Eric Smith


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

Philadelphia, PA

P.S. Literary Agency

Eric Smith @ericsmithrocks · 1 Apr 2019

D Ryan Rentz @DRyanRentz

@ericsmithrocks In my query letter, does it actually help to mention that I have a previously published novel? Thanks!


I think so! You should want to talk about your previously published works. It shows you've had support for your writing before. Plenty of my clients had books published before me. #asklitAOC

Eric Smith @ericsmithrocks · 1 Apr 2019

Justin Matsen @JustinMatsen15

#asklitAOC A question I’ve been sitting on for awhile... is it a turn-off to use wildly successful stories like Star Wars or Hunger Games as comp titles in your query?

Not always. I mean, when I think about TRACKED by @readjennymartin, I remember it being called "Stars Wars meets The Fast and the Furious" and how do you NOT read it right away?

If the comps work, they work. Books tend to hook me better, but it's not a deal breaker. #asklitAOC

Eric Smith @ericsmithrocks · 1 Apr 2019

heidi heilig @heidiheilig

You folks are SO IMPORTANT. What can your fellow publishing professionals and other folks in the industry do (either personally or by lobbying the industry) to support established and aspiring agents of color? #asklitAOC

Keep being open to hiring agents who work remotely. And remote interns. Be accessible. If I had to move to NYC, I wouldn't be here.

And at the publishing house level, more diverse staff. And when they are there, SUPPORT that staff. Too many leave. #asklitAOC

Eric Smith @ericsmithrocks · 1 Apr 2019

SK Terentiev @Sarah_Terentiev

@ericsmithrocks @mikechenwriter #asklitAOC

Prolog-is it always a bad idea when querying agents?

Example - less than 2 pages, barely any world building (no exposition!), deep in the character’s POV, full of action. It’s purpose is to set the tone for later in the book. A promise to the reader.

Prologues aren't always bad! It's a taste thing.

The prologues I hate are the ones that start the book with something like "looking back, I'm glad we made it" and telling me the novel is all reflective.

Why read the story? Things turned out okay. *closes book* #asklitAOC

Eric Smith @ericsmithrocks · 1 Apr 2019

Jay Mehta @jaymstories

What do you feel like is “the moment” when you know you’ve connected with a writer’s story? #askLitAOC

When I'm reading the book like a reader, and no longer picking it apart while I read. Well. No longer picking it apart THAT much. #asklitAOC

Eric Smith @ericsmithrocks · 1 Apr 2019

Melissa See @melissasee

Is it appropriate to follow up with an agent who has had a full manuscript for a month (or more)? #asklitAOC

I'm a big believer in following up and nudging. Just be sure to check submission guidelines, see how long the agent / agency tends to circle back with authors.

Agents spent 47% of their life following up with editors [citation needed]. You can followup with them. #asklitAOC

Eric Smith @ericsmithrocks · 1 Apr 2019

Samara Lo @Ms_SamaraLo

#asklitAOC Does being an agent or author outside the US have any limits/affects if you're looking to be published in the US? E.g. Would you be targeting US publishers or local connections first?

Not in my opinion! I'm lucky enough to work with authors in the UK and in Canada, and have secured them deals with US publishers without a problem. The Internet and email makes the world smaller. <3 #asklitAOC