Eric Smith

@ericsmithrocks

Agent at @PSLiterary and author. Next, DON’T READ THE COMMENTS (@InkyardPress, Jan '20) and BATTLE OF THE BANDS (@Candlewick, '21). Loves @BeautyBritches .

Philadelphia, PA

P.S. Literary Agency

Eric Smith @ericsmithrocks · Mar 30

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.

Keep going!

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

Eric Smith @ericsmithrocks · Mar 30

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

Eric Smith @ericsmithrocks · Mar 30

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

Replying to @fdonlanVCB

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

Eric Smith @ericsmithrocks · Mar 30

Jenn Mecks @jomecki

What’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

Eric Smith @ericsmithrocks · Mar 30

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

Eric Smith @ericsmithrocks · Mar 30

Vanessa @vanessaepeay

do 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

Eric Smith @ericsmithrocks · Mar 30

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 @ericsmithrocks · 6 Nov 2017

I've read plenty of bad queries and still requested. I was a bad test taker in college. I get it.

First chapter... hard to define. #askPSLA

Eric Smith @ericsmithrocks · 6 Nov 2017

Nope. Find an agent who wants to represent your career, and maybe is a fan of both.

Though just query one at a time. #AskPSLA

Eric Smith @ericsmithrocks · 6 Nov 2017

Hadar Badt @HadarBadt

@ericsmithrocks Why do so many agents dislike prologues? #askPSLA

I think they are fine, as long as they don't wipe away the stakes, which they often do.

IE: "Soon my world would" NO. No spoilers. #askPSLA

Eric Smith @ericsmithrocks · 6 Nov 2017

JAnngle Bells yeah @AmusedNonQueen

@ericsmithrocks Non-fiction I mean ☺️

Replying to @AmusedNonQueen

Platform: Is the writer publishing essays or articles? Have a major blog? Regularly do speaking engagements? That's platform. #askPSLA