Posted in agents, new adult, writing

New Adult: The Unsellable Genre?

While researching agents I want to query Life & Being out to, I’ve found that New Adult isn’t listed on many agents’ websites. Not as something they take or don’t take. It’s like it doesn’t exist. There are a handful I found it listed specifically, one way or the other, but most don’t mention it at all.

Life and Being PreAgentThat left me wondering, are they classifying NA as adult? Bumping it down to YA? Ignoring it completely?

So, when I have questions like this, I post them on Facebook to see what other writer friends know or have experienced. I was surprised by the responses.

Most every comment I got said agents and publishers consider NA unsellable and don’t want to bother with it. This was from writers who tried to query NA and a few agents or people who worked for literary agencies.

Honestly, I was a little stumped by this. Why? Because readers are certainly buying NA. Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster were both NA, and both HUGE successes. NYT Bestselling successes. Let’s also consider Jennifer L. Armentrout (Wait for You), Cora Carmack (Losing It), and Colleen Hoover (Slammed), all of which have been wonderfully successful writing NA.

So, if readers are buying, why aren’t agents and publishers?

I’m sure if NA is looked at as a fad that will pass sooner rather than later, or if the high number of successful self-published authors in the genre make agents and publishers want to pass on competing, or what the exact reason is. If anyone has thoughts, please feel free to share them in the comments! I’d love to hear them.

I’m still going to query a few agents I think would be a good fit and see what happens, but it’s looking more and more likely I’ll keep Life & Being indie, which is a great option as well. I guess I’ll just have to see what happens!

 

Posted in agents, query letter

Here I go again…

DeathtoStock_Desk5So, about 7 years ago, I started looking for an agent or publisher. I had two finished manuscripts I was ready to send out. I also had a toddler and a kindergartener and a very supportive husband. What else did I have going for me that would entice and agent or publisher to pick me up?

Nada.

Had no clue about social media (wasn’t even on Facebook), no website, no publishing cred, no writing degree, nothing.

Guess how it went?

Nobody was interested. I had a tiny handful of agents or publishers requests a few chapters, then nothing. Admittedly, the publishing climate at that time wasn’t terribly open and no one wanted to take on a newbie. So, I decided to self-publish. I started figuring out the whole social media and marketing thing. I kept writing. I got picked up by several publishers along the way, having good and bad experiences, and now have 20+ books published either traditionally or indie, and even made the USA Today Bestsellers list as part of an awesome box set.

Now what?

I’ve got it into my head that I want to try the agent route again. I don’t know how it will go, but I’m going to do it anyway. That’s a big cliff to jump off of because it involves a lot of research, waiting, heartache, and more waiting.

To anyone else who is thinking about joining the agent hunt, I thought I’d share a few resources that can make it a little easier.

TIPS FOR THE AGENT HUNT

Death_to_stock_communicate_hands_1https://querytracker.net/ — Great for finding agents accepting submissions and what genres they want, and keeping track of your queries and responses.

Twitter and Facebook — great for seeing what the agents you’re interested in are doing and looking for “right now” and also for getting to know their personality and if it’s someone you’d be comfortable working with.

http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/ — Great for seeing what agents have been up to lately, when they’re last sale was and what publishing house the sale was with.

http://www.agentquery.com/ — database of literary agents, who’s taking what, and how to submit.

Comparable titles — know what your book is up against and be ready to tell and agent why yours will fit right in with other popular books readers are currently gobbling up.

QUERY HELP

If you need help writing a strong query letter, I recently did a podcast on the topic. Just click the Write. Publish. Repeat. logo below.

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Posted in agents

Publishing Primer: Agents Part 2

Read Part One: Benefits and Drawbacks of Agents HERE.

iStock_000024086772LargeDo you need an agent?

Whether or not to pursue a literary agent is a personal decision based on what you need and what direction you want to take your book.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

QUESTION #1

What type of publisher do you want?
Small and indie publishers DO NOT require an agent.
Agent + “Big 5” publishers MAY = more positive response

QUESTION #2

How knowledgeable are you of the book industry?
Be willing to RESEARCH
Learn about CONTRACTS or get HELP
Put in the TIME

QUESTION #3

Are you willing to give up 10-15% of your royalties in exchange for the services an agent can provide?
The cost may or may not be worth the help.
There is no right or wrong answer.
Some authors do very well without an agent, and others have become successful thanks in part to the work their agents have done.

Stop back by soon for more discussion on Publishers, Agents, and Publishing in this new Publishing Primer series.

Posted in agents, publishing

Publishing Primer: Agents

What is a literary agent?Blond Business Woman

A literary agent represents authors and submits to publishers and editors on their behalf

  • They also:
    • Negotiate Contracts
      Promote
      Negotiate contracts outside publishing
      Mediate

What are the benefits of having an agent?

  • Open Doors

    Avoid the slush file
    Pre-vetted status
    Bypass slow steps
    Agent only options

  • šKnowledge

    š“In the know”

    šDepends on how good the agent is and how good their contacts are

    šAccess to specific information

  • Mediation

    Navigate disputes
    Knowledgeable in: publishing contracts, foreign rights, media rights, royalty negotiations
    Disputes are common occurrence
    **Getting a lawyer involved is sometimes necessary

  • Advice

    Guidance for new authors
    Knows the book market and current trends
    Marketing opportunities
    Timing

What are the drawbacks of having an agent? 702f1-girl2bwith2bbooks

  • Money

    Legitimate agents will NEVER ask you for money
    Do get a cut of the royalties
    Domestic sales: 10-15%
    Foreign sales: fixed rate of 20%
    Film/media sales are usually negotiated separately

  • Time

    Querying can be SLOW
    Once you have an agent, querying starts all over again with publishers
    How long?
    A few months to several years
    It may not happen
    There should be a time limit in your contract

  • Control

    Once you sign, publishing options may be more limited
    Submissions are handled directly by your agent
    Additional work you write may automatically come under the agent’s control
    Variations of your book that are produced (film, graphic novel, audio, translation, etc.) may entitle your agent to a cut

Stop back by soon for more discussion on Publishers, Agents, and Publishing in this new Publishing Primer series.