Dylan Armstrong @astrongwriter@LitAgentKelly How often do you get terrible query letters? What do you do when you get one?
Everyday. 😂 Did you see the mass email that went out to agents the other day asking for bidders for each word in the query?! And usually if the first page is no good, and the query is no good, it’s an automatic rejection. :(
DL Timmerman🐲 @dltauthor@LitAgentKelly About how long do you read a manuscript before deciding it’s for you or not?
Usually agents can and will know if it’s not for us within the first 25-ish pages. But there’s also the manuscripts that are amazing until about the 100 page mark and then start falling apart. Those are the toughest. :(
Kelly 📚 @LitAgentKelly@75thandYeadon Is it fiction or nonfiction? The best way is to really dig deep into what your manuscript is and what type of person you work well with. Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses and what you would want in a working partnership! Then go and honestly google the crap out of
Agents and agencies. Find ones you get a good vibe from. Read their websites, their #MSWL pages and tweets, their “about me” and what they stand for. Write all the ones down that appeal to you and who rep manuscripts and books similar to yours. :)
Bria Thompson @75thandYeadon@LitAgentKelly How do you find a agent that’s best for you and your book? What I’m working on is a collection of essays with corresponding photographs and not only am I unsure how to format it in a manuscript but I’m unsure if there’s an agent who would even want it when it’s done
Is it fiction or nonfiction? The best way is to really dig deep into what your manuscript is and what type of person you work well with. Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses and what you would want in a working partnership! Then go and honestly google the crap out of
Bethany Simonsen is querying again @Bethanyrambles@LitAgentKelly @DMandzz Follow up question, if that's okay. How do you see sales for upper MG going lately? I know I've seen a lot of kids who want it, and authors who want to write it, but are publishers starting to invest in it?
Trending UP! YA is super saturated right now and a lot of publishers have been asking for more MG projects. Positive side for MG authors. :)
ZeZe @0zezezz@LitAgentKelly Hi! Should I query to multiple agents simultaneously? What happens if multiple agents give an offer? Do you turn some down?
Yes, query simultaneously! Usually authors query in rounds (some 10-15 agents at a time, I’d assume?) and when they get enough rejections, move on to another round. If multiple agents offer, then yes, you will have to turn some down by the deadline given!
Bethany Simonsen is querying again @Bethanyrambles@LitAgentKelly I know agents talk about MSs they like but don't love enough to rep. Do agents sign writers for a project they DO love, and then reconsider those other MSs?
Meaning from the same person? Yes. @briston_brooks is my perfect example of this! She sent me 3 manuscripts before being signed, and we’re now going back over the other two and talking about revisions and how to best sell them in the market. :)
M.D. Parker is not really here @MDParkerwrites@LitAgentKelly When querying how would you want it explained if a book has a "hidden" (but obvious) biblical element as a major piece of the story & characters but IS NOT a "christian" or "religious" book? The book is Sci-fi horror.
I’d say don’t mention it, in all honesty. 🤷🏼♀️ Let the reader figure it out for themselves!
R.H. Berry 🏳️🌈 @AuthorRHBerry@LitAgentKelly @Michelle4Laughs When (if ever) is it okay to resend a query to an agent who has previously rejected it?
Usually if the manuscript has undergone large revisions, it can be requeried after a longer period of time with the statement that it has gone through major revisions. :)
Saimira Tola-Khouw @tolasaimira@LitAgentKelly Any tips / advice for a new writer from outside the US?
Join online writing groups and find friends, and build a community physically near you, too! You’ll need the friends in this industry!
Sahar Rahimi @Dawnfulness@LitAgentKelly Hi!! Thanks for this! Would you recommend writing and trying to get your "best book" represented first? Or to focus on other books to build skill and a platform before you work on the book you think will be most successful? #askagent
Work on the books you want to work on. There is something to be said about practicing and getting skill behind you first, but many people can’t force themselves to write something they’re not feeling then and there. Plus, you could always go back and revise!
Nancy Lumgair @NancyLumgair@LitAgentKelly Should someone working towards their debut novel work on a standalone novel vs a series that they're unsure they could make the 1st work as a standalone?
Work on what you want to work on, and the rest will fall into place. :) Both cycle in and out of popularity, so there’s a time for both and people differ on these decisions, too!
✨ Elayna Mae Darcy 🍂 @elaynamae@LitAgentKelly I see a lot of agents say they specifically don't rep poetry, but my YA SFF novel has poetry as an element (one at the start of each chapter) Should I let that deter me from querying those agents, or give it a try anyway since poetry is not the bulk of the book? #AskAgent
If it’s just a short poem at the beginning of each chapter, I don’t think it will necessarily deter an agent from repping you if they like your story otherwise. When they say they don’t rep poetry (most don’t) we’re saying full books of poems/poetry.
Emily Beecher @The_EmilyB@LitAgentKelly @CooksUpAStory What's the best way to not awkwardly nudge an agent to get back to you (when their submissions say you'll hear back within xx)?
You can just respond to the email and say that their submissions say to check back within this time and you were wondering if they had gotten to it yet. But you understand they’re busy and if they haven’t gotten to it yet, no biggie. Just checking in. It’s pretty normal!
Kiana Harris @Kiana_Tamarie@LitAgentKelly Hi Kelly! Thank you so much for doing this! 😊
How do you feel about softer-hearted and quieter heroines in an MS? Do you find them more difficult to connect to or does it really just depend on the voice and overall story?
It depends on the voice and overall story! It also depends on the stakes and agency, because if it’s quieter in voice as well as stakes and agency, it will be a tough sell to most publishers.
Kate_Robertson 🇨🇦 @K8rs_gonna_Kate@LitAgentKelly Do agents keep their clients when they switch agencies? What happens if they take a maternity/paternity or any other type of leave?
Sometimes! It depends on the agency contracts and who/what they sign with. There’s many stipulations for this matter in the contract itself, so read them carefully. And usually they’ll either still work, or they’ll have a trusted colleague or assistant help while they’re in leave
GL Francis @merelecroix@LitAgentKelly Separate question: how much does a publication resume weigh in on an agent's decision whether to ask for more on a query?
In my experience, we look for authors who have experience in the industry and who can market themselves, so seeing this background is always nice. However, if the story or voice doesn’t fit us, there’s not much a huge bio will do to fix that.
Jacob Ryckman @JTRyckman@LitAgentKelly @CortneyRadocaj Is there any chance of getting published without going to conferences? As a full-time teacher, my time during the school year is suuuuuper limited.
Of course! I have actually not signed any authors from conferences yet, and all of my current clients have been from Twitter pitch events, writing events (like @PitchWars), and the slush pile!
Corey McCafferty @coreywrites@LitAgentKelly Is it annoying, bad form to send revisions of a MS after receiving agent feedback to agents who still have your full out? #askagent
You can send an email explaining the situation to the agents who have your manuscript if you’d like. I don’t really see it as annoying, as I feel like it happens quite often.