The Bookseller @thebookseller"Francesca’s instincts are a perfect fit for the agency’s success in commercial fiction and we couldn’t be more delighted to have her on the team."
Francesca Riccardi has joined @KNLitAgency as a literary agent.
Read here: buff.ly/3r7RnK1 pic.twitter.com/xXxbZTF3TJ
Michael Pepin @TheWriterPepin7@RebeccaLMatte Do you have to have a big social media presence to get out from the slush pile? I’m not very adept at growing my twitter following.
Definitely not, unless you’re querying NF. I think many agents understand that social media can be incompatible with many authors and unsafe for others. I personally encourage it for those who feel like they can, and help my authors, but I have never looked at follower count
Kate Mueser @katemueser@RebeccaLMatte Can an author query the privately commissioned English translation of a book that has already been published in its original language? #askanagent
Assuming you have the English language rights and a license/permission from the translator to do so, try it! Be upfront with what you have, and include sales info and stuff. If you have an agent already, they may be best suited to handle English rights
K M Darton - Author @darton_k50435@RebeccaLMatte @LAThomasAuthor What is the best way to start a query letter?
Everyone has their style. I would go with either jumping into the start of your blurb or “Due to your interest in X, I am excited to share with you TITLE, my GENRE book, complete at WORD COUNT”
Gives relevant info up top and personalized a bit
Irina Abraham 🧚 is querying @IrinaAbraham2@RebeccaLMatte Thank you 4 this! My novel has multiple POVs and the characters’ ages are 12, 17 and then a few in late thirties… because there are no adult themes there, I thought it was YA but then an editor told me it’s only YA if there is a teen perspective only… is this a hard rule? 🙏
I don't think so, but it is a harder sell. YA features challenges and emotions of teens, and so I would wonder why the adults have a say. Late 30s is pretty removed from teen years (vs. like, 22), so consider whether the pov is strictly needed. If so, stand by your work!
Phillip Belanger @phil_belanger_@RebeccaLMatte Okay, well here's a question I can ask.
What are the things that you look for in a prospective new writer?
What are the immediate red flags?
Definitely looking for a long term partner to work with on many books. Someone who has a great book, but is willing to edit, who has a unique perspective and tells stories I haven't heard.
Red flags are ignorance, intolerance, rigidity, or refusal to communicate
Jessie Mayerovitch @mayerovitch@RebeccaLMatte Your MSWL says you don't rep horror. Would you consider lighter horror that is a blend of fantasy and horror?
I will always consider things that fit my list, so if your book fits other elements, then there's no reason not to query (unless there's someone else at Bradford you want to try). But I really don't get horror. I tend towards sunshine rather than darkness, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
April Brown @malwaesyn@RebeccaLMatte Lit agencies generally ask that writers not query more than one of their agents at a time. Is that a hard rule? I have finished works in multiple genres and age levels. Is it gauche to pitch a MG story to one agent and a literary novel to another within the same agency?
Yeah, it's not great. And we can see in QM if you do. If you're querying, it's not just for one book - you're looking for an agent for all books. So even w/ 2 very different genres, you're still breaking the rule. Instead, try informing the one of the new book and offering it too
John Zeleznik @john_zeleznik@RebeccaLMatte Should you always include an intro paragraph (like “here’s why I’m querying you) or should you get right to the query? #askagent
I liked to start w/ "Due to your interest in X, I am excited to query BOOK, my Genre novel complete at word count." That both introduces why you're here & gives relevant information you'd have later on. And it avoids the "I'm querying you bc you're here" problem I faced at times
S.E.Berkeley @SEBerkeley@RebeccaLMatte (Also bored at my day job rn, so my condolences) How is adult romantasy looking in the market nowadays? Overcrowded? Hard sell? Sometimes I wish there was like a stock market board for genres 😂
Definitely still popular! Lots more SFF editors are expressly looking for romance as well, and it seems like some romance editors are open (ish) to fantasy). I don't think it's overcrowded yet, and by my list, the limiting factor would still be SFF imprints.
And yes please.
Ann H. Fox ✒️ is 🕯️manifesting🕯️ @AnnFoxAuthor@RebeccaLMatte Hi Rebecca! Thanks for doing this!
