Jen Chen Tran

Literary Agent

Folio Literary Management

Jen Chen Tran
@jenchentran
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @FolioLiterary and @FolioJr . Former art major, publishing attorney, cheese lover, aspiring humorist. @AuthorsGuild member.
19 MSWL
38 AskAgent
38 Tips

I’m closed to queries, but a gentle reminder: do not pitch me on Twitter/ LinkedIn/ Facebook. Your message will be ignored. Thank you! #querytip 👍

Jen Chen Tran
@jenchentran
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @FolioLiterary and @FolioJr . Former art major, publishing attorney, cheese lover, aspiring humorist. @AuthorsGuild member.
19 MSWL
38 AskAgent
38 Tips

Friendly reminder: do not pitch myself (or other agents) on social media. This includes Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter. Use the proper channels. You don’t want your first impression to be: this person can’t even follow simple directions. #querytip

Jen Chen Tran
@jenchentran
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @FolioLiterary and @FolioJr . Former art major, publishing attorney, cheese lover, aspiring humorist. @AuthorsGuild member.
19 MSWL
38 AskAgent
38 Tips

You know what really impresses me? Writers that take the time to research me and what I’ve represented/ sold. Writers that customize their pitches grab my attention. It’s worth the extra time. #querytip #queries #publishing

Jen Chen Tran
@jenchentran
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @FolioLiterary and @FolioJr . Former art major, publishing attorney, cheese lover, aspiring humorist. @AuthorsGuild member.
19 MSWL
38 AskAgent
38 Tips

Pardon the bad analogy, but you get like 200 automatic points when you spell your name right on the SAT. When you spell my name wrong on a query letter, I am sad. When you get it right, it counts lol. Since when did a letter “n” look like a “u” haha. #spellingcounts #querytip

Jen Chen Tran
@jenchentran
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @FolioLiterary and @FolioJr . Former art major, publishing attorney, cheese lover, aspiring humorist. @AuthorsGuild member.
19 MSWL
38 AskAgent
38 Tips

Word to the wise: don’t pitch your book to agents on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or any social media, for that matter. You will be ignored if you ignore our query instructions. #querytip #publishing

Jen Chen Tran
@jenchentran
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @FolioLiterary and @FolioJr . Former art major, publishing attorney, cheese lover, aspiring humorist. @AuthorsGuild member.
19 MSWL
38 AskAgent
38 Tips
Jen Chen Tran
@jenchentran
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @FolioLiterary and @FolioJr . Former art major, publishing attorney, cheese lover, aspiring humorist. @AuthorsGuild member.
19 MSWL
38 AskAgent
38 Tips

Jen Chen-Tran @jenchentran

How do you know you are ready to query? For fiction, you’ve made multiple revisions & workshopped the MS with your trusted group of writer friends. You’ve eliminated pacing issues. Your voice, character, and setting are fully developed. You are confident pitching. #querytips

For non-fiction it’s much simpler: have you written a stellar book proposal? It’s a sales document where you conceptualize your audience, define your platform, and explain your marketing & promotion plans. If you don’t have a sales proposal, you are not ready to query. #querytip

Jen Chen Tran
@jenchentran
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @FolioLiterary and @FolioJr . Former art major, publishing attorney, cheese lover, aspiring humorist. @AuthorsGuild member.
19 MSWL
38 AskAgent
38 Tips

Writers always want to know what gets requested vs. rejected. Your MS/ proposal has to stand out and must fit my list. I received over 800 queries last year at Bradford (and joined in late Sep.) and my request rate is below 10%. Don’t query unless you are truly ready. #querytip

Jen Chen Tran
@jenchentran
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @FolioLiterary and @FolioJr . Former art major, publishing attorney, cheese lover, aspiring humorist. @AuthorsGuild member.
19 MSWL
38 AskAgent
38 Tips
Jen Chen Tran
@jenchentran
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @FolioLiterary and @FolioJr . Former art major, publishing attorney, cheese lover, aspiring humorist. @AuthorsGuild member.
19 MSWL
38 AskAgent
38 Tips

