sar is drafting🍓 @ohsarahplays@laurenspieller Hello! What are some of the boxes a manuscript has to tick in order to receive a request/an offer?
-Reasonable word count
Keith LaFountaine @KL_writing@laurenspieller Any big pet peeves with queries/opening pages? Things that aren't necessarily an auto-reject, but still raise an eyebrow.
It frustrates me when the opening feels generic, or non-specific to your character. I want to get to know this person, so don't start with the weather (unless the weather is VERY interesting). #askagent
Amiee White Beazley @awbeazley@laurenspieller I have a MS that fulfills one of your very specific #MSWL asks. It’s not perfect yet. Should I still reach out?
Always query your best, finished work! You only get one shot, etc. #askagent
aroa is editing @aroagab@laurenspieller hello! thanks for this! my question is regarding the opening line of a book. how do we make it interesting enough so that our first pages catch an agent’s attention straight away? is it better to have it short, long, or am i just worrying too much?
It's not about length, or even about making it perfect. It just needs to have VOICE, and make us CURIOUS about reading more. #askagent
Christiana Doucette @doucette515@laurenspieller I've heard rumors agents and publishers are getting even more submissions than usual. Is this true? And should those querying expect longer response times at the moment?
It does seem to be going up, yes, and it makes sense that response time would go up too. But you can still always check in! #askagent
Rebecca Weber 🖌️🎨🦋 @RWeberWrites@laurenspieller How many rejections are typical for a manuscript being queried? Is there an estimate amount that would signify something is inherently off with the text?
The # of rejections depends on the number of queries you've sent, and also how targeted those queries are. I wouldn't look at rejections, though. I would focus on request rate: are agents requesting? If not, look at the query *and* the manuscript, and find out why. #askagent
Lauren Spieller @laurenspiellerOk, I've received 150 queries in the last 48 hrs. Here are 3 things I've noticed:
--word counts that aren't in line w/ category/genre (read: too short or too long).
--tiny email font that is difficult to read
--lots of dragon books.
If you have any Qs, ask away!
I have answered a ton of questions in the replies—check it out! #askagent
Carolina Bonetti @carolinabonetti@laurenspieller Is there a better resource online for finding out which agents rep what genres? I know you can query agents of books similar to yours but what about finding agents who are in the genre but not the similarity of your story? Also sorry about the airport :/
S.P. Sabo @S_P_Sabo@laurenspieller I’m late to the party, but I have a question.
Does it give you red flags if a writer says their MS is a mixture of different genres? My MS doesn’t fit neatly into one category and my beta readers say they’ve never read anything like it. If it’s a good story, does genre matter?
I love things that blend genre but at the end of the day I need to know what shelf this book is going to sit on. #askagent
Lauren Spieller 📖 @laurenspiellerHonestly I am torn about this because on the one hand I do think revealing your age might color the agent’s perspective, but I also like to know when I am talking to someone underage because I am far more likely to give specific feedback should I pass. (1/2) twitter.com/MarlaTerry1/st…
That being said: I have a client who was 17 when I signed her! Her writing was fantastic and when we moved forward I made sure to speak with her parents so that they would be involved. We also had them co-sign her agency agreement. (2/2) #askagent
LBurd is querying @LisaBurdige@laurenspieller I heard you are not supposed to call your work "literary" aka a "literary contemporary fantasy" because it's not to you to decide if your work is "literary." Is that true? And thanks for doing this
Nope! In publishing, literary refers to style and genre more than it does quality. If you are writing Literary Fantasy then you should absolutely call it that. #askagent
M. Barbier @queen_mab1@laurenspieller If you’ve sent an agent additionally requested pages and not heard back after a while (months), is there a length of time later at which it is polite to email them to ask whether they’ve had a chance to review the pages? Or is that frowned upon? Thanks!
You can absolutely nudge! This is your work and your career so you should always feel comfortable following up as long as a reasonable amount of time has passed. (Personally I think six weeks is reasonable but others might disagree). #askagent
Leslie Scott @leslieSwrites@laurenspieller When you reject a manuscript you actually liked (but didn't fit right for you), do you ask for a resub of other projects? If so, do you remember those authors down the line when they do resub?
Yes and yes (though it helps if they remind me in their query if I’ve read something of theirs before!) #askagent
Crystal Lamb @CrystalLambLit@laurenspieller Hey there (and thanks). How soon after a MS is rejected by one agent in the same agency would it be acceptable to query another agent on a different MS? I've always wondered that. Thanks a bunch for taking questions!
As long as there’s no official rule, you can query right away #askagent
Maureen O’Leary @Maureenow@laurenspieller Do you have any thoughts about building a career writing adult and young adult fiction? Is this a difficult sort of career to manage?
Tons of people do this. See: Heard, Schwab, Bardugo, Oliver. #askagent
annemarie @annemariepett@laurenspieller Do you have any recs on a book that does one element of craft really well? Like, a book with great pacing, or unique voice?
Ooo fun! Off the top of my head:
Voice: GIDEON or The Bartimaeus Trilogy
Pacing: Hunger Games or Six of Crows
Worldbuilding: SCORPIO RACES or COLDEST GIRL IN COLD TOWN
Romy Natalia @RomyNGoldberg@laurenspieller Thoughts on how self-reflective MG characters are allowed to be before they start feeling too YA for your liking?
that’s a hard one to answer in this format, but if you worry a character sounds YA, then you’re probably right. #askagent
Khadijah L. VanBrakle 🇨🇦 @LVanBrakle@laurenspieller do you think coming of age stories in YA will ever be overdone? I do write ownvoices, #AA Muslim MC but I wonder if the topic is old. Does it depend on the perspective? #askagent
I don’t think it’ll ever get old or be over because that’s essentially what YA *is*. But it’s still important to make your story unique. #askagent