Claire Harris || Literary Agent
Reem Khaleel @reemkhaleel97#askPSLA What is your favorite part of agenting or working with your clients on submission?
This is hard because there are so many things to love! Here's a brief list:
- reading the ms for the first time (🥰)
- writing a pitch letter
- creating submission list
- sharing good news with a client
- sharing good news with an editor
Only hard part is rejection... #askPSLA
CathEEEEEKKK! 🎃💀🕸 says VOTE @cathydipierroCan you demystify the agent-editor relationship a bit? When you are deciding whether to offer, are you already thinking about which editors to sub to? Or do you research each project individually to find potential matches? How often do u sell projects to the same ed? #askPSLA
Lynn McPherson @CozyMysteryLynnHow long do agents usually take to decide if they are interested once they’ve requested a full manuscript? #askPSLA
Steffi is a PitchWars Hopeful @clumsiesteffiShould writers send a nudge after not hearing back? My research has come up with “Yes! Do the thing!” and “No! If you don’t hear back it’s a no! Don’t be unprofessional!” So it’s a bit of a range there...
Kunoichi | ∞ #BLM @Infinitii_FGCI’ve had people suggest putting social media following in query letters. Do you think it is worth mentioning?
If so, does it influence your decision for rep? #askPSLA
🦄 Cap'n🌈 Cal 🏴 (but scary) @WriterRaptor#askPSLA if an agent accepts my adult fantasy, and then I write MG which they don't rep, do I need to find another agent? Do I come back to the 1st if book 3 is another adult?
Kathryn Faye @KathrynFaye007Do you recommend saying, in your queries, that you separated amicably from your agent & are writing in a different genre? Or do agents want to hear about that later? #askPSLA
Personally, I find it helpful to know if you were represented previously (especially if you've already published books with an agent). You don't need to get into details in the query--you can discuss circumstances later on once you have a phone call with the new agent. #askPSLA
C.G. Miller @cgmillerwritesAs someone who hasn't yet had a book published, is it good to list things like my writing degrees or freelance writing/copywriting credentials in the bio section of a query letter? Or is it better to just leave it blank if the writing exp. isn't relevant? #askPSLA
🦄 Cap'n🌈 Cal 🏴 (but scary) @WriterRaptor#askPSLA my fiction novel has footnotes (think Discworld, Bartimaeus Trilogy, etc). They're not essential, but they add a lot. QueryTracker and email only queries won't work with footnotes. Do I omit them? Leave them at the end of the sample? Mention them in query? Please help
Eilene Spear @EileneSpearOk, last one! Is there a way to signal that you are open to input/feedback in a query, or is that just assumed? Like, I’d be the best client ever! Similarly, is like, background helpful or just annoying? Like, my first draft was 120,000 words and I cut it down to 85k? #askPSLA
Cheryl Reed @AuthrCherylReed@claire_m_harris What is your ideal work relationship with an author? #askpsla
I like to be very open with my clients. If they have questions, I want them to feel comfortable coming to talk to me. Another major point is that they need to trust me--the relationship won't work if there's not trust and mutual respect. And ideally we hit it off, too! #askPSLA
Vanessa Potions #BLM 🍁 @vanessaepeay@PSLiterary @ericsmithrocks @claire_m_harris For the synopsis an agent requires it's supposed to be 1 page correct? And reveals everything that happens in the book? #askPSLA
I like them to be roughly one page and to tell me what happens in the book, yes. If there's a major twist that you don't want to spoil, I'm fine with hinting at it. But I need to know the basics of the plot and it's better to keep it at roughly 1 page in my opinion. #askPSLA
andrea maller @dystopiandream4How much weight does a good Kirkus review carry, and should it be mentioned in a query? #askPSLA
Emily🎃 @emholyoakauthorAdvice for when you get full requests but they ultimately reject? #askPSLA
It's definitely tough, but don't take it personally. To take on a project, we need to be head over heels in love with it. It could've been a close call, and there will likely be someone else out there who *does* fall in love with it. Keep your head up and keep querying! #askPSLA
Valerie Norton (Turpin) @valeriecturpin@PSLiterary @ericsmithrocks @claire_m_harris Hi Eric and Claire! 😊
At what point is it worth specifically calling out a bookstagram in a query? If it has 5k followers? 10k? Higher? Or should it just stay beneath the author salutation as a link?
Jessica Ungeheuer @phoenixfire110#askPSLA
I was curious on your thoughts on pages...Your agency submission guidelines only mention submitting the query but no pages. Do you find the query is enough to get an idea of the author's voice & story?
Lif Strand wrote Evolution Device @fasterhorses@PSLiterary @ericsmithrocks @claire_m_harris Claire: Are you caught up on your queries? Should I assume if I got no response and it's now been two months that you aren't interested? #askPSLA
Brooke Carter @thebrookecarterHi, thanks for doing this! A two-parter: do you sign clients based purely on the project they’re pitching? Or overall career/backlist?
And when you work with clients do you help them decide which new projects to pursue? #askPSLA
Cara Stout @CaraFoshizzleWhat makes you fall in love with a manuscript enough to off rep? #askPSLA
Catherine Burgess @GattaScriveSeveral articles and people suggest writers should query 80-100 agents, but that they should all be agents you have extensively researched and thought you would be a good fit for each other. What advice would you have to balance these two seemingly opposing ideas? #askPSLA
I recommend researching agents before submitting to them, but make that wishlist and prioritize. To make it a little less overwhelming, you could submit to agents in waves. Also, keep in mind you might not know if an agent is really a good fit until you speak with them. #askPSLA