Monday, May 30, 2005

Important Submissions Update

Hi, Everyone:
I wanted to let you know that for the time being (probably a month at most) I am closing submissions for new/unpublished author material so that those of us here with submissions in hand can catch up a bit. If you are a published author, yes please feel free to go ahead and query us. If a new author, I just feel it will be in your better interest to wait until we open up for submissions again later in the summer.

I know this may be disappointing, but it is only a very short term situation. We’ll be posting a similar update on the website itself as well.

So, to reiterate, if you already have material in house, we will be reviewing it. If you’ve already queried us, we’ll be replying on the query shortly. We simply want to put a hold on further submissions for a short period of time.

All Best,
Deidre Knight

13 Comments:

Blogger Deidre Knight said...

And in light of updates on submissions, we have no queries or outstanding e-mails following up on material in our mailbox at present. So if you're waiting to hear on a query or follow up, you should know that I have answered all that I have right now. Deidre

Monday, May 30, 2005 at 8:43:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Nephele Tempest said...

I have about a dozen partials in my box, but responses will be going out in the next day or two.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005 at 4:01:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Deirdre--thanks for sharing all the information with us. Sorry to hear that you're closing new submissions, but I can understand why.

I have a question for you, about agents in general--and the question is basically because I can see you as an unbiased third party source. . . I've spoken with two different agents on the phone, both of whom were nice, but it was hard to gauge whether either would be helpful to me as a writer.
The first made me so nervous, after I got off the phone I started looking at the changes she suggested toward my manuscript and I honestly couldn't see them happening. She also talked about aiming at some of the publishing houses that I know pay smaller advances than the larger houses.
The second was much more aggressive in telling me what kind of a career I needed, what types of revisions I should be doing, and I felt steamrolled by the end of that conversation.

What, would you say, is a good balance? When choosing an agent, should an author "go with her gut" instincts about how she feels dealing with the agent, or what advice would you offer?

My thoughts are that neither agent would really be a good match for me, but I'm not sure how important personal relations are in the business. Should that matter? How important is the "comfort level" factor?

Tuesday, May 31, 2005 at 7:36:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Shelley Tougas said...

Deidre-

Re: Your comments about email and lost submissions. Is it appropriate to include a return receipt requested? Someone told me agents hate those pop-up receipts but man, it sure would ease the worrying and wondering. I submitted chapters and a synop 2-3 weeks ago - without the receipt request!
Shelley Tougas

Tuesday, May 31, 2005 at 9:48:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Gena Showalter said...

Michelle,
I firmly believe you need to feel comfortable with your agent. This person will be handling many aspects of your career (not to mention the money) and you will have be in contact with them a lot. It’s like a marriage. Trust and compatibility are needed for the relationship to work. You need to be able to go to your agent with questions, ideas, thoughts, concerns, and feel those things will be handled well. It *is* your career, after all. In the long run, it’s not the agent who will be affected by the outcome. It’s you, the writer.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005 at 10:13:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Michelle--
Ditto to what Gena just posted. Besides, if you're generating this kind of interest right now, you'll likely have other interested agents. What was the rationale behind mentioning less "bigtime" players for your work, do you think? I'd be wary of that.

On receipts, they are annoying, but I don't mind. KEep in mind, though, that some people simply turn off that feature. Feel free to follow up and verify that we have the material.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005 at 10:16:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Jaci Burton said...

Michelle

I agree with what Gena said. You really have to go with your gut on your agent selection. A few years ago I was offered agent representation and, while flattered, it just didn't 'feel' right. There was something I didn't like about that agent (not personally, just professionally) and it turns out I was right.

Always listen to your inner voice. When you land an agent, your inner voice should scream YES! YES! YES! immediately. I know mine did ;-)

And if it doesn't, then there's something wrong.

Good luck!

Jaci

Tuesday, May 31, 2005 at 10:57:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michelle,

I think personal relations are a HUGE factor, but they are not the most important factor. I hooked up with an agent I got along very well with in person, and it just didn't work out in the long run.

You definitely should try to talk to some people represented by those agents. Don't just listen to the "she's my agent and I LOVE her" stuff, listen to WHY they love her (or him) and ask what they dislike. There are ALWAYS cons and what one person might not consider a big con, you might.

Unfortunately, it might still come down only to experience. Sometimes, there's no way to know if it will work or not until you actually do it.

And my personal thought on why that agent might prefer submitting to the smaller, less-well-paying houses might be comfort. If she has relationships with those editors and feels comfortable with those contracts, she might focus on them rather than houses where she doesn't have those relationships or feel comfortable with those contracts.

Good luck!

Tuesday, May 31, 2005 at 1:33:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Thank you guys so much for the feedback. I had wondered about the role of personal relations in an agent situation, since sometimes you have people who are PHENOMENAL business folks, but they don't relate well at all on the non-business level. Not to be cliche, but rather like a business nerd, if you get my drift.

Deirdre--Like you, I questioned the reason for mentioning the less "big-time players." While it's possible that she had some good relationships with those editors and felt comfortable with them, for me I'd rather shoot for my dream publisher and if my work's not good enough, I'd want her to tell me so I can strengthen it.

Gena and Jaci--thank you. You helped me to solidify the theory in my head. The problem is, when you're unpublished, it's so tempting to just take an offer and run with it instead of being choosy.

I'll start listening to my gut, then! :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2005 at 4:46:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Unlike Anonymous, I would rank personal relationship equally alongside reputation and skills in terms of importance, and this *assumes* that the credentials and agenting abilities are *in place.* Those two things being equal, I wouldn't rank skill above relationship. Because if you can't talk to your agent, and express your goals, thoughts and aspirations, then it may not matter taht they're a highly skilled and competitive agent. The two qualities work in tandem. D

Tuesday, May 31, 2005 at 7:09:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Sarah McCarty said...

I agree with everyone. Nothing gives a body a case of the insecurities quicker than feeling something as important as your career is warping out of your realm of influence. Effective comunication is important. I turned down two offers of representation because trying to commmunicate with the agents (who were very effective in their field and very nice) just left me exhausted and with more questions than when I started. I would have ben really happy to have them say something direct, even if it was to suggest my manuscript go in a completely different, totally unbelievabel direction. *wry grin*

Sarah
www.sarahmccarty.net

Tuesday, May 31, 2005 at 9:03:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

I agree with Deidre's last comment. And with Gina's comment. I personally think the meshing of personalities issue is just as important, if not more important, than agenting skills. Don't get me wrong. I *want* an agent with skills! But if you don't feel you can talk to your agent about any and all publishing concerns, or, when you do talk to her/him, it only causes problems - then that's a HUGE problem. And I do know of what I speak. I've been there. Not fun.

However, I do agree with Anonymous's comment that sometimes the only way you really know if an agent relationship will work out is to try it. What works wonderfully for other clients might not work wonderfully for you. Or an approach that works well for you might not necessarily be the approach that works well for others in similar positions. This is what makes finding the right agent so hard! But then, no one ever said anything about this industry was easy. We just have to keep plugging along. And have faith.

Cindy

Wednesday, June 1, 2005 at 1:43:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you consider "published"? For example, does having short stories in anthologies make one published? Or having ebook releases? Or only the real deal? I'm asking because people seem to be pretty divided about that...

Saturday, June 4, 2005 at 8:01:00 PM EDT  

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