We haven't yet received any questions and are getting ready to answer our question of the month (hard without a question). Please let us know if there are any questions you have for us, and don't be shy. Is there anything you want to know about BookEnds, literary agents, publishing. . . ? We'll read all of your comments and answer one now, more later.
Here's a question, or actually, more of a request. I'd love to have you ladies discuss high concept - what it is, how necessary it is, how on earth to find one!
You are a reputable and sought-after agency, and you receive a query from an aspiring writer. You request a partial, then decline politely using a form letter (no doubt a nice one). Aspiring Writer swallows her dismay, and submits something else. Same result. And again. At what point should Aspiring Writer sigh and say, "it was not meant to be"? Would you ever say "please stop sending me queries" (which translates to, "you can't write")? Do you keep a list, and flinch when you see a particular return address? Or will you allow Aspiring Writer to keep submitting indefinitely, in the shared hope that her writing is improving and eventually she'll get it right?
What do you predict will happen in the market of historical romance? I've seen a lot of crossover lately with paranormal historicals. Any thoughts on what's selling well right now?
In an earlier post you mentioned PR for published authors. How important do you think PR is for the unpubbed writer? Specifically, do you think there's value in having a website or a blog before you're published? Have you ever taken on a client because of something you read on their website or blog? Have any of the editors you submit to ever mentioned that a website or blog has influenced their buy decision?
What are your opinions of small presses, ie Poisoned Pen Press? I noticed Libby Hellman's books are published by Poisoned Pen in hardover and Berkley in paperback. Is this highly unusual?
I agree with anonymous 1. I noticed that some agents send back a prompt rejection every time I sent a query after they declined my first partial (historical) but since then I've moved onto Paras but still the rejections came. You get that feeling that they must keep a list or something but then, after rationalization I think. Ah, well, different strokes.
Positioning a manuscript? What advice do you have for a manuscript that has several different possible audiences? Do you go with the strongest factor? For example a thriller that is also a mystery. Do you try to sell it as a thriller or a mystery?
My work often straddles so many different genres that I think it may be a detriment to me. Should I compromise what I write?
I've always heard "hook" referred to as a literary device, a particularly clever plot twist, for example. In this blog, you've said it's an element that "hooks" the novel into a certain group of people who are not necessarily readers, but who share a common passion. "Hook" is a marketing tool, not a literary device. This makes so much more sense and it opens up so many possibilities! Thank you!
I have a few real-world passions of my own to build my stories on, but is there any "hook" in particular you'd love to see used right now?
I know erotica is big right now, but on the other end of the spectrum is Inspirational. I've recently crossed over to Inspirational romance, specifically Inspirational Chic Lit (I'd love to one day be compared to Kristin Billerbeck) and I'm still learning about the genre and who's looking. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this genre, where it seems to be going, and which are the best houses to target for Inspi Chic Lit. (And shamelessly I'll ask if anyone at your agency is interested in aquiring from this genre? lol)
I'm with an agent right now -- one year contract. When he offered me representation, I had partials all over town, but I foolishly yanked them with the offer of representation from a reputable, well-known agent.
Said agent has never gotten back to me. Won't return emails, won't call. It's been 6 months. At what time frame should I panic?
Also, if I choose to go out on my own again at the end of the contract, is it okay to re-send my book out to others that requested it before and explain what happened? Or will agents remember me as the 'jerk that yanked his book'?
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