Kate McKean

@kate_mckean

VP at Morhaim Literary Agency morhaimliterary.com kmckean@morhaimliterary.com

Brooklyn, NY

Howard Morhaim Literary Agency

Kate McKean @kate_mckean · Mar 13

If you think that calling your book a romantic suspense thriller mystery historical novel with light fantasy/magical realism means everyone who likes ANY of those genres will like your book, you need to read this: katemckean.substack.com #pubtip #amwriting

Kate McKean @kate_mckean · Feb 26

Thinking about your author platform can be terrifying.
#amquerying #pubtip
katemckean.substack.com

Kate McKean @kate_mckean · Feb 13

How long does a book have to be? If you're wondering about word counts for whatever you're writing, look here: katemckean.substack.com #pubtip

Kate McKean @kate_mckean · Feb 10

When your pitch mentions the race or other characteristic of the marginalized of only one character, I know what the default of all the others is. #pubtip

Kate McKean @kate_mckean · Feb 10

In your query letter, Catharine "Kate" McKean doesn't care that your main character goes by a nickname for the entirety of your novel. #pubtip

Kate McKean @kate_mckean · Jan 29

I'd say one in every 100 queries mentions a client that I have not worked with in about 13 years, when I left one agency for another. This isn't an auto-rejection level offense. But it tells me where you got your info, and that info is bad. #pubtip

Kate McKean @kate_mckean · 17 Dec 2018

Kate McKean @kate_mckean

Some end of year #pubtips: When agents ask for your pub credits or previously published works in a query letter, we're not asking you to prove SOMEONE ELSE LIKED MY WRITING SO YOU WILL TOO. 1/3

Pub credits et al tell us what you're up to, or have been up to. What worlds are you active in? Has anyone heard of them? Are they related to the book you're querying? Will they help with promotion? #pubtip 2/3

Kate McKean @kate_mckean · 5 Nov 2018

I have received several queries saying a person I don't know has "referred" them to me, and while queries are good regardless, this feels weird. It's not a strike against the writers, but I fear they think there's a connection when there's not. #pubtip

Kate McKean @kate_mckean · 23 Oct 2018

Don't send a POD/printed copy of your self-published book as a query. It's not because it's self-published; it's because I only accept email submissions. Pay attention to guidelines (and save your money). #pubtip

Kate McKean @kate_mckean · 17 Oct 2018

An "exclusive" submission sent to dozens of agents, not BCCd
Citing a connection we don't have
In a genre I don't represent
THIS is what gets auto-deleted, friends. Don't stress about your small stuff. Follow directions, do a good job, do your homework. Query well. #pubtip

Kate McKean @kate_mckean · 4 Sep 2018

Y'all need to quit it with the "if you actually read this query" stuff in your ~~queries~~. Why do you think we ask for them if we're not going to read them? If we didn't want to read them, we could just not accept queries ever. #pubtip

Kate McKean @kate_mckean · 25 Jun 2018

Do not use Mailchimp to send query letters. Seriously. #pubtip

Kate McKean @kate_mckean · 6 Jun 2018

Five bucks says your first sentence has too many adjectives. You don't have to cram them all in there right away. #pubtip #writingtip

Kate McKean @kate_mckean · 3 Dec 2017

It's an epidemic, a scourge. Every piece of writing--of all kinds!--I've read for months says "can't help but." YOU CAN! YOU CAN HELP BUT NOT USE THIS TIRED PHRASE. #pubtip

Kate McKean @kate_mckean · 29 Nov 2017

The only updates you need to send an agent reading your query is if you've received an offer of representation or the Nobel Prize. Everything else irrelevant. #pubtip

Kate McKean @kate_mckean · 27 Oct 2017

Trying to hide a moral in a kid's book is like trying to hide spinach in brownies. #pubtip

Kate McKean @kate_mckean · 25 Oct 2017

Queriers, why do you do this? "Life for Beatrice Bonita Beverly Bonneville IV, or, BB, has always been exciting....." JUST SAY BB. #pubtip

Kate McKean @kate_mckean · 11 Sep 2017

I ignore all the abstractions in your query. They tell me nothing about what happens in your book. #pubtip

Kate McKean @kate_mckean · 5 Sep 2017

Don't respond to rejections. Full stop. #pubtip