Monday, March 13, 2006

Question and Answer Time--the Good, the Bad, the Ugly...Bring 'em On!

Well, it's been quite some time since I launched a question and answer thread here, but I feel like chatting. So lay those bad boys on me (how's that for revealing my southern roots?!?)

If I think a question is too big a topic, I'll reserve the right to create a blog topic to address it. If it's short, I'll tackle it on the thread. Pamela and Nephele, feel free to add in some answers. Diana P, you always have great wisdom, so share away. The main thing, though, is let's get some good discussion going.

Hugs, Deidre


Anonymous Kris Y said...

Hi Ms. Knight,

I've got a question: say you sign a fiction client but you aren't able to sell the book. How long would you shop it until you decided it was dead? Also, what would happen to the relationship? Would you encourage the client to write another novel? Would the relationship end?

Thank you for your time. It is much appreciated.

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 1:00:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you've just rejected a partial from an author how do you feel about them sending another query right away? Is it frowned upon, or do you look at the new query with a clean slate?

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 1:18:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Gail Faulkner said...

If an author is already published would you consider material from that as a writing sample? Or do you need the new book proposed to be finished before you'd consider them?

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 1:27:00 PM EST  
Blogger Gena Showalter said...

It took Deidre and I two years to sell me (that sounds naughty -- sell me) and she never once made me feel like I wasn't a Gold Star client. She believed in me and always treated me as if I was number one.

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 2:31:00 PM EST  
Blogger Jpatrick said...

Do you know of any men who write so-called "women's fiction?"

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 4:59:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Susan said...

Paranormal romance is very hot right now. Romantic Suspense is hanging in there. Is it easier to sell these these sub genres, as opposed to women's fiction? What is the "average" time it takes you to sell a wf project? Or does it all depend on the writing? (I've been paying attention)

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 5:01:00 PM EST  
Blogger Faith said...

I recently parted ways with my literary agent, a very huge and well-known NYC agency. After eight months, we had a nice chat about how he just didn't have time for a new client like he thought he would. He just couldn't balance someone new with all the proverbial irons he had in the fire.

I, on the other hand, wasn't happy either because I felt like I was floundering in an ocean with no land in sight.

So, now I'm on the query-go-round again.

My question regarding this is should I mention that I was previously repped when I query agents? (An author colleague of mine says I shouldn't.) A small few have asked me outright if I've been previously repped or have someone else interested in my material, and I've been honest. However, I'm uncertain if I should keep mum about it until asked or be honest in my initial queries.

My work is receiving intense interest from agents, but I'm uncertain how to handle all this.

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 5:03:00 PM EST  
Blogger Mia Romano said...

I hear so much about Chick-Lit being dead right now. Do you think that Hen-Lit and other types of contemporary with Chick-Lit tone is dead as well?

Mia Romano

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 5:07:00 PM EST  
Blogger Tracy Jones said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 5:15:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always been a huge fan of vampire fiction and I've noticed a rise in it lately in the YA market. Do you think vamp fiction will grow in popularity like wizard fiction did after Harry Potter, but will later fizzle out?

Or do you think it's more than a trend and might establish itself in the YA market as it did in the romance genre?

Thanks for your time!

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 5:28:00 PM EST  
Blogger Jennette said...

Is there a word count over which you'll automatically reject a ms based on query alone? (Particularly if it's an unpublished writer) If that's the case, and the author later makes significant changes to the ms, including cutting it to a reasonable length, is it OK to query again with the same ms?

Thanks so much for answering our questions!

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 6:00:00 PM EST  
Blogger Tracy Jones said...

Hi Diedre! How does the paranormal market look to you right now? I've got a paranormal gothic published with a small press (Amber Quill). It has been selling steadily, and I'm working on the sequel. What are the odds you'll accept a sequel to represent for a book already published by a small press? Thanks!

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 6:21:00 PM EST  
Anonymous pennyoz said...

I always understood that vampires and wizards etc., for kids was absolute no no for the American market then, lo and behold there came Harry Potter. Since Harry Potter came out there are a few lookalikes, but do publishers welcome wizards, witches and warlocks with the same magnanimity as they would with HP? And is the market saturated?

Also what is the antidote for Leery Query Syndrome (Querus Afraidus)?

