Re: the BLURB. Is it bogged down in backstory? Does it have nothing to do with the sample pages you are about to show me? Does it give us a clear sense of the stakes & conflict? Those are the types of questions you should ask yourself when you write them. (cont.) #querytip 9a/10
PROOFREAD. And send your query and sample pages to someone else and have them critique it/proofread. And then proofread it some more. Typos exist and everyone makes them, and aren't the end of the world. But the cleaner your copy, the better. #querytip 8/10
Even when using an online form, I like to see the query in letter format. I like to see a salutation (Dear Eva, is perfectly fine), but I also like a hint of what it is I'm about to read about (TITLE is my GENRE of XX words). (cont.) #querytip 6a/10
Titles matter because they are the first thing we see when you are introducing us to your manuscript. A really terrible title might be memorable but leaves you with a not-great first impression and that's not what you want when you're querying. #querytip 5c/10
TITLES. Listen, I'm bad at titles. I think they're impossible. BUT I'm convinced I'm not nearly as bad as I think when I look at so many of the titles I see in my inbox. Look at other books publishing in your genre, see what the trend is and mimic it (cont.) #querytip 5a/10
Every agent is different so check submission guidelines. I ask for query + first 3 chapters. Your book doesn't have chapters? Then send me the first 30 pages. Don't send me 3 random chapters, don't send me 10 pages, don't send me things I don't ask for. #querytip 4/10
First & foremost publishing is a business. On the craft side, if your Adult SFF is clocking in at 50K, that alerts me that not enough work has been put into worldbuilding. Your YA romcom at 150K says to me that not enough has been done to address pacing. (cont.) #querytip 3c/10
Usually, exceptions happen for ESTABLISHED authors. The thing about word count (outside of craft) is that you must consider the ECONOMICS of publishing. The higher the word count the more $$$ is costs to produce your work and the less $ everyone earns. (cont.) #querytip 3b/10
WORD COUNT. There are so many resources out there for writers that offer guidance on appropriate ranges for debut authors in different genres. One response I see a lot is x publisher printed a 400K work, so why can't I? That is the EXCEPTION. (cont.) #querytip 3a/10
Number one thing is know your genre & also know what genres I REPRESENT. Your literary fiction has elements of romance, that's great, still not a good fit for me as I do not represent literary fiction. Don't try to pretend your work is something other than it is. #querytip 2/10
A good agent will not encourage your reptile instincts to white-knuckle onto any one lead. See yesterday's tweet thread on completion bias: one of our primary value adds is to push back against our clients' irrational bird-in-handism.
Ninety-nine percent of the time--99%!--that "hey, book? I want to do a book with you!" email does NOT result in a book deal. The most typical outcome is that it devolves into a moving-goalposts situation where an offer doesn't materialize. (It does materialize sometimes! Rarely)
Anna Sproul-Latimer @annasproulOoh I have a stray 5 min for a quick #pubtip smoke break.
::drags cigarette of cynicism:: If you're an author and an editor from a big 5 publishing house contacts you asking if there's a book in the works, congratulations! Here's what that should and shouldn't signal for you.
It SHOULD signal: 1. you're qualified to write a book; it's time to get over your imposter syndrome. 2. you're getting yourself out there well! Good work! and 3. If you don't have an agent, this is one of the best possible times to shop competitively and get one from the top tier