Jennifer Chen Tran
Folio Literary Management
Literary Agent @FolioLiterary and @FolioJr . Former art major, publishing attorney, cheese lover, aspiring humorist. @AuthorsGuild member.
Shuchi Mehta @ShuchiGMehta@jenchentran What kind of stuff would you like to see in a MG first generation-immigrant parents story? I feel that there are so many now that the manuscript that I started almost 4 years ago feels run-of-the-mill
That’s a tough one! I like contemporary stories but with a fresh twist. I’d like to see more multi-generational MG stories, dealing with multi-generational struggles/ issues. More MG that explores the special grandparent-kid relationship.
Liz Waters @scrabblized@jenchentran Does an R&R mean the agent read the entire MS? Or most of it?
In my experience, yes, a R &R means an agent has read the entire MS and is asking you to revise it for a second chance to consider it again. It’s a good thing but make sure to take the agent’s notes to heart. S/he wants to see how well you revise.
Lisa Carnochan @AmidPrivilege@jenchentran Thanks for this. If I'm already doing women's fiction plus elements of workplace thriller, is it too much to add the third comp for voice?
It really depends. A good comp can still be concise and not over the top. Are you part of a writer’s group? Try out both versions with your peers and take the temperature.
K. R. Monin @kunderscoremons@jenchentran What are your thoughts on comp titles? "It's got the X of this book and the Y of that book!" Helpful or pretentious? #askagent
I personally love them. It helps me conceptualize the book and set the tone before I even start reading. One successful query, from an author who became my client, called her novel “When Harry met Sally meets Portlandia.”
Emily Wagner is revising @writeonwagner@jenchentran What makes you want to request pages?
For fiction, voice, sense of place, characters that make me wonder and that challenge me. I have to identify with one or more of the characters and want to spend time with him/ her. I like to be surprised, to find stories with something to say. Hope that wasn’t too nebulous.
katydid 🦗 not come in peace @KatyLapierre@jenchentran #askagent Thanks for doing this! Could you weigh in on the standards of putting the housekeeping / metadata items about your MS (word count, genre, etc.) at the beginning or at the end of the query?
Good question. I typically like to see the word count at the end of the query (some agents like it at the beginning) and genre info toward the beginning or where you mention comps, if any. It’s more a stylistic choice and there isn’t really a wrong way to do it.
Jeff McKown @waythingsturn@jenchentran Hiya Jen - Editing my second novel now and planning to query it next year. My first novel was published in 2017, and the rights revert back to me in 2020 (if I choose not to renew the contract). Do agents care about that? What should I mention in my query about the first novel?
Hi Jeff! I would mention at the end of yr query letter that your first novel was published in 2017 by x press. I wouldn’t mention reversion if it’s still a contingent situation-not really relevant to your current project and it may not happen. Does that make sense?
Lisa Carnochan @AmidPrivilege@jenchentran Tips on how to communicate what about your genre fiction makes it upmarket, maybe even literary in places? Is this something to state directly, or better to imply in the tone of the query, or hey, both?
Thanks in advance.
Good question! Are there appropriate genre books w/ a literary bent that are also upmarket which you can use as a comp? I.e. “this book is for fans of x book by author y.” It gives me a sense of both the audience and the style of writing in a more concise way.
#askagent I will try to answer questions about publishing on Fridays. For non-fiction, platform is so important. Publishers want to see numbers and yes, that means engagement but also a dedicated audience. Different NF books have different requirements. #publishing