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 6:33:00 PM EST  
Blogger Marley Gibson said...

I'm not Diana Peterfreund, but I talk to her enough that I bet I can channel her. (evil giggle)

Faith posted: My question regarding this is should I mention that I was previously repped when I query agents? (An author colleague of mine says I shouldn't.)

You always want to present yourself truthfully in any query and if you had previous representation, certainly mention it.

When I queried Deidre last year, I was very upfront with her that I was looking for "new representation." I was very honest, detailing the interaction and association with my previous agent to the best of my ability, letting her know what was and wasn't working and what I was looking for in terms of an agent/client relationship.

Deidre really wanted to know where I'd come from so it gave her a sense of me as a writer and what I'd been through, what I wanted to do with my writing and what I had to offer the publishing industry. (I'm very fortunate because she saw something in my voice and took me on!!)

So, I would definitely mention your previous agent experience. Keep it professional and beneficial for you...remember...these are professional relationships and should be treated as such. Don't bad mouth or burn bridges, but explain the situtation.

I hope you find someone who really GETS you, your characters, your writing and will support you so amazingly.

Good luck!
Marley = )

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 6:46:00 PM EST  
Blogger blueberri said...

Hi Deidre!

Thanks for phrasing the blog the Good, the Bad, the Ugly! You've given me courage to post. LOL

I have received two form rejections from your agency that said basically that you found my project interesting but it didn't fit in with what your agency is looking for. Does that mean anything that should give me hope for my project or are you just being polite?

And I have another question. Should I wait until I'm a perfected writer to begin the submission process? I am about 3/4s of the way to knowing the writing craft. Should I be stepping up to the submission challenge now or simply practicing my writing more?


Monday, March 13, 2006 at 6:48:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blueberri, when you quit learning, you die.

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 7:48:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Sheila M said...

Is there such a thing as overmarketing a manuscript and creating a rejection history? I've heard that we should be careful about targeting too many publishers with a manuscript. On the other hand, when you aren't agented, getting an answer back in less than a year is a miracle. So, should we submit to everyone or be selective?

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 8:24:00 PM EST  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

Mia, it's not the chick lit TONE that's dead. The chick lit tone is alive and well. It's the same old story, the one that's been done, the one that's flooded the marketplace, that's undergoing a downturn right now. That's why the chick lit stories that are really succeeding are the ones that have a fresh twist on the genre -- chick lit mystery, or paranormal, or YA or etc.

A few years ago I was at a conference and was listening to Abby Zidle (HQN) talk, and she said that she thought that the chick lit tone would survive, but the storyline would run its course.

Sarcasm and humor never goes out of style, but if you want to break in, you need to make it fresh, IMO.

Now, deifning "fresh" -- that's the trick!

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 8:48:00 PM EST  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

sheila m, there *is* such a thing as "shopping out" a manuscript. This is why I tend to advise writers to shop for agents first. (I got this tip from Beverly Brandt, a very successful TKA client.) The reason this is a good idea is because you can send a manuscript to every agent in the industry, and get a universal no, then send it to publishers. If you get an offer, then you can go back to agents (or not, but you'll still have a book deal). If you send your manuscript to every publisher and get a no, there's nothing (or very little) an agent can do for you. A rejection history won't affect you when it comes to another publisher making you an offer, but it WILL affect how well an agent could market your manuscript.

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 8:55:00 PM EST  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

Jpatrick, I assume you aren't talking about the James Pattersons or the Nicholas Sparks, but people whose deals bring in somewhat less than eight figures.

I know a few of them. For instance, there's a husband/wife writing team I'm a fan of, Tori Carrington, who write for harlequin and Tor, and there's a bunch of other romance writers I know who publishe under women's names, but are really men. Chris Bohjalian's audience is mainly women, and so are half a dozen other male authors I can think of...

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 9:08:00 PM EST  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

Should I wait until I'm a perfected writer to begin the submission process? I am about 3/4s of the way to knowing the writing craft. Should I be stepping up to the submission challenge now or simply practicing my writing more?

Blueberri, this is just my opinion, but I think you should make your product the best it can be before trying to take it to the professional stage (i.e., submission). You're unique in that you seem to already know that you have more work to do. When I turned in my first projects, I thought they were totally saleable. Now I look back at them and say, "Oh, now I see."

