NEW email chain with subject line beginning “Requested materials: TITLE” OR should I reply to the agent’s reply that included my original query but change the subject line?