I've got a question about 1st pages. My original pages had a lot of internal character conflict but not much "action". How important is external action/ conflict in 1st pages? Can character driven conflict work or is that a turn off for agents?
The first pages should set up the big conflict for the book - that can be internal or external. I think it is helpful to see an inciting incident, to understand what made them introspective. Diving into 10 pg of thoughts could feel like exposition or info dumping, so be aware
JP @TheHalfway3@RebeccaLMatte When. I start querying should I mention that i have other books in the works in my letter? What if they are stand alones or different genres than the book I'm querying?
In your bio, you can say "I've written X books, including several others in the same universe/several in Y genre you like", so it's a fun fact, not a crucial detail. It should come later, after the blurb and genre/word count info. But no harm in saying it!
Mark Lakeram @marklakeram@RebeccaLMatte Do agents look at the potential author’s SM presence and number of followers etc to also gauge likelihood of success?
For NF, definitely. But for fiction, not really. Especially now, agents understand SM to be very toxic & unsafe for some ppl. I'll do a cursory look to make sure there's nothing concerning, but I've signed two people with virtually no SM presence.
ryan rae harbuck wanted TO BE A CHAIR @RyanRaeHarbuck@RebeccaLMatte This may be a silly novice question, so bear with me… I have a MG book I’m working on & something fairly notable happens on pg 12. Not pg 10. I know enough to know the 1st 10 pgs are asked to submit, so do I need to move the thing to land in the first 10? Or can you send 12?🙏💜
If someone asks for 10, send 10. It's hard to say for sure - agents know 10 pages is not very much, and there is a lot you can learn from just that. But take a hard, editorial look. Can you move things around, so the thing happens earlier? Or is there more room for hard cuts?
Kiki Todd @KikiToddWrites@RebeccaLMatte Talk to us about the synopsis - do you want spoilers, how long, is it another version of the book jacket copy, I have read so many conflicting accounts for how to do one well when querying. TIA :)
So, I don't ask for synopses bc they're hard to write. Book jacket is more like your "pitch" or query blurb. Synopsis should hit all major plot points and should definitely have spoilers. The agent wants to know the full arc in a synopsis, no need to hide the ball.
K.R. Cole @K_R_Cole@RebeccaLMatte Thanks for doing this!
You touched on MG/YA in another comment, but what about YA/Adult? My WIP regarding a magical society/school I would consider YA but I definitely intend to hit some dark adult themes as the series progresses. Should I market it as Adult from the beginning?
Teens/young adults handle difficult stuff all the time. Darker themes are appropriate (see, Hunger Games), so it will depend on how it's written. Age of characters is not always age category - YA has big feelings, coming of age issues, among many other things that distinguish it
Nicole Gannett Klein @NicoleGannett@RebeccaLMatte Thank you for this! My genre is historical fiction. However it is also literary fiction. Should I mention this in the query letter? Or let the agent decide if they request a partial or full?
You can call it historical literary fiction. Make sure an agent likes a literary voice and style, or that an agent who reps lit fic likes historical. But make sure it is literary vs “upmarket” (more like book club, mix of literary & commercial).
Christopher Michael Brooke @cmbwriteswords@RebeccaLMatte Working on a novel. I have a full chapter list with in-depth summaries, and maybe 1/4 of the rough written. Is it too early to be querying? I'd rather get feedback BEFORE I write it all if possible. Measure twice, cut once. Don't want to waste my or their time, though. Thoughts?
Unfortunately, you do need a full draft to query. Most places won’t accept unfinished manuscripts. I’d try finding writer groups or critique partners - they can be an invaluable resource in feedback before you’re too deep
Orsheeart - Orsolya Orbán @orsheeart@RebeccaLMatte When you send out a manuscript for kid's books, does it have to be pitch perfect (almost print ready), or is it OK even if it is a good idea with rough text? English is not my native language but I have written a story & I want to make a step forward with it. Thank you 🥰
I only rep YA, but I’d say when you query you should feel like it’s ready to publish. Get it as far as you can on your own, and then send it out. There are other steps forward, like critique partners and beta readers who can help get it query ready