I was up late reading queries and kept seeing the same problem: “walls” of dialogue. It’s OK to start a story with dialogue but it better be purposeful. Otherwise after two plus pages of nothing but aimless conversation, I lose interest. #revisiontip #querytip

Jen Chen Tran
@jenchentran
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @FolioLiterary and @FolioJr . Former art major, publishing attorney, cheese lover, aspiring humorist. @AuthorsGuild member.
19 MSWL
38 AskAgent
38 Tips

Please don’t pre-query. It’s not necessary to ask for permission to send a query. However, if an agent is closed to queries please wait patiently until the agent is open again instead of asking if you can send a query while s/he is closed. #querytip

Jen Chen Tran
@jenchentran
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @FolioLiterary and @FolioJr . Former art major, publishing attorney, cheese lover, aspiring humorist. @AuthorsGuild member.
19 MSWL
38 AskAgent
38 Tips

The third thing I look for when reading fiction queries: pacing. This is hard to explain but there needs to be the right level of detail and structure/ organization to drive plot/ character development. Too much detail and you can get bogged down. #querytip #writing

Jen Chen Tran
@jenchentran
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @FolioLiterary and @FolioJr . Former art major, publishing attorney, cheese lover, aspiring humorist. @AuthorsGuild member.
19 MSWL
38 AskAgent
38 Tips

The second thing I look for when reading fiction queries: a developed sense of place. Make me feel like I’m right there with your character. Like I can smell and see and touch the world she or he lives in. #querytip #writing

Jen Chen Tran
@jenchentran
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @FolioLiterary and @FolioJr . Former art major, publishing attorney, cheese lover, aspiring humorist. @AuthorsGuild member.
19 MSWL
38 AskAgent
38 Tips

The number one thing I look for when reading fiction queries is voice. To me, voice is something distinct and rich, words only you can write, dialogue that clearly belongs to your character. A strong voice commands my attention. #querytip #writing

Jen Chen Tran
@jenchentran
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @FolioLiterary and @FolioJr . Former art major, publishing attorney, cheese lover, aspiring humorist. @AuthorsGuild member.
19 MSWL
38 AskAgent
38 Tips

Always make sure to do a proper name search before you send your queries out. Apparently I’m Monica this week. #querytip

Jen Chen Tran
@jenchentran
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @FolioLiterary and @FolioJr . Former art major, publishing attorney, cheese lover, aspiring humorist. @AuthorsGuild member.
19 MSWL
38 AskAgent
38 Tips

Although I’ve successfully sold a memoir on partial, it’s very difficult to do without a significant platform or wide media coverage. 99% of the time you need to finish writing the memoir to pitch it to agent/editor. Exceptions are just that. #memoir #querytip #publishing

Jen Chen Tran
@jenchentran
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @FolioLiterary and @FolioJr . Former art major, publishing attorney, cheese lover, aspiring humorist. @AuthorsGuild member.
19 MSWL
38 AskAgent
38 Tips

And I love all you writers, but please please don’t ask for an initial phone call or in-person meeting to discuss your book/ query. I don’t have the time. Let’s stick to email for now. #etiquettefail #querytip

Jen Chen Tran
@jenchentran
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @FolioLiterary and @FolioJr . Former art major, publishing attorney, cheese lover, aspiring humorist. @AuthorsGuild member.
19 MSWL
38 AskAgent
38 Tips

About titles: don’t be married to them, b/c titles will most likely change. Also: don’t put anything abt poop in the title. #querytip

Jen Chen Tran
@jenchentran
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @FolioLiterary and @FolioJr . Former art major, publishing attorney, cheese lover, aspiring humorist. @AuthorsGuild member.
19 MSWL
38 AskAgent
38 Tips

For non-fiction, you must define the audiences for the book. If u don't know who yr potential reader is, how will publisher know? #querytip

Jen Chen Tran
@jenchentran
Literary Agent
Literary Agent @FolioLiterary and @FolioJr . Former art major, publishing attorney, cheese lover, aspiring humorist. @AuthorsGuild member.
19 MSWL
38 AskAgent
38 Tips

Keep word counts in mind when you write and esp. when you query. Try to stay within the guidelines for your genre. #querytip