Carly Watters

Literary Agent

P.S. Literary Agency

Senior Literary Agent, VP & Director of Literary Branding @PSLiterary . MA in Publishing Studies. She/Her. BLM.

Carly Watters
@carlywatters
Literary Agent
Senior Literary Agent, VP & Director of Literary Branding @PSLiterary . MA in Publishing Studies. She/Her. BLM.
133 MSWL
225 AskAgent
331 Tips
Carly Watters
@carlywatters
Literary Agent
Senior Literary Agent, VP & Director of Literary Branding @PSLiterary . MA in Publishing Studies. She/Her. BLM.
133 MSWL
225 AskAgent
331 Tips

Crystal Bell @WritingLEOW

@carlywatters If you haven't published before and beyond schooling related to writing, is there anything else we should mention in the bio on our query?

It's perfectly OK to call yourself a debut writer and have a short bio. If you're querying in the slush then I assume you are starting your career. I'm happy to see: "This is my first novel. I graduated from XX. I live in XYZ City/State with my dog/partner/cat/gerbil."

Carly Watters
@carlywatters
Literary Agent
Senior Literary Agent, VP & Director of Literary Branding @PSLiterary . MA in Publishing Studies. She/Her. BLM.
133 MSWL
225 AskAgent
331 Tips

Cheryl Pappas @fabulistpappas

@carlywatters I keep hearing that it's always best to approach an agent with a novel rather than a short story collection. But, of course, I'm assembling a short story collection. Is it worth going this route?

SS are SO incredibly hard to sell. I don't rep them. It might be best to pitch those stories individually to get your name out to different magazines, get some bylines etc and then pitch an agent a novel. Remember I am a more commercial agent though. I don't do much lit fic.

Carly Watters
@carlywatters
Literary Agent
Senior Literary Agent, VP & Director of Literary Branding @PSLiterary . MA in Publishing Studies. She/Her. BLM.
133 MSWL
225 AskAgent
331 Tips

JB McNeil @JBMcNeil15

@carlywatters What’s the best way to present a novel which touches multiple genres?

Also, have we yet arrived at the time when a lesbian MC might still be classified as women’s fiction and not exclusively LGBT?

#AskAgent

1) In your comps you can express that it's THIS meets THAT with the range of genres in those titles. If THIS did THAT, or FOR FANS OF XYZ (use TV shows and movies too as long as they're recent and relevant too).
2) I think so. IMO, yes.

Carly Watters
@carlywatters
Literary Agent
Senior Literary Agent, VP & Director of Literary Branding @PSLiterary . MA in Publishing Studies. She/Her. BLM.
133 MSWL
225 AskAgent
331 Tips

pam mandel @nerdseyeview

@carlywatters Social media numbers. Matter or no?

If you're writing non fiction: YES. YES. YES.

If you're writing fiction it helps but is not required. We do expect them to grow with your career. So you don't get a free pass.

Carly Watters
@carlywatters
Literary Agent
Senior Literary Agent, VP & Director of Literary Branding @PSLiterary . MA in Publishing Studies. She/Her. BLM.
133 MSWL
225 AskAgent
331 Tips

Elaina Battista-Parsons @BraveIrene77

@carlywatters @ericsmithrocks @PSLiterary Is a no from one agent a no from all?

At @PSLiterary yes correct. No from one is a no from all. The queries go to an open account where we can all see them so you can assume one or more eyes are on them.

Carly Watters
@carlywatters
Literary Agent
Senior Literary Agent, VP & Director of Literary Branding @PSLiterary . MA in Publishing Studies. She/Her. BLM.
133 MSWL
225 AskAgent
331 Tips

Lisa Hartley Roman @life_with_riley

When is the best and worst time to query an agent (which months or time of year)?is now a bad time due to the holidays? #askagent

We close for queries at @PSLiterary from Mid Dec to early Jan every year. (We'll put those dates out soon.) But other than that we're fair game. Some times of year are busier than others. January and Sept are busy times. Basically, pitch it when you are ready. & pitch it good :)

Carly Watters
@carlywatters
Literary Agent
Senior Literary Agent, VP & Director of Literary Branding @PSLiterary . MA in Publishing Studies. She/Her. BLM.
133 MSWL
225 AskAgent
331 Tips

Lisa Hartley Roman @life_with_riley

When is the best and worst time to query an agent (which months or time of year)?is now a bad time due to the holidays? #askagent

I see people put these grandiose "don't query now" statements out and I don't get it really. I am never 100% up to date. So if you query me on thanksgiving I'm not reading it on thanksgiving, I'll always read it after the fact. In bunches of 20-100 or so at a time.

