Benjamin Thomas @jigsawkid7@bookishchick @printrunpodcast What is the generally accepted world length for short story collections?
I don’t rep short story collections as debuts (would certainly do so if my clients wished to write them) and so can’t answer this one, as it’s beyond my scope!
Transgender Family Cardiff Blog @our_trans_life@bookishchick We have an idea for a memoir, detailing the first 6-12 months of our life before & after my wife came out as transgender. Do you have any tips in terms of finding the right agent for this kind of story? Should I look for LGBT or memoir specific, or both?
Memoir specific first (even an agent who wants LGBTQIA projects can’t help you if what they want is fiction and what you have is nonfiction). But yes, definitely research in combination!
Shannan Williams @enlightenedpen@bookishchick Can novel writers who secure an agent also work in other mediums or is it a conflict of interest? For instance, writing screenplays and seeking an agent who specializes in that and/or seeking publication for short stories?
You can write whatever you want! Do speak w/ your agent regarding what projects they will represent & which projects you should seek other representation for. Some agents will handle everything. Some will specialize and advise you to seek additional representation. Talk about it!
Michelle Bulsiewicz @mgarrett589@bookishchick Follow up question: If one were to label a book as YA and then comp a YA and a technically adult/crossover book...is that bad? This might be too specific of a question.😂
Yeah, I can’t help you with the nitty gritty because I haven’t read your book! Choose comps that are clear & appropriate. If people have to work to figure out how the comp related to your book, that’s a problem. But if the connection is clear, you’re good, no matter the category
Kelly Van Sant @bookishchick@Angelika_Ch New Adult! A notoriously tricky category. In this case I’d say to follow the submission guidelines as best as you can. Depending on the nature of the story, it miiiiiight be ok to query YA agents if they don’t explicitly state they’re not interested in NA? But it might now?
I don’t list NA as a category I rep, but I’ll sometimes consider it if it comes in. Depending.
Angelika Anna @Angelika_Ch@bookishchick I'm currently writing NA high fantasy, but I heard the industry struggles with this age category. Some count it as its own thing, some as part of YA. Is it OK to query a YA agent with a NA MS? Or should it go to "adult" instead? Or only if an agent specifically mentions NA?
New Adult! A notoriously tricky category. In this case I’d say to follow the submission guidelines as best as you can. Depending on the nature of the story, it miiiiiight be ok to query YA agents if they don’t explicitly state they’re not interested in NA? But it might now?
Michelle Bulsiewicz @mgarrett589@bookishchick I've been hearing people label books as "crossover" between young adult and adult fiction. Is a label you could reasonably give your book in the querying process or does it just make it look like you don't understand age categories?
It can go either way! If your book really has crossover potential, say so! But if you don’t know what crossover means, or if your book clearly doesn’t fit in that space, it will be really obvious to the agent. Describe your books in appropriate terms that you understand.
Faerl Marie @Faerlmarie@bookishchick How personal should you make your query, other than directing it by name? If you notice they like/praise something on social media, do you mention it or is that stalkery?
If you have an actual connection with an agent (they liked your tweet about your WIP or you met them at a conference) say so. But you don’t need to reach for something personal if it isn’t there. Personalizing a query is mostly demonstrating that you know who you’re talking to.
The Scott that Writes Stuff @SWBauthor@bookishchick Mailing lists. Necessary? Unnecessary? Is social media enough? If a list is necessary, does the author manage/maintain one, or their agent?
Agents do not maintain mailing lists or newsletters on behalf of their clients. If you enjoy writing newsletters, this is a fine thing to do! But make sure your mailing list is opt in only. Never add folks to your mailing list without their consent.
ShazzBakes @ShazzBakes@bookishchick Thank you!
I'm a 1st-time writer of crime noir
Could self-publish but if I try to get to a major publishing house:
How to make my submission not go straight into the bin?
I know "make it good" but there's far more factors; I'd like to hear some
Follow submission guidelines. You’d be shocked at how many people do not do this and are immediately rejected as a result.
As far as the writing itself, that’s harder to answer in a tweet! Read widely, make sure your book stands on its own, give us characters we can care about.
Kelly Van Sant @bookishchick@BerrosRachel I think the second contracted book is always harder than the first, because writing under contract is just a very different kind of pressure. But I don’t think troubled novels impact that. Everyone has a different path.
That should say “trunked” not troubled!!! 😂
Rachel Berros @BerrosRachel@bookishchick Do you find that authors who have a few trunk novels, and who specifically try to write a book a year in prep prior to getting an agent/sale, have as much trouble writing published book #2 as authors who sold their first written novel?
I think the second contracted book is always harder than the first, because writing under contract is just a very different kind of pressure. But I don’t think troubled novels impact that. Everyone has a different path.
Caitlin Cross @caitlincross@bookishchick Hi Kelly! Your agency site says that agents will reply to queries only if interested, but your Manuscript Wish List page says you respond to all queries within 4 weeks. When querying, can we expect a response from you for both requests and passes? Thank you! 😊
I need to update my response times everywhere because I am behind behind behind behind. But yes, I do believe in responding to everyone.
JO Writes (19,793 words) @writes_jo@bookishchick I queried a 137k word fantasy for a about 6 months. All form rejections except one who liked the first three chapters, just not enough apparently. I'm working hard to get below 100k words, can I re-query some of the same agents or no?
Never requery the same agent with the same project unless specifically invited to do so. (The agent will say: I’d like to see this again if you revise). You can go back to the same agents with new, different work. But not the same book again.
Kelly Van Sant @bookishchick@DragonnessRawr If an agent falls in love, very little will turn them off. But, yes. If a query comes in indicating this is book one of ten then I do become concerned. Concerns are: is this length necessary? Can these characters and plots be sustained that long? Can this writer accept edits?
No editor is going to buy 10 books in one go. Even HP was contracted in smaller chunks. So make sure your books have satisfying arcs without needing to read all 10.
Debi Overstreet @DragonnessRawr@bookishchick Is it an automatic turn off for an agent to learn it’s a planned LONG series?
If an agent falls in love, very little will turn them off. But, yes. If a query comes in indicating this is book one of ten then I do become concerned. Concerns are: is this length necessary? Can these characters and plots be sustained that long? Can this writer accept edits?
🏳️🌈 Suzanne DeWitt Hall @smDeWittHall@bookishchick My novel is dark, weird af, and literary.
Might some agents be into this mix? I've had two manuscript requests so far but mostly lots of "not a fit" or crickets.
Wondering if maybe the oddness is simply too much.
Psh! Two requests is great! You are fine! Dark, weird, and literary is a time-tested combo.