Of course, I don't know anything about "perfected writer" but I don't think there's any point in sending out a project before it's ready. If you do that, then you only submarine it before it has a chance.

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 9:22:00 PM EST  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Kris Y,
The answer to this question is that we shop the project to all viable houses/imprints, and if possible also revise the manuscript, then shop it back to any editors who are willing to consider the revised version.

Sometimes the revisions do the trick and we sell the work on a second round. Or later, a new imprint may open at a house, making the submission a much more appropriate fit.

During that process, I would have the author writing another book. My advice is always the same when we don't sell a first project: Keep on writing. Give me something new to shop.

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 10:21:00 PM EST  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

We welcome a new query right away. Just because a first project didn't work, doesn't mean the next one won't. Some of our most successful authors were discovered when they RESUBMITTED. So go for it! :)

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 10:24:00 PM EST  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Well if someone is already published, I usually look at their published work, but I also like to see the project(s) they'd have in mind for me to shop. Because ultimately I want to gauge whether I'll be excited about the material I'll be shopping. D

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 10:26:00 PM EST  
Blogger blueberri said...

Diana, that's exactly what I'm thinking. I should wait to do my ms(s) justice. I'm very aware of what is lacking in my writing and am systematically correcting my weak points. I'll get there. :)

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 10:26:00 PM EST  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Susan, romance of all kinds is much easier to sell than women's fiction, at least for me. :) Other agents have agreed with me about this. Still, write what's in your heart and these kinds of "statistics" don't matter. It all hinges on the writing. :)

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 10:31:00 PM EST  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Hi, Faith:
This is such an excellent question. I say *absolutely* share this info with prospective agents from the get go. For one thing, I always figure that if another agent saw promise in a writer, there must be something "there." Now of course, the REASONS why an author parts ways with an agent are always of critical interest to me, so expect these queried agents to ask questions. No agent wants to inherit a problem client, and there are a few writers out there who aren't ever going to like their agent. But there are far more authors who haven't been agented well or at least correctly, and we're always looking for those kinds of clients. We love to do help a writer turn a situation like that around.

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 10:38:00 PM EST  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

anonymous re: vampires in the YA market, I think it's tough to say. But it seems that adult readers aren't getting tired of the genre, so I would imagine that kind of "connection" will translate to the YA market. But it is also something we'll have to watch--it's impossible to really call it right now, at least to me. Others might have insights on this one...

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 10:47:00 PM EST  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Jennette, sure query again! If I see 150,000 or above, I usually pass. That's just too long in the current market.

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 10:51:00 PM EST  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Tracy, paranormals continue to be going like gangbusters, at least still right now. One house is telling me they're heavy on paranormal, but they keep a very lean list.

As for taking on a second book in a series, it would have to stand completely on its own. Otherwise it just doesn't work on this end.

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 11:00:00 PM EST  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Penny, I think the market would be receptive to those kinds of stories. Right now, I'm seeing an openness within YA market to paranormal at large, so go for it.

As for the query stage, just go for that too. If you get a pass, you can always query on something else.

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 11:02:00 PM EST  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

blueberri, we have a standard "pass" on queries, and my advice at large is not to gaze too deeply at any rejection letter. Even when more personalized, they're often jotted down quickly. Unless an agent or editor takes time to give detailed and personalized critique, I'd take it all with a grain of salt and keep on plugging! :)

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 11:03:00 PM EST  
Blogger blueberri said...

Thanks Deidre and Diana! I'll keep plugging away until the plug fits into the writing outlet. I'm carrying the :) with me and returning it with a huge smile of my own!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 7:15:00 AM EST  
Blogger Mia Romano said...

Thanks so much Diana and Deidre for all the wonderful information.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 7:26:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Kris Y said...

Thanks for the answers, Deidre.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 7:44:00 AM EST  
Blogger Heather Dawn Harper said...

When writing a query letter, what is the best way to represent yourself if you do not have a degree or relevant work experience? Do you mention RWA memberships, wins, etc. and hope the agent/editor doesn't notice that you're a college drop-out?

I always want to leave this paragraph of the letter blank.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 9:01:00 AM EST  
Blogger Faith said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 9:50:00 AM EST  
Blogger Faith said...

Thank you so much! This is so helpful.