Carly Watters
@carlywatters
Literary Agent
Senior Literary Agent, VP & Director of Literary Branding @PSLiterary . MA in Publishing Studies. She/Her. BLM.
133 MSWL
225 AskAgent
331 Tips

Miles Everett Travis @MTravisimo

@carlywatters You're writing a novel that draws directly from personal experience/actual events. Should you bring this up in the query? Would an agent want to know? #askagent

I would at the end in the author bio section. Most important thing is that it's a great book. Lead with the hook. At the end some agents might like to know extra facts. It depends on what it is. i.e. Did you grow up in a religious cult? Write a novel/fictionalize it? Then yes.

Carly Watters
@carlywatters
Literary Agent
Senior Literary Agent, VP & Director of Literary Branding @PSLiterary . MA in Publishing Studies. She/Her. BLM.
133 MSWL
225 AskAgent
331 Tips
Carly Watters
@carlywatters
Literary Agent
Senior Literary Agent, VP & Director of Literary Branding @PSLiterary . MA in Publishing Studies. She/Her. BLM.
133 MSWL
225 AskAgent
331 Tips

Marcella Haddad @marcie_via

@carlywatters #askagent at what point when reading a manuscript do you make the decision to represent the author? Is there a type of moment that just makes you go, "I have to have this book"?

Sometimes it's very early. Yes the last one I offered on I knew after 50 pages but I had to read the whole thing to know exactly what I wanted to say on the phone. I don't call after 50 pages. I need a vision for it.

Sometimes I think for a day. But overall it's fast.

Carly Watters
@carlywatters
Literary Agent
Senior Literary Agent, VP & Director of Literary Branding @PSLiterary . MA in Publishing Studies. She/Her. BLM.
133 MSWL
225 AskAgent
331 Tips
Carly Watters
@carlywatters
Literary Agent
Senior Literary Agent, VP & Director of Literary Branding @PSLiterary . MA in Publishing Studies. She/Her. BLM.
133 MSWL
225 AskAgent
331 Tips
Carly Watters
@carlywatters
Literary Agent
Senior Literary Agent, VP & Director of Literary Branding @PSLiterary . MA in Publishing Studies. She/Her. BLM.
133 MSWL
225 AskAgent
331 Tips

ηαтαℓιє ℓσ¢кєтт 25074/50000 @natlckettwrites

@carlywatters #askagent this is more specific to you. Your #MSWL lists YA as a genre you rep, but your website bio doesn't include that. (Creeping over here) Which is correct? Thanks!

If it's the MSWL website I have not updated that in awhile. Also people take old Wishlist blog posts & repost them & I have no control over that. I recently sold YA but that was for an existing adult fic client. Overall I don't seek them unless they're coming-of-age more than YA.

Carly Watters
@carlywatters
Literary Agent
Senior Literary Agent, VP & Director of Literary Branding @PSLiterary . MA in Publishing Studies. She/Her. BLM.
133 MSWL
225 AskAgent
331 Tips

TheScribblingDragon @ScribblingDrake

@carlywatters What are (in your opinion) the most important qualities of a good query letter? #askagent

Concise! I like them short.
Professional. I don't like them too friendly.
Good comp titles. Are they recent? Did I like them?
Proper length of a book. Not too long (120k) not too short (60k)
Book that knows what it is. Get to that hook immediately.

Carly Watters
@carlywatters
Literary Agent
Senior Literary Agent, VP & Director of Literary Branding @PSLiterary . MA in Publishing Studies. She/Her. BLM.
133 MSWL
225 AskAgent
331 Tips

Susan Allison-Dean,MS,RN @TheNatureNurse

@carlywatters What metrics do you recommend using to see how much of a need there is for a non-fiction book? #askagent

It's really about engagement on the topic. If it's niche does it have a massive following in a niche. If you have a big platform are people highly engaged (commenting/RT/repost) w topic. Is there a demand for more of your voice? You have to know it's a book & not a blog post.

Carly Watters
@carlywatters
Literary Agent
Senior Literary Agent, VP & Director of Literary Branding @PSLiterary . MA in Publishing Studies. She/Her. BLM.
133 MSWL
225 AskAgent
331 Tips

Jen’s a 2-tail...Are you a 1-tail or 2? @Jen_D_Davenport

@carlywatters If an author queries international agents what kind of questions might they ask that are different from querying agents in their home country? #askagent

You want to make sure they have a track record of success in the book's main market. So even if you don't live there--where's the book going to be sold (US vs UK).
Whether the $ gets converted or stays in same currency.

Carly Watters
@carlywatters
Literary Agent
Senior Literary Agent, VP & Director of Literary Branding @PSLiterary . MA in Publishing Studies. She/Her. BLM.
133 MSWL
225 AskAgent
331 Tips

In early September I'm going to do a live #pubtip/#askagent Q&A over on my own IG feed, follow along here: instagram.com/p/BYGMWUBBVN0/