Cecilia (Cece) Lyra, Agent
Karlein Kwong_FantasyWriter @KarleinKwong#askPSLA I have 3 questions:
1)What are the top things on your MSWL that you really want in your inbox?
2) Do you think YA High Fantasy has market appeal?
3) What do you think will be trending in the market for 2021-2022?
1. Fiction: novels examining power dynamics in dysfunctional families. Nonfiction: psychology. (Lots more on the PSLA website)
3. Shorter books. Feel good fiction. All things escapist. #askPSLA
Thalia Miller @tmillerwrites10What’s the best way to find comps? Whenever I search for suspense, I get thrillers and murder mysteries. I’m tempted to just classify my genre as women’s fiction but that seems so vague. #askPSLA
The trick to comps is understanding the intersectionality in your work — the X meets Y. The best way is to read voraciously in that genre (which you should be doing anyway since you're writing in it) and find common denominators within these works that apply to yours. #askPSLA
Jes Kingsley @JesKingsleyWhen you ask for a revision from an authour before considering offering representation, what usually signals you to offer or step aside once you receive the revision? #askPSLA
Hum, probably how well they were able to incorporate the notes in the new version. Editing= patience and discipline. It can be tempting to send it out before it's ready to see how the agent feels (maybe they can help you?). But polishing the work is the writer's job. #askPSLA
Gabriella Brianna @gabrielbrianahsWhat are some red flags that a manuscript is too much work to take on? #askPSLA
The #1 reason why I pass on queries is because the writing on a line level just isn't there. I can offer guidance on a lot — but not writing.
In that sense, the biggest red flag is someone who hasn't done the work that it takes to edit, revise, and polish their pages. #askPSLA
Paula Chapman @Pchapmanauthor#askPSLA
Do you prefer writers stick to the "formula" for query writing, or be themselves, including exceeding the recommended 300-word limit?
My advice is to stick to the traditional 'formula' — we should be wowed by the originality and creativity in your pages, not your query.
That being said, it's a personal choice. I'm sure there are cases of people who did it differently and had success.
Andrea Green Burton @ALGauthor#AskPSLA Is there typically a correlation between how quickly agents respond to queries and whether it's a request or a pass?
Vivsbiggestfan @Vivsbiggestfan1#askPSLA thank you PSLA! Would you please offer one or two things you love to see in a synopsis and one or two things that make you crazy?
I like brevity (one page is ideal!) and clarity (e.g. using all caps when introducing a new character). Oh, and I love it when writers justify margins (I'm weird, I know).
I dislike run-on sentences. And wacky fonts. Please spare me the wacky fonts! #askPSLA
plantin based natt @soonattgee#askPSLA after submitting a query letter and additional materials for review, do agents respond with a courtesy, ‘No thanks’? How long before we should query again?
With new work? Whenever you're ready! Or I should say: whenever the new work is ready (as polished as it can be, please!) #askPSLA
Hannah Sharpe @hannahdsharpe2Do you ever ask writers questions when you request a partial/full? Such as, if you think a revision could be beneficial, do you feel out the writer?
Do you mean when we turn down a partial/full? If so, sometimes we respond with an R&R — or revise and resubmit. It's not common, but it does happen! It depends on many variables. (Sorry if I misunderstood your question.)
Hannah Sharpe @hannahdsharpe2Does anyone in your agency, or all of you, respond to all queries? Or only those you are interested in? I thought I heard Carly mention recently in a talk she gave that she responds to all, so I’m just curious. #askPSLA
My sense is that all agents follow this rule: "if you don’t receive a request for further material within 4-6 weeks it means a no from the agency."
We do respond with a yes or no after having requested materials (e.g. partials or fulls).
Hannah Sharpe @hannahdsharpe2Ok, my big question...how do you feel about fiction with Covid in the background? Is it ok? Or, if it’s not a pandemic book, not playing a major role, do you say cut it out? #askPSLA
A caveat: it's your story and your call. You are the goddess of the wonderful world you create—no opinion is more important than your own.
My two cents: we're not ready for COVID-19 in fiction. I think we will be in a few years, but it's too raw, too present. #askPSLA
𝒦𝒶𝓉𝒽𝓁𝑒𝑒𝓃 𝐹𝑜𝓍𝓍, 𝒜𝓊𝓉𝒽𝑜𝓇 @kfoxx_writesWill pubbing short/flash/micros help an #author be taken more seriously when #amquerying? If so, does it matter if the genre of the novel being queried is different than the pubbed short/flash/micro?
#askPSLA @ceciliaclyra @readbystephanie Thank you!
Publishing shorter pieces is great, though by no means required to be taken seriously.
My advice is to do it if it brings you joy. Above all, keep your eyes on the prize, i.e. making your full-length work as good as it can possibly be. Writing is rewriting. #askPSLA
Robyn Michaels @RobynMichaels9#askPSLA Do you have a preferred query formula?
Great question! ☺️ I like the book + hook + cook formula.
The PSLA website has a helpful breakdown of what each paragraph should contain. e.g. 1st paragraph "title and category of your work (...), an estimated word count and a brief, general introduction." #askPSLA