My agent and I ended our relationship on very good terms. He apologized, feeling terribly, but I understood. He just took on too much, and I need an agent who has time for me as a client.

Now I just have to write that in a simple sentence and include it in my query letter.

Thanks for the great insight too, Marley!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 9:52:00 AM EST  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

Heather, this isn't like a resume -- they aren't scanning and looking for suspicious gaps in your work history. I think you should only include the bio information that is relative to the story your submnitting. When I queried Secret Society Girl, I mentioned that I went to Yale, because that's where the book was set and it gave me an edge in terms of personal experience. When I queried a book about a journalist at a small town newspaper in coastal Florida, I mentioned that that was what I did for a living. When I queried the book about the chef, I, um, refrained from revealing that I couldn't boil an egg. (At the time! At the time! I can do it now!)

As far as writing history goes, I think it looks good to include the positives. Membership in a professional writing organization is always a mark in the plus column, and if you've won awards, mention a few of those, especially if they pertain to the work you're pitching. (Don't give an exhaustive list. Pick two or three of the most prestigious. I had a couple of third places in the TARA Contest but I always said "Winner of the 2004 Maggie Award and 2004 Molly Award.")

The "bio" section is really only meaningful if it has something to do with your book, or if it betrays that you have experience in the writing field. But it's the book that matters.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 9:55:00 AM EST  
Blogger Jennette said...

Deidre, Diana, Gena and Marley - There is so much helpful information here - thanks for sharing!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 10:53:00 AM EST  
Blogger Lady M said...

When does erotica turn to porn?

How far should you go and how discriptive should you be during a love scene or some other scene in order to be considered still marketable in any public genre?

I think this is a line I'm having a difficult time with.

I've either skimped badly on the scene or I've overwritten it to look like something out of Penthouse Letters.

Is there a middle ground that is expected - or is it dependent on the genre or story?

Thanks in advance.

Lady M

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 11:22:00 AM EST  
Blogger Lady M said...

(*ACCCK* The wine is typing for me - discriptive = descriptive)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 11:23:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Cindy said...

Thanks for answering my RESUBMIT question. Now, how long should I wait after I've re-queried before I can assume it got lost in the email trap?

Example: I receive a pass, and have new query to send out and submit it within the same hour I receive pass. Then two weeks pass by and no word on new query.

Is it much too soon to be looking for a response--or should I resend, assuming the query was lost in the shuffle?


Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 11:41:00 AM EST  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

Lady M, one of my favorite erotica writers, Sasha White, just did an excellent Q&A on this at Romance Divas a few weeks back. Great reading and info in here.

One of the things to keep in mind is that it's not so much how graphic you get, but the way in which you choose to get graphic. Of course, everyone's taste is different; what one person finds incredibly sexy, another will find incredibly gross. But I think if you read a few of the erotic writers out there (Two TKA clients are Sylvia Day and Jaci Burton), you are going to see a range -- what words are used, what manner of "acts" take place, etc.

I used to edit for an erotic publisher and one thing I encouraged writers to keep in mind was that our target audience, most of our readers, were women, and there were certain things that women tended to find sexier than men did. Writers are really in service to their readers.

As for "porn" -- you know the old saw of "knowing it when you see it," but I think in general that erotica is a sexually and sensually charged story where the sex is integral to a powerful storyline, but porn isn't really a story. As Sasha says in her interview, a man feeding a woman a bit of cake or a piece of fruit can be erotic. But porn is really just about tabs and slots. That's why you can't talk about "percentages" of sex scenes or how many there should be or anything like that.

Just my take!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 11:43:00 AM EST  
Blogger Sorah said...

TKA, thanks so much for this question and answer session. Such great information here! I'm taking notes. :)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 2:23:00 PM EST  
Blogger Jaci Burton said...

Lady M

I think Diana said it wonderfully! One person's cup of erotic is another person's cup of porn.

How far to go? That's up to you and your characters and the market you're targeting. Some publishers accept more graphic sex scenes than others. Some will allow you to push the boundaries more than others. Stay true to your own voice and that of the characters and the storyline.

But as far as 'industry', keep in mind that first and foremost you're telling a story, and that story is a romance. If all you have going for you in the story is the sex, and you can pull out the sex and have nothing left for the characters to do, then you don't have an erotic romance. That's when you're teetering.

