Monday, May 16, 2011

Random Questions

I receive a lot of questions from readers. Thank you. By sending questions you definitely help keep the blog going. At times there are questions that aren’t big enough (for lack of a better term) to warrant an entire post, so I collect them and post them together under the heading “Random Questions.” Here are just a few of those.

I have a quick question regarding a story I wrote. I started a series and wrote the first book, but after it got rejected, I reworked it and realized that the plot would be better as one of the later books in the series, and not the first one. I've since written a new first book using a plotline I think will better introduce the characters and world (it's fantasy). The only things that are the same from the last time I queried are the characters and the world - nothing else, not how they meet or the plot or anything. When I query this book, can I think of it like a new novel, or should I consider it a second submission of the same book and therefore should avoid double-querying agents who rejected the first one?

It sounds like a new book, therefore I would query as if it’s a new book.

Do you think it's worthwhile to include a link to my blog in a query letter? Do agents look at blogs at all during the querying phase, or would that be something you would look at later on, like requested material? I have been including a link to my blog thinking that it can't hurt. But the blog isn't heavily followed at this point, could that count against me?

I think it can’t hurt. If you’re writing fiction the number of readers won’t really count against you. It can if you are writing self-help nonfiction and the publisher or agent is looking to your blog to get a feel for your platform.

As my book has been shopped to 7 editors by a previous agent, does that mean there is no chance of a new agent picking up the book and continuing to shop it? Is it best for me to approach agents with a different book?

“No chance” is extreme, but I would say you have very little chance. I think it’s time to move on to the next book.

I am currently doing my degree in Singapore and I was wondering what are my chances of finding a job in a Literary Agency or Publishing House in the USA? Given that I am not a United State citizen, am I still able to apply for jobs or internships with a company like yours? What are the chances of getting said job or internship?

You'll probably need to move to the U.S., and probably New York, first. Getting a job in the U.S. while still living in Singapore is going to be pretty difficult.



Richard said...

I think providing more information is mostly always a good thing to most folks. As long as the blog is appropriate like being family friendly, it should at least do no harm. Richard from Lebanon county's Amish settlement.

Laila Knight said...

I often wondered how to tackle requerying for a story after it's been edited so much that it't no longer the same story. Thanks for clearing that up.

G said...

Jessica, I like your answer about including a blog link with a query letter.

I've been a bit hesitant in adding my blog link because I didn't want to come off as being tacky. But because I don't have much of a writing bio (one published short story), I don't want to discard the possibility of showing that I can write, even though it's a blog (three years later this month).

Mick Matthews said...

I regards to whether you should go to another agent after your previous one has already shopped your manuscript, I can only go by my experience.

I signed with an agent who took my MS and sent it to a number of publishers. Despite liking it, they all turned it down for various reasons. However, the feed back was good.

I became frustrated that my agent wasn't pushing it out more or recommending changes. After a long time (I'm talking a few years) I severed my relationship with my agent and went looking for another with the same manuscript.

I got another agent who though interested in the fact I had previously been with someone else, were not fazed. The worked with me on the manuscript and gave some excellent editorial advice - something my previous agent had not done.

They sent it back out into the market and once again it was well received but turned down.

This new agent then suggested I send it out myself to a small independent publisher, which I did. They jumped at it and my first book should be coming out next spring.

Moral of the story? There is no right or wrong. Just keep at it and go with what you think. After all, what have you got to lose?

Anonymous said...

With regard to the last question. There are now a few e-pub agents who strictly work with authors who are pubbed by e-publishers...not self-published, e-published...and they sometimes post calls for interns on their web sites or on social networks. Of course you're not going to make any money doing this, but internships are good ways to make contacts in an ever-changing industry.

Virginia Llorca said...

I put a link to my blog, but then I stopped doing it. My blog is very irreverent and I am trying to pass my fiction off as whatever the opposite of that would be, ignoring the word reverent, which it is not. Maybe I mean I want to be taken seriously.

Jen S said...

The last guy can't just move to the US and then try to find a job. He needs a job offer to get a work visa. If he comes in on a tourist visa, it's actually illegal for him to then try to find a job.

Brit Hvide said...

I find the last question really interesting. I know a lot of foreign publishers in Europe publish in english, but I imagine most of the big publishers in Asia would focus their attention on Japanese, Chinese, Korean, etc. etc. language books. However, Singapore is an English speaking country... I wonder, are there any big foreign publishers in Asia that publish in English?