Thursday, September 21, 2006

Q & A Thursday!

It's that time again! Question and Answer Thursday!! This week I have, the one, the only, the super-fabulous agent-extraordinaire . . . .
**DEIDRE KNIGHT**
So, what have you got? Let's hear em - You know the rules, the first five people who post a question "win". Eh, what am I talking about, we're all winners in this scenario. Why? Well, because we all gain a little bit of knowledge from a woman that knows this buisness like the back of her hand. So fire away - I'll close the thread when the 5th question goes up!

18 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a semi-nitwitty query question:

Naturally most aspiring authors don't have publishing credentials to add to a query letter. If it's a first novel, I understand that it's acceptable to write "this is my first novel."

However, what if your first novel never nabbed an agent, and you've temporarily shelved it and written another, better one? Is it better to say nothing, or to mention that you've actually written additional tomes?

What if you have an online presence (blog, etc.) as a self-pubbed NF author, but you're now taking the fiction route and seeking an agent? Again, best to stay quiet in the query?

Thanks for your generous time! :)

Thursday, September 21, 2006 at 3:25:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

Don't tell me I'm visiting the blog just when there are question spots open! Usually they're already snapped up.

Deidre, how do you feel about queries for unfinished projects? Like, say, if a writer has a partial but not a full manuscript. Is querying with a partial only pretty much a no-no? I guess I'm asking why writers shouldn't do this, for the most part. What are the dangers, etc?



Thanks
Cindy

Thursday, September 21, 2006 at 3:45:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Steve G said...

Simple question. When an agent sends an offer to a publisher, What is the appropriate time for them to follow on on its status?

Thursday, September 21, 2006 at 3:53:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Sally Jane Driscoll said...

I appreciate this opportunity!

Do you think that authors who sign with you should also hire an accountant?

Is there a point in a career when a savvy accountant becomes indispensable?

Do you recommend an accountant or must clients search for one who is writer-friendly?

If you don't recommend anyone, how would an author find an accountant with publishing experience?

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Cheers,

Sally Jane Driscoll

Thursday, September 21, 2006 at 3:57:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Gina Black said...

Question...

I know no one can forsee the future, and that timing the publication industry is as hard as timing the stockmarket, but still...

Do you see any trends changing? I've seen some historical romance sales (westerns) lately, have paranormals topped out? Is the erotic market oversaturated? Do you see any new genre blends, like Linnea Sinclair's sci-fi romances?

And how about that booming YA market (she said hopefully, since that's what I'm working on now)?

Thursday, September 21, 2006 at 4:02:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Steve G said...

I should have said, follow up. Sorry

Thursday, September 21, 2006 at 4:06:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Elaine Spencer said...

Alright, questions are closed! Thanks everyone! Look for answers later this evening or in the morning!

Thursday, September 21, 2006 at 4:24:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

"Naturally most aspiring authors don't have publishing credentials to add to a query letter. If it's a first novel, I understand that it's acceptable to write "this is my first novel."

However, what if your first novel never nabbed an agent, and you've temporarily shelved it and written another, better one? Is it better to say nothing, or to mention that you've actually written additional tomes?

What if you have an online presence (blog, etc.) as a self-pubbed NF author, but you're now taking the fiction route and seeking an agent? Again, best to stay quiet in the query?"

Don't worry about credentials if you're unpublished and haven't won any contests or the like. Ignore other novels you've written and pitch THIS one. In other words, lead out with the book, perhaps say "I'm a new author looking for representation..." But truthfully? We agent types won't care about whether you've written other books or the like. In fact, I say leave out the fact that you have books under the bed, and just pitch the baby you're putting out there. Hope this helps!

Friday, September 22, 2006 at 2:19:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

"Deidre, how do you feel about queries for unfinished projects? Like, say, if a writer has a partial but not a full manuscript. Is querying with a partial only pretty much a no-no? I guess I'm asking why writers shouldn't do this, for the most part. What are the dangers, etc?"

For an unpublished author, I do think that querying for an unfinished project can lead to doom. LOL. Seriously, think about it this way--I request the partial, love it, and then immediately ask for more. What then? You wind up feeling like you have egg on your face when you might have snagged an agent. If the agent has to wait six months, the warm fuzzies grow cold, and I just don't think it's a good idea. I've sold a few first time authors on partial, but that's the exception to the rule. In general, I really think it's a bad idea to query without a finished product. :) D

Friday, September 22, 2006 at 2:21:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

"Simple question. When an agent sends an offer to a publisher, What is the appropriate time for them to follow on on its status?"

Steve, I think you mean when an agent sends a submission, then how long does the agent wait to follow up. It all depends on the project (fiction or nonfiction), how hot the material is, and whether editors are starting to express interest. I'd say anywhere from two weeks to six weeks, again depending on how hot the project might be. Nonfiction is a much faster read, whereas long novels take more time. It's all a matter of the particular scenario. I've sold books in a day and sold books after two years on submission.

Friday, September 22, 2006 at 2:23:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

"Do you think that authors who sign with you should also hire an accountant?

Is there a point in a career when a savvy accountant becomes indispensable?

Do you recommend an accountant or must clients search for one who is writer-friendly?

If you don't recommend anyone, how would an author find an accountant with publishing experience?"

I think everyone who is in business for themselves needs a good accountant, no matter what the business might be. As agents, we audit the royalty statements and review all aspects of the career--at the same time, a good financial counselor is always important.

As for finding someone who knows publishing, I say talk to your local accountant, make sure they understand the laws that would apply to royalty income, and that should do the trick.

Friday, September 22, 2006 at 2:25:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

know no one can forsee the future, and that timing the publication industry is as hard as timing the stockmarket, but still...

"Do you see any trends changing? I've seen some historical romance sales (westerns) lately, have paranormals topped out? Is the erotic market oversaturated? Do you see any new genre blends, like Linnea Sinclair's sci-fi romances?

And how about that booming YA market (she said hopefully, since that's what I'm working on now)? "

Ah,Gina, I am probably the wrong person to ask about trends since unlike others, I tend to disavow trends. I think the moment you start trying to analyze them, you are probably behind the curve.

That said, historical romance seems to be seeing a resurgence among editors. YA continues to be hot. Paranormals are still being bought--the market's a bit tougher, but I've sold a lot of new paranormal authors to NYC this year. The main thing is following your gut instincts and writing the books that speak to you. I honestly believe that if you're true to yourself, the books will find a place in the market. :)
D

Friday, September 22, 2006 at 2:28:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Steve G said...

Deidre, thanks for the reply.

Friday, September 22, 2006 at 4:40:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Deirdre. Your answer was certainly helpful. Suddenly I can see clearly that "everything else" under the bed has absolutely nothing to do with my current project...and that's just what I needed to hear! :)

Friday, September 22, 2006 at 8:09:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Sally Jane Driscoll said...

Thanks for your answer!
Cheers,
Sally

Friday, September 22, 2006 at 1:35:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

Thanks, Deidre!

Cindy

Friday, September 22, 2006 at 4:45:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Gina Black said...

Thanks, Deidre.

>> I honestly believe that if you're true to yourself, the books will find a place in the market. :) <<

I may have to paste this above my computer. :)

Gina

Friday, September 22, 2006 at 11:55:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Joelle said...

There's an organization called Volunteer Lawywers for the Arts http://www.vlany.org/ That's how I found my "writer" lawyer who in turn introduced me to a writer friend accountant (and at a discount, no less!). cheers,
Joelle

Saturday, September 23, 2006 at 2:42:00 PM EDT  

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