There always has to be a plot. Besides the sex, anyway.

In plot necessary OTHER than the sex.


Good luck!


Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 2:41:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

I have no questions, for once! I asked them all on the Pamela Harty chat.

Well, I have some house renovation questions, but I won't bother you with those...

Great questions and answers.


Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 4:34:00 PM EST  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

But as far as 'industry', keep in mind that first and foremost you're telling a story, and that story is a romance.

Well, it is if you are writing an erotic romance. You could be writing another genre of erotica, in which case it's not necessarily a romance... but it would still have another story. It's an erotic thriller, or an erotic women's fiction, or whatever.

~Diana, playing devil's advocate...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 5:36:00 PM EST  
Anonymous pennyoz said...

I'd like to hear more about this query letter. Is it really more like a "pitch"?
Some agents want to see the writer's style with a few pages. Surely that makes more sense than a cold synopsis.
Wouldn't it make more sense to make it more interesting like a book jacket blurb but with more detail than the book jacket would get???
It's the manuscript and its personality that has to sell...?

Another question. With the sex in the romance, does one have to make it safe sex? That isn't terribly romantic and my characters tend not to be the types that you'd have to worry about that anyway but I was just wondering about it today as a viable question for this particular thread. Commonsense tells me that the answer is no but no because you weave the story in such a way that this question could turn out to be useless and silly. It's probably a question like you'd ask when you see a movie where the guy is racing to a situation in the middle of New York and Wallah!!! There's parking right outside the building AND no parking officers around to book him (!!!) So please do feel free to blink at me re this issue.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at 12:49:00 AM EST  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

Pennyoz, can you clarify your question? I'm not sure I know what you are asking about. Are you talking about a query letter or a synopsis?

I think that a query letter should definitely be as intriguing as possible, and I always tried to make my storyline descriptions in query letters sound like back cover blurbs -- hitting the hook, the most marketable points, the character's "archetypes" (spunky single mother, shy secretary, depressed 1,000-year old vampire, average Ivy League co-ed, etc.), and a swift overview of the opening premise and storyline structure.

However, a synopsis should not read like jacket copy, because the job of a synopsis is to describe what happens in the book. The WHOLE book, including the ending. The job of jacket copy is to entice people to read the book (much like a query letter). The job of a synopsis is to explain to the agent, editor, or marketing or art department what happens in the story in a short and concise manner. Synopses are used in house as shorthand because not everyone can be expected to read the whole manuscript. For submission purposes, it helps the agent or editor see if the plot falls apart halfway through.

However, this does not mean that a synopsis should be dry as dust. It sould, in fact, take on the same tone as the actual book. If your book is lush and descriptive, so should your synopsis be. If your book is funny, take a flippant tone in your description. If it's angsty or suspenseful or etc...

Finally, you should submit according to the submission guidelines. If they want a synopsis, send a synopsis. If they want sample pages, send those.

I hope this helps!

Regarding sex scenes, I'm sure you've discovered in your romance reading that there is a wide vairety of how authors choose to treat the issue of safe sex. I know of a few editors how have firm pinions on this matter as well, but there is really an enormous range.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at 9:15:00 AM EST  
Blogger Lady M said...

Youse guys - Many thanks for the links and comments.

It's really a nagging feeling as you're typing it out...

And you worry: Is this too much... Not enough... Will it sell, is it believable, what did I eat for lunch, will this get me kicked off the possible list, etc.?

So much thanks.

Lady M

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at 12:34:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Fred W. said...

First, thanks muchly for this blog--what a great extra source of insight and info! Plus, it's an extra way to get in touch with you!
Second, I've tried three times to send you an e-mail query as indicated on your website, but all three times I've received an "undelivered--sender blocked" message. There is no attachment to the e-mail. Can you help me get this to you?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at 9:04:00 PM EST  
Blogger Denise said...

I noticed from your website that you also take nonfiction books. Would a book about weight loss surgery fall under "health" for your agency?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at 11:13:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Michelle said...

I'm currently waiting on a final decision about my historical romance from Harlequin Historicals (which moved from the NY office to the Richmond, England office). I've had very good luck getting requests, revisions, etc. from that team. Should I consider getting a London agent? Are historicals selling better overseas and would that be a good option for me? Right now many of the U.S. agents have said the historical romance market is so tight, it's very difficult to break in unless it's a unique storyline. What are your thoughts on this? Thanks so much!

