Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

11

Generally 90 days is the standard wait time before sending an inquiry. You might want to check the agent's website and see if they have something in their submission guidelines that says how long you should wait before sending an inquiry. Generally a simple email asking the status of your submission is acceptable. It may be that they just haven't gotten to ...


11

Ingram is the largest book distributor in the business. You can call their automated stock check number at (800) 937-0995. Enter a book's ISBN, and you'll get back its current sales data. You can also get Amazon's historical data by signing up for an account at TitleZ and selecting the books you want to track. Both of the above are free services.


10

It's perfectly reasonable to follow up at this point. I've read numerous agents' and editors' opinions on this, and never have I seen anyone claim you should wait longer than three months (one such example). I'd suggest you follow up with an email, reminding the agent of your previous correspondence and asking politely when you can expect a response. Email ...


9

Your query is meant to introduce the book and make clear why it's compelling. That doesn't require you to explain its plot in detail, particularly if the plot isn't the compelling aspect of it. On the other hand, you can't just write "My novel is called [TITLE HERE], it's very funny, you should totally check it out." So you need a core aspect of your novel - ...


7

Your premise may be central to your story. But that doesn't mean that it requires paragraphs of explanation, or that you should sideline the characters and just talk about your awesome idea. Rather, if you find that the explication of your idea is taking too much time, you probably just aren't cutting it hard enough. To illustrate, let me post the first ...


7

So what is the highlight? Is it a character study of lunatics? A farce? A satire of a particular genre? A giddy romp across space and time? A surreal exploration of the absurdities inherent in our classist political system? A synopsis for a cover letter is really your elevator pitch — boil your book down into the fewest words which describe it, not ...


7

What Query Shark Says Let's take a look at what precisely QS has written there: This is a log line. Avoid them. Think about it: it [refers to: they must decide whether to resign their lives to inertia or fight for uncertain freedom] is a false choice. If they resign their lives to inertia, there's no story. And worse, this kind of log line ...


6

Log lines are just a way of quickly, pithily summarizing your book's plot and appeal into one sentence. They're not necessarily bad. as the Query Shark admits, lots of agents recommend using them. They're a style, and as such, some will appreciate them more than others. I think the thing to definitely avoid is using a BAD log line. Make sure you ...


4

In my experience, you're not likely to find much of anything useful without paying. The Association of American Publishers has some statistics for free (2009 Preliminary Estimates), but you'll have to buy the report to get anything meaningful. Is it worth $1250? Probably not in your case. Sales figures for the publishing industry just aren't readily ...


4

There are multiple parts to a query letter. The first part is you. What kind of writing experience do you have? Have you published four books already? Do you have a dozen short stories in various magazines? Have you won any writing awards? Do you have any experience in the publishing world - editing, lit agent, etc. This is where you want to "sell" yourself. ...


4

I think you can vary the structure depending on the story. By way of example, mystery writer Jennifer Moss splits her descriptions: of her three novels and one short story, two start with the detective, Ryan Doherty, and two start with the crime. For example, the first one starts with the detective, and segues into the case: After his partner is ...


3

I think that your question looks at the task of writing the logline to a detective novel from the wrong perspective. A scholar might find that a detective novel has a parallel structure of the detective and his life and job, and the crime or the criminal. But that is not necessarily how detective novels are read. The reader will have a clear, single focus ...


3

Have you considered self publishing? If you are looking for inspiration, read Joe Konrath's blog, available here. Read through his back posts, and you may find some interesting stuff. One of them talks about his book, the list, that was rejected by all the publishers, and is now a bestseller. One of the comments to that post is worth reading: My favorite ...


2

I don't think they are open for infodumps, because they do not have the time to read them. And after the tenth infodump you get easily bored. I do not know the books you have mentioned, so I cannot help you there. But normally the agent (or publisher) just wants to get an idea what your book is about. To do that you do not need to explain a complex ...


2

In my experience, as a general rule-of-thumb, if you look at the number of reviews a book has on Amazon and multiply by 100, you'll be in the ballpark of their sales on Amazon. Some books might be double or quadruple this, and others might be half or less, but it gives you a general idea of whether you're talking about a book that sold 1,000 copies, 10,000 ...


2

I've never been published. I've never contacted an agent. But I'll tell you this: I can't even count on sixteen hands the number of times I've read something JUST like this-- "Twilight was initially rejected by 14 agents, however, eight publishers competed for the rights to publish Twilight in the 2003 auction." [From Wikipedia] And obviously we all know ...


1

I think this may be a Heisenbug. I've linked to the wiki, but basically this is a problem that appears only when looked at too closely. I just came across this in my programming studies, and like many, I fall in love with new words and want to use them. In this instance, you may have bugged the perception by highlighting "meanwhile." In the normal flow of ...


1

Usually it's the author or the author's estate/agent/descendant who holds the original copyrights, so you don't need to contact a large number of publishers, just that one entity for bulk of works. In rare cases the author might have fully sold copyrights (as opposed to licensing the publishers for release) and in these cases you will need to contact these ...


1

As I see it from here, your question itself looks like a potential solution. Yes, I mean, if you could reword it and include bits from your work itself, in a creative way, that should really impress any literary agent. Look at it this way: giving away much in a summary/ abstract has never been a good idea anyway. Even as it serves to arouse curiosity, it ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible