Many authors (present company included) have excellent verbal skills–at least on the page–but less native skill in business and interpersonal communication. Let’s face it: many of us write because we don’t express ourselves as well in person in the real world. Even for those with stellar skills, author-agent communications often involve a learning curve. Most debut authors have little experience working with a representative, and don’t know how to manage expectations. With that in mind, here are some tips for managing communications in the author-agent relationship. 1. When querying, follow the instructions on the agency website precisely. Literary agents receive tens of thousands ofRead more
How to Find the Perfect Agent (Or, at Least, the One Who Matches You)
Authors often hear agents saying “do your homework before you query” but many authors struggle with understanding that assignment. Tailoring queries properly–both in content and in recipient scope–actually increases an author’s chances of success. The content aspect of querying is covered widely (and well) in other places–Janet Reid’s blog, and her QueryShark archive are fantastic sources of information. (Many other good resources exist, but those two are reliable and more than enough to get you started.) However, today’s post focuses on the “how to know who to query” aspect of the process. Let’s look at some useful tips for figuring out which agents (or mentors, etc)Read more
Rejections and Partials and Fulls … Oh, My!
Today’s post continues our ongoing Publishing 101 series with a look at what happens “after the query.” (For a look at writing the query letter itself, click here or check the archives for Publishing 101.) Most writers agree that the query process isn’t the most fun you’ll have on the way to publication. Essentially, the query is a new car design … and the author, the crash-test dummy. If you’re like most of us who query, you’re going to hit a few walls before you reach THE CALL that leads to representation. However, the querying process is neither a license to gloatRead more