Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™

@CortneyRadocaj

Agent Apprentice @CorvisieroLit . Writer. Hufflepuff. ISFJ. She/her. Bisexual. Punk at heart. @briston_brooks is my writing patronus. #dragonhatchlings

Spokane, WA

Corvisiero Literary Agency

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Jun 24

TL;DR: Donโ€™t throw chances down the drain bc you didnโ€™t do your research, or bc you think industry standards donโ€™t apply to you.

You have to EARN the fans and the reputation that will allow you to break standards.

#querytip

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Jun 24

All the established authors you see breaking norms and industry standards?

Most of the time, theyโ€™re only able to do that BECAUSE they followed industry standards when they started out. They established a fanbase, a reputation, sales, before they could break standards

#querytip

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Jun 24

โ€œBut [insert established author here] has a book at [insert high/low word count here] so OBVIOUSLY I can too!!โ€

No. Thereโ€™s a HUGE difference between a house taking that risk on an established author with a fan base, than taking on a debut author w/no sales or fanbase

#querytip

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Jun 24

Today Iโ€™ve gotten two queries at 160,000+ words, one at 180,000+ words, and one at a whopping 385,000+ (!!!!) words.

DO YOUR RESEARCH. Learn what the industry standards for word count for your genre and age category are, or auto rejections WILL happen.

#querytip

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Jun 12

Gentle reminder:

When using Query Manager, weโ€™re able to see who else youโ€™ve queried at our agency.

i.e. itโ€™s very, very easy to tell when someone blatantly ignores our guidelines.

Donโ€™t give yourself an automatic strike by not listening to what weโ€™re asking for.

#querytip

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · May 22

#querytip I am NOT the right person for books heavily focused on pregnancy. And definitely do not want an opening scene featuring an intense, painful birth.

A pregnancy in the book is okay! Just stories centered around it and the birth processโ€”not for me.

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · May 22

#querytip Make sure I know why the stakes are important to the MC!!

Itโ€™s all well and good to have apocalyptic stakesโ€”but if the MC doesnโ€™t have a REASON to care about them, a reason to fight and risk their lives, itโ€™s much harder to connect and make the tension feel palpable.

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · May 22

#querytip If youโ€™re asked to include the first 5 pages as a sample, donโ€™t pull a random chapter from further into the book instead.

If you sent a mid-book sample bc your MS doesnโ€™t pick up traction until then? Probably a good sign you need to re-evaluate your first pages.

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · May 13

Friendly reminder:

Query = pitching your book (introduce characters, conflict, tension, hook, leave the reader wanting more)

Synopsis = literal (polished and readable) list of the plot points in your book (not meant to hook or entice, should give EVERY spoiler)

#querytip

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · May 2

#querytip Check the formatting of your query before submitting! If your query, synopsis, or pages are in one huge block of text without any paragraph breaks, they become extremely difficult to readโ€”and therefore extremely difficult to connect with ๐Ÿ˜ž

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Mar 28

#querytip I am not the person for vampires right now.

In the future? Maybe. Iโ€™ll probably warm back up to them at some point ๐Ÿง›๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

But for now, no vampires for Cortney.

(But like, still send me other monsters? Plz??? ๐ŸงŸโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿงžโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿงœ๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿงš๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ)

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Mar 22

#querytip seeing a LOT of MSโ€™s pitched as the first in a series today.

Planning series is fine, but as a debut author try to make your MS stand alone as wellโ€”publishers less likely to take the risk of a series not selling well w/a debut author than one w/an established fan base!

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Feb 26

#querytip Being selective & purposeful in the agents you query will go a lot farther than throwing your story at any and every agent you can.

i.e. querying an agent with a genre they specifically say they donโ€™t want is a sure way to get an auto rejection.

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Jan 17

#querytip Reconsider including comp titles if the only two you have are over 10 years old.

If all youโ€™re including are older titles, it makes me question whether or not youโ€™re in touch with the current market and popular tropes and such in your genre.

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · Jan 17

Yโ€™all.

If youโ€™re querying an agent, I donโ€™t recommend a) disparaging the entire job of an agent, or b) ranting about how stupid you think writing queries is.

THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO GET AN AGENTโ€™S (positive) ATTENTION

#querytip

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · 24 Nov 2018

#querytip Remember when youโ€™re sending a query, youโ€™re pitching ONE bookโ€”not a series! Telling me your book is the first in a series is fine, but the query itself needs to be focused on ONE book.

Show me it has an arc and conflict of its own!

Cortney Radocaj ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™ @CortneyRadocaj · 24 Oct 2018

#querytip I am NOT the right fit for novels that use an epistolary format! It just doesnโ€™t grab me; I need to be immersed in the POV, and epistolary dilutes that for me

(Plus, Iโ€™m pretty sure Iโ€™m scarred from reading every single word of CLARISSA in one month during college ๐Ÿ™ˆ)