Marcie Price Jackson @MissMarciePants#askPSLA thanks for answering Qs today! I’m wondering, at what point do you shelve your MS? I’ve read various numbers- 10 queries, 50, etc.? I’ve had several full and partial requests, but haven’t found “the one” yet.
There are lots of stories about authors who queried 100+ agents. Just make sure you're sticking to agents who feel right for you.
It can be tempting to pitch EVERYONE, but remember. An agent who isn't a good fit for you, is worse than having no agent. #askPSLA
Daniel M. Clark @danielmclark#askPSLA how important is it for an author to have a life story. I mean, does it matter that I haven’t held any excited jobs, or that I’ve never, you know, killed a guy? Is a rather dull or average life a roadblock in publishing or author marketing?
ROFL. It's not important. So many of the debut authors I've signed had bios in their query letters like "worked as a lawyer for fishermen" and "I have a corgi and like hockey."
And honestly, that stuff IS exciting and interesting to me. Life exists outside books! #askPSLA
Francesca Donlan @fdonlanVCB@PSLiterary @maureen_moretti @ericsmithrocks @readbystephanie Thank you for sharing your time. Are memoirs still viable in the industry - when you are not famous and don’t have a big following but a good story. #askagent #askpsla
I think so. I've sold a few.
If you're worried about establishing that platform, it is never ever too late. Publishing articles and essays on whatever you're writing about, should be a very welcome challenge.
After-all, you wrote a memoir about this! :-) #askPSLA
Jenn Mecks @jomeckiWhat’s the number one factor in a query letter that just kills a query for you? #askPSLA #askagent
When the query starts with "Dear @ErikHane." I get it, we have the same name, but I'm-
Okay no, but really, it's just a story that I'm not interested in. I've signed plenty of authors with queries that weren't perfect.
The story is what matters. Also don't be racist. #askPSLA
Ayesha Farhat @farhatayesha#askPSLA would a wordcount of 75k for literary fiction put an agent off? I'm writing around a South Asian/ Muslim theme. Is that interesting for your agency?
KD FIELD @FieldKelli@PSLiterary @maureen_moretti @ericsmithrocks @readbystephanie Sent query letter and synopsis. Was asked for a partial manuscript and then heard nothing back. Is if bad form in the industry to follow up via email or should I assume after 16 weeks its a hard no?
I'd just double check what their submission guidelines say?
Some agency websites say they'll get back to you in 6 to 8 weeks, etc. If they haven't, nudge away! #askpsla
Ashley Jean @missashleyjean#askPSLA Is it frowned upon to nudge an agent with an updated ms if they have not responded to the initial full request?
I'm a big fan of nudges. I say go for it.
Although, if you're nudging with an updated manuscript like... two weeks later? That's maybe telling me the book wasn't ready to pitch in the first place.
Just dish a little bit of the why. I've signed folks who nudge. :-) #askPSLA
Vanessa @vanessaepeaydo you prefer for queries to have personalization or jump right into the pitch? #askPSLA
When it comes to personalizing your query, don't feel like you HAVE to force it. Not all agents have a personal website, a social media presence, etc. where you can learn those fun little tidbits.
Just jumping in with "I hear you're looking for X" works just as well. #askPSLA
Daniel M. Clark @danielmclark#askPSLA is there room for optimism in sci-fi/fantasy? After a long stretch of grim n’ gritty, are agents looking for optimistic queries?
Absolutely. I've seen people refer to it as "hopepunk" here on the Twitter dot com.
I'm lucky enough to work with @mikechenwriter, and his novels are packed full of optimism and hope. Like a sci-fi golden retriever. #askPSLA
Eric Smith @ericsmithrocksWith platform, it depends.
You can have a big social media following and that's great, but I need to see you're an expert in what you're writing. Platform in publication (essays, articles) help prove that.
Most of my NF authors don't have a huge social following. #askPSLA twitter.com/JulieSHasson/s…
I have a post about putting together a non-fiction proposal that digs into platform, that I think might be helpful. cc @JulieSHasson
Shout out to @slaughterwrites for being open and vulnerable with this, cause we put the whole thing up here. ericsmithrocks.com/blog/2019/5/21… #askPSLA
Rachel the Queer Reindeer (STILL STUDYING) @graceful_reads#askagent Are books with little to no romance a hard sell?
Nope. I constantly see agents and editors requesting friendship stories. I want to see more of them myself! #askPSLA
Nicole Da Silva @nicoletdasilvaMany agents recommend trying to publish in lit mags first. Does this apply to YA? Any recs? Than you! #askPSLA
Chris Monson @cm_monson@ericsmithrocks What if there aren't any recent books like the one you have written?#askPSLA @ericsmithrocks @msmariavicente
You can always, always comp your book to themes in other books. Or even to voice.
Remember, comps aren't just about the story. #AskPSLA
Molly Kasperek @mollytheghost@PSLiterary @ericsmithrocks @msmariavicente #askPSLA #askagent Are YA books about sports hard sells? What can make one stand out?