Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Question and Answer Round-Up

I’m having trouble tracking back to all the open questions right now because things are quite busy at TKA. So it occurs to me that it might make sense to open a blog thread here for any outstanding questions that we’ve managed to miss. Post away and I’ll be back around as soon as I can.


Blogger TJ Brown said...

How much of a manuscript does the Knight Agency want done from an unpublished author (unpublished in fiction anyway) with a great platform in a hot genre? Especially if timliness is key? I know that you and other agents prefer a complete manuscript, but what is the bare minimum to get it out there?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 8:53:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Destruction Angel said...

Is it a problem if the writer isn't living in North America?

DAngel--asking because I don't

Wednesday, May 18, 2005 at 5:31:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are a few unanswered questions down in "Submissions and Queries, how long will it take?"

Wednesday, May 18, 2005 at 11:18:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quick fly-by to throw out my two cents. I'm sure Deidre will add when time allows.

Teri, it's rare for me to read something incomplete unless it's a follow-up to a full manuscript I've read and loved and am considering pursuing. It's really a time issue; I prefer to read a manuscript straight thru while it's fresh in my mind, and if I read part, then set it aside to wait for the end to arrive, then pick it up again, I've lost momentum and I just don't have the time to start over and re-read from the beginning.

Most editors expect us to have a complete manuscript for a novel by an unknown author. Sometimes they'll buy on the strength of a partial if they've seen and liked another project by that author at an earlier date, but it just wasn't a good fit - i.e., they had something similar already or it wasn't quite right for the imprint. But it's rare. They want to see the whole package.

DAngel, I know Deidre has clients abroad, and I just signed an author who lives in Japan. In this marvelous age of technology, we do so much business by e-mail that it's not a problem at all if you live outside North America.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005 at 2:52:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Shelley Halima said...

Do you take on authors who've already secured a publishing deal? I'm looking for an agent to represent my interests when it comes to negotiating the contract for each book my company accepts. Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated.

Julie Leto told me about your agency and I think this blog is an awesome way to have questions answered.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005 at 4:04:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If your agency has rejected a previous project are you open to looking at a query on a new project? Thanks.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005 at 10:31:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Destruction Angel said...

Thank you Nephele.

Thursday, May 19, 2005 at 4:40:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

Hey, Anonymous, I'm not an agent here, but I am a client, and the answer to that is "yes". The agency passed on the first project I sent them. In fact, if you look down a few posts to "Submitting Sample Chapters by Nephele Tempest" she writes:

A rejection does not mean we never want to hear from you again. Writers have lots of ideas, and hopefully continue working on their craft over the course of their careers. Just because we’ve turned down a specific manuscript, or indicated your writing isn’t quite polished enough for publication, does not mean you shouldn’t try again at a later date with your next project. And tell us when you do; we admire hard work and persistence.

Thursday, May 19, 2005 at 8:17:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Absolutely we take on clients who have secured publishing deals. That happens frequently in the publishing world. You should drop me an email and tell me more.

Anonymous, you'd be surprised how many clients queried me on a first project, but it wasn't quite "there" and then came back on a new one. Sometimes I don't even know until much later--I can think of one highly successful author on our list who didn't remind me I'd rejected her first book until long after I'd placed her with her publishing house! :)

The bottom line in this business is to keep perservering, and not to allow your feelings to cloud your judgment. A good agent or editor is STILL a good agent or editor, even if they don't like your first project or like it but don't take it on. You know, my own editor had to pass on the first book she read by me! But she bought the next one very quickly. Sometimes the first book or project is a kind of warm up act, one that opens a relationship between the author and agent or author and editor. So in short, absolutely come back again on something else, even if we passed the first time.

Diana, thanks for adding your perspective as a client! Smooches.

Thursday, May 19, 2005 at 9:03:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Destruction Angel, one of the very first clients I signed on was Roslyn Carrington who writes for Kensington and BET and lives in Trinidad and Tobago. We're still together almost ten years later, so that just goes to show that location isn't an issue. With email these days, the world is shrinking (in fact, I have a blog post I want to write for my author blog on just that topic!)


