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 query letter, writing tips

Writing a Query Letter: Part 3

To find the first part of this series, Click HERE. For Part 2, click HERE. To listen to the full discussion on the Write. Publish. Repeat. Podcast, click HERE.

Paragraph Two of the Query Letter

9e9dd-largestackofbooksMini-Synopsis
Similar to the back cover summary
100-250 words

Expand on your hook
Explain more about your Main characters…
Problems/conflicts…
How adversity changes them…

Read back covers of other books for examples!

Paragraph Three: Bio

Brand new Author?
(You may want to skip this)

  • What to include?
    Is it meaningful to the query?
    Does it show personality?
  • Keep it short
  • Keep it writing related
  • Education
  • Work
  • Personal experience
  • Research

Publishing Credits/Awards

  • Awards
    • If you’ve won them…INCLUDE THEM
      Don’t be modest, but don’t go overboard

Publishing credits (BE SPECIFIC)
Journals
Online/trade magazines

Unpublished?
You don’t need to say

Academic or Nonfiction?
Shows you know the process

DON’T INCLUDE:
Church news letter, credits unrelated to professional writing

Self-Published: Include or Not Include?

  • Timing
    • It will be discussed eventually
  • Doesn’t hurt your chances
  • Be confident
  • Be ready discuss success/failure
  • Do you consider it a Mistake/Irrelevant
    • Leave it out
  • Does it make you a more desirable client?
    • Depends on success – mention sales numbers, length of time on sale
      • Success to some agents/pub = 5000 sales (per month…)

Open Blue BookWhat NOT to Mention

  • Social media presence/platform
    • UNLESS you have A LOT of followers
    • Agents will Google you anyway
  • Marketing Plan
  • Years of effort and dedication
  • Family/friends opinions
  • Past rejections/near misses
  • Apologize
  • Compliment your work
  • Discuss $$ your book will make

Thank You/Closing

  • Thank the agent/pub
  • Time & consideration
  • Alert agent/pub full manuscript is available upon request
  • Mention if your book is being considered by another agency
  • Series potential/written
  • Include contact information basics
  • Only offer exclusives for a short time period
  • Only compare your book to another in terms of style, voice, theme (Not $$)

Join me next week for a discussion on writing a great blurb for your query.


Listen to the full discussion now on my new podcast!

Write. Publish. Repeat. Podcast: How to Write a Query Letter Without Going Completely Crazy

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Posted in publishing, query letter

Writing a Query Letter: Part 1

The query writing process incorporates some of the most frustrating aspects of publishing.

But…it’s necessary no matter what publishing option you choose

Typewriter illustrationWhat is a query letter?

According to Jane Friedman, the CEO and co-founder of Open Road Integrated Media, this is the definition:

To seduce the agent or editor into reading or requesting your work. The query is so much of a sales piece that you should be able to write it without having written a single word of the manuscript.

In other words, it’s your pitch to agents, publishers, and readers.

Query Letter Basics

◦ONE PAGE

◦Pitch to “sell” your book

◦Professional letter

◦First impression

◦Book MUST be finished!

But First…

How to sift through the billion search results to find an agent to query?

Blond Business WomanQuery Tracker

Agent Query

Publisher’s Marketplace

Preditors and Editors

Dark Markets (Short Stories/Mags)

◦Agent Interviews

◦Be as SPECIFIC as possible

◦Social Media Stalking 😉

Nest week I’ll be discussing the parts of a query letter in detail, or if you want the full lecture now, check it out out on the Write. Publish. Repeat. Podcast now.

Write. Publish. Repeat. Podcast: How to Write a Query Letter Without Going Completely Crazy

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.