Why wait for #askagent?

When you can ask me questions about agenting, or finding an agent anytime. Even anonymously. You can ask your questions via Formspring, or Tumblr! Alternatively you can put questions here in this thread and I’ll be answering all week.

10 Responses so far

  1. Gravatar

    I do have a few questions actually!

    I’m currently querying my ms, and I was rejected from an agency a few weeks ago. I currently revamped my query since then, and I scoured the agency’s website and didn’t find anything that I couldn’t query to a different agent within the same agency. Do you think it’s okay if I send my new, revised query to a different agent? It’s been almost three weeks since I was rejected. And I’m confident this query is better because I have received requests since then.

    How long does it take, on average, an agent to review a partial (25 pages)? Or a full? One agent told me 60 days, but the other said nothing after I sent my manuscript.

    My final question: when an agency asks for a synopsis sent with the query, how long should it be? Mine is about a page.

    Thanks so much!

  2. Gravatar

    Amanda,

    I’m currently querying my ms, and I was rejected from an agency a few weeks ago. I currently revamped my query since then, and I scoured the agency’s website and didn’t find anything that I couldn’t query to a different agent within the same agency. Do you think it’s okay if I send my new, revised query to a different agent? It’s been almost three weeks since I was rejected. And I’m confident this query is better because I have received requests since then.

    If you can’t find anything on the website saying a no from one is a no for all then yes you may requery a different agent at the agency.

    How long does it take, on average, an agent to review a partial (25 pages)? Or a full? One agent told me 60 days, but the other said nothing after I sent my manuscript.

    I don’t think there really is an average. I sometimes read a partial the same day, sometimes I have client work and I don’t get to it for two months! I think you can nudge at the three month mark.

    My final question: when an agency asks for a synopsis sent with the query, how long should it be? Mine is about a page.

    1-2 pages is a great length for synopsis.

  3. Gravatar

    Dear Pam,

    What do you look for in a query letter? I have a tendency to give too much information.

    In a good synopsis what would you be looking for?

    How important is it to have your book perfect before sending it in?

    Thank you
    Debbie

  4. Gravatar

    Debbie,

    What do you look for in a query letter? I have a tendency to give too much information.

    A concise paragraph or two about the book’s contents. A few sentences about the author. Why you chose to query me is an extra.

    In a good synopsis what would you be looking for?

    One to two pages of your plot in linear fashion with all the spoilers.Absolutely! Any one mistake gives an agent an out. We work hard, we work a lot, we have to love the book completely with all our being. Any mistake is a rational reason to not go to bat for the book. However, small grammar, plot things, that can all be worked out in revision. You need to put your best foot forward though!

  5. Gravatar

    Thank you for your answers.

  6. Gravatar

    I’m trying to decide whether to add pseudo-titles to the end of my query, and I’m getting mixed feedback on whether I should. What are your thoughts on them? Worth it or not? Thanks! :)

  7. Gravatar

    John, I would say no. Those things can be worked out later.

  8. Gravatar

    I attended a writing conference in May, pitched my novel to both an agent and an editor, and both requested samples. Is it appropriate to send an inquiry on the status of the sample review, and if so how long should I wait?

    Second (third?) question: does having an unrelated self published novel hurt my chances of finding an agent for the novel I am taking the traditional route?

  9. Gravatar

    Scott, I would wait two to three months to reply. And no having an unrelated self published book will not hurt (or help) your chances :)

  10. Gravatar

    I have a self-published novel with iUniverse. Why is self-publishing deemed a negative aspect with publishers and promoters? Certainly if Mark Twain couldn’t've gotten the attention of an agent over time and then self-published one or two books, a publishing firm wouldn’t consider Mark Twain for contract if later turn of events brought his story-telling abilities to the attention of an executive there?

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