Thursday, May 19, 2005 at 9:05:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

I'd add to Nephele's comments just that if you have a truly hot project--something unique, with an unusual spin to it or very high concept, then yes I'd look at it on partial. Every now and then editors will come to the plate with first-timers on proposals, though not often. It might be the best way for us to determine that is to see the pitch and partial.

That said, that is not carte blanche to the entire world of querying authors to query me on partials. Because the flip side of that is it's highly annoying as an agent to read a partial, love it, be ready to roll on the rest only to discover that a book isn't written. It can be a turn off, actually. It gives the agent a bit of a feeling of being "had." :)

Thursday, May 19, 2005 at 9:07:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Deidre! :)

Under the FAQ's on your submission page, it says no action adventure thrillers. I know you've recently started to look at more paranormal works and was wondering if 'action adventure thrillers' might stand a chance if they have a paranormal element to them. Such as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is high on action and might be termed a "paranormal action adventure thriller".

I write commercial fiction that's a mix of Crichton-style action (Jurrasic Park, Timeline etc.) and Koontz-style paranormal/thriller (Strangers, Watchers etc.)--mainstream with romantic elements.

Is this something that interests you? The last thing I want to do is to send a 'wrong genre' query that will make it appear as if I haven't done my research :)

Thank you for your time!!

Thursday, May 19, 2005 at 11:50:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Destruction Angel said...

Thank you Deirdre.

Would you mind commenting on how you communicate with them?

Like, mostly on the telephone or are you comfortable using instant messenger software as well?

Thursday, May 19, 2005 at 12:36:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

I think you'd be well within the bounds of reason to query us on a project like that! :)

Destruction Angel, I communicate with my overseas clients almost exclusively by email. Roslyn and I have met on several occasions, though, when she came to the US. It helped a lot that we did meet early on, though it's not at all necessary.

Thursday, May 19, 2005 at 12:48:00 PM EDT  
Blogger wilddunz said...

"a truly hot project--something unique, with an unusual spin to it or very high concept"

Hi Deidre,
Thank you so much for providing this wonderful forum to provide insight and offer advice.

I know the answer to this is probably along the lines of "Explaining it is impossible, but I know it when I see it." But, I'll ask anyway- what is "High Concept" - I suppose in the most generic of terms, I understand it, but then I've seen some things described as High Concept and thought- huh?

Thanks so much!

Thursday, May 19, 2005 at 12:57:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Deidre! I'm off to submit! :)

Thursday, May 19, 2005 at 1:33:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Destruction Angel said...

Thank you Deirdre.

Thursday, May 19, 2005 at 3:13:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you say "no action adventure" do you mean straight action-adventure books, or do you include Bombshell-style action-adventure romance in that category?

Thursday, May 19, 2005 at 3:41:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Gena Showalter said...

The Awaken Me Darkly, alien huntress series Dedire sold to Pocket for me could be considered sci/fi action-adventure paranormal chick lit with romance :)

Thursday, May 19, 2005 at 4:06:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

I commissioned an answer JUST for you. Keep your eyes here for a terrific reply to your question very shortly.

On action adventure we mean no "boy books" action adventure (that's what they're called in publishing) not women's action adventure with romance or strong heroines. We are referring to the classic definition. D

Thursday, May 19, 2005 at 4:49:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Great example, Gena.

Thursday, May 19, 2005 at 4:49:00 PM EDT  
Blogger wilddunz said...

Thanks so much Deidre! A whole entry just for me...Wow, I feel so special. You're the best!

Thursday, May 19, 2005 at 5:14:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whew! Thanks, both of you! I always assumed that's what that meant, but got afraid for a moment.

Natalie, who DID put in a name on the last post and didn't mean to post as "unknown"

Friday, May 20, 2005 at 2:22:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Evangeline Holland said...

Has anyone ever pitched a novella to you? Would an agent even be able to sell a novella to a publishing house BEFORE a full length novel(what if the novella was an introduction to a series)?

Saturday, May 21, 2005 at 6:21:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


When you say you're now looking at fantasy, do you mean straight fantasy, a la Lord of the Rings? Or do you prefer just female-driven stories, or those with romantic subplots?


Saturday, May 21, 2005 at 2:17:00 PM EDT  

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