Thursday, March 16, 2006 at 7:13:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm almost finished my sexy paranormal (three chapters left) and wonder when I should start the agent hunting process.

I've finished three books in the past so I'm not concerned about finishing. I just know that it takes time for agents to respond.

Is it best to wait until it's all done or start soon?



Thursday, March 16, 2006 at 8:11:00 AM EST  
Anonymous D.E. Strohschein said...

Author names - when is it too ridiculous to use an author's real name? Look at my last name, its insideous. Most people can not pronounce it. Would you suggest that I go with a pen name? I have heard that it's best to do this regardless, but I wanted to get a second opinion, so to speak. Thanks!!!

Thursday, March 16, 2006 at 8:29:00 AM EST  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

D.E., Look at my last name. Not so simple, huh? Look at Sarah Mlynowski. If I'd sold in another genre (say, romance) or to another publisher, they might have asked me to take a pseudonym. Bantam Dell did not.

But the point of the matter is, it's not something to worry about now. I've heard from many sources that there's no point in picking a pseudonym before you sell a book because your publisher might want to have some say in the pseudonym you pick. What if you decide you want to write as Stan Brown and then sell your thriller to Doubleday and they say, um, not so much. Well, there's some wasted time you spent designing a Stan Brown website.

You aren't going to be submitting under a fake name, and no agent or editor will reject you because you have a difficult name. All they'll say is "Great book, D.E.. How do you feel about 'Smith?'"

A pseudonym is something you worry about AFTER you get an offer from a publisher, not before you submit to an agent. Have some in mind, but don't worry about it until there's somethign to worry about.

Thursday, March 16, 2006 at 8:47:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Kris Y said...

If you're still taking questions, I've got another one. How often does it happen that an agent reads a fiction manuscript, loves it but sees that it could be polished a bit more and still seeks representation?

Thanks so much.

Thursday, March 16, 2006 at 9:49:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My question is more directed on actually becoming an agent. I've done some research, but can't find any "agenting" classes. As someone who wants to become an agent, what are the steps? Fees associated? How do you query an agency to see if they're taking on new agents--is TKA? Also, how do you judge whether a person is agent-material? What type of experience is necessary?

Thanks for any advice you may have.

Thursday, March 16, 2006 at 10:14:00 AM EST  
Blogger Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

D.E., echoing Diana: look at my last name. At one point, late in the publishing process for my first novel, it was gently suggested to me that I simplify it, selecting one of the two elements in my last name but not both. I was told the concern was that if I were ever a best-seller - ha! - they'd have trouble blazing so many letters in big type across the book jacket. I gave it fair consideration but ultimately decided to let the name stand, even though I knew that 30+ years after the women's revolution some people were still confusing where to look for hyphenated names. And I've never been sorry. People remember my name, even if they have problems spelling it at first let alone pronouncing it, in a way they wouldn't otherwise. Plus, I need never worry there will be another author, or human being, anywhere in the world with the same name. No domain issues here!

Thursday, March 16, 2006 at 10:48:00 AM EST  
Blogger Julie said...

Do you ever have clients who write in more than one genre? Is this a tricky thing to handle?

Thursday, March 16, 2006 at 11:46:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...


I've heard the same objections to hyphenated surnames and briefly considered not using my full name for my books. But an Amazon search of authors like Constance O'Day-Flannery and Marcia King-Gamble proved to me that a creative cover artist can get around the "problem" NO problem. :)


Thursday, March 16, 2006 at 12:42:00 PM EST  
Blogger Patrick McNamara said...

I expect to need to use pennames. There's already a writer with the same name as mine.

Thursday, March 16, 2006 at 1:14:00 PM EST  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

Do you ever have clients who write in more than one genre? Is this a tricky thing to handle?

Julie, head over to the agency website and you'll see just how many of the TKA clients write in more than one genre.

Thursday, March 16, 2006 at 1:31:00 PM EST  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Okay...closing this thread. No more questions HERE, but instead, go on to thread number two. Thanks! And if your question is unanswered here, please repost on new thread. D

Thursday, March 16, 2006 at 2:56:00 PM EST  
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Friday, December 19, 2008 at 4:39:00 AM EST  

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