In case you missed the news I have left Larsen Pomada and am starting my own literary agency with the help of a few awesome agents and partners.
I’ve known about this for a while, but I had to keep it secret from you. Keeping secrets is hard on the soul. I’m forever grateful to Michael Larsen and Elizabeth Pomada for starting me on my career and for blessing this new career choice. They are amazing people.
Now that the cat is out of the bag a few housekeeping things:
Your queries, partials, fulls are all safe and have been transfered over to Foreword. But I won’t be reading anything this week. My job was to help my husband build the website and add all the content and start all the social media. This week I’m going to bask in the glory of my news and take a nap or two. Next week I’m back at work for you.
My intern John Hansen has been named my assistant. Congrats to John.
Thank you all for the congrats.
Vivi Barnes is my client and I think her cover is about the coolest thing ever. You can buy Olivia Twisted in November or it is up for pre-order now at Amazon or add it on Goodreads! This is also the first time we are revealing the synopsis, and if you look closely on the cover below there’s a quote from the AWESOME Tara Kelly.
He tilts my chin up so my eyes meet his, his thumb brushing lightly across my lips. I close my eyes. I know Z is trouble. I know that being with him is going to get me into trouble. I don’t care.
At least at this moment, I don’t care.
Tossed from foster home to foster home, Olivia’s seen a lot in her sixteen years. She’s hardened, sure, though mostly just wants to fly under the radar until graduation. But her natural ability with computers catches the eye of Z, a mysterious guy at her new school. Soon, Z has brought Liv into his team of hacker elite—break into a few bank accounts, and voila, he drives a motorcycle. Follow his lead, and Olivia might even be able to escape from her oppressive foster parents. As Olivia and Z grow closer, though, so does the watchful eye of Bill Sykes, Z’s boss. And he’s got bigger plans for Liv…
I can picture Liv’s face: wide-eyed, trusting. Her smooth lips that taste like strawberry Fanta.
It was just a kiss. That’s all. She’s just like any other girl.
Except that she’s not.
Thanks to Z, Olivia’s about to get twisted.
Vivi Barnes was raised on a farm in East Texas where her theater-loving mom and cowboy dad gave her a unique perspective on life. Now living in the magic and sunshine of Orlando, Florida, she divides her time writing, working, goofing off with her husband and three kids, and avoiding dirty dishes.
Five people who fill out the Rafflecopter form will win a $10 Gift Card to iTunes.
I get so many replies, Tweets, Facebook comments and such about the fact that I answer every email I receive from authors. And while that makes me feel fancy, and it lets me know that at least some of you think I’m doing a good job, I started thinking about the reasons that an agent might go with no response.
1. The sheer amount of email
I’m a newer agent. Let us say I get ten queries a say. That’s seventy queries a week. Two-hundred and eighty or so queries a month, and thirty-four hundred emails a year. It isn’t that hard for me to send a form rejection or ask for a full in that amount of email. But immediately multiply all of this by three for an agent who’s been around longer and is more well known. (I know math sucks.) It becomes incredibly hard to answer, even with form. You need to just move on down the line. If I get to a point where I’m reading 10,000 emails a year I can’t promise I’ll still respond to every query.
It is kind of hard to continue to answer every email when 4% of those emails come back (yes I make up percentages, just roll with me) with a rejection of your rejection, a YOU ARE SO STUPID MY BOOK IS AMAZING (and it may be this is sometimes simply subjective), threats of being ‘slapped around’, questions about how the author can improve the query, and a myriad of other things that keep you from reading new email.
3. They have no soul
I just made that part up because I wanted to have a list of three things. I’m sure all agents have a soul.
Loads of times last year, and several times this year I’ve encountered a bit of a problem in my query email. I would request a full and days later the authors would come back with offers from small presses. Which is fine. Wooohoo! Offers! But I have to drop everything and read quickly, then the author normally doesn’t want to ‘risk’ the deal to go on a long sub. So as an agent I”m stuck and I have to turn down the MS.
I’ve often wondered why authors submit to presses and agents simultaneously. It seems to be two career paths. Having a vibrant small/medium press career is nothing to scoff at, but I think the author has to choose what they want for each MS.
I get behind in my box trying to keep up with all of these. I try to read each MS in the order they are received. Yeah, stuff happens! Other agents offer and one has to be bumped up and other things like that, but adding in the I have an offer for publication makes it more complicated. Because as I stated before the author generally wants you to negotiate this contract for them instead of subbing the MS.
From this point forward I will bow out of any race that would require me to drop everything only to be the negotiator of a contract. If you are submitting to presses while querying I am probably not the agent for you. I have to think of my time management and how I want to sign authors and racing against a contract on short submissions or no submission at all is not for me.
Six months ago I was saying New Adult would ever happen. Not because I didn’t want it to happen but because things move at a snail’s pace in publishing. Plus, I think the name is stupid.
But authors who had these stories and couldn’t get representation took to self publishing and made amazing leaps and bounds with their sales numbers. They proved that there is definitely a market for these books. They made it possible for me, as an agent, to ask for these books to consider for representation.
When your kids are nine you buy them books about twelve year olds. Your twelve year olds read books about sixteen year olds. The kids want to know what happens next. I’m in grade school, what happens in middle school. I’m in middle school, what happens in high school?
Why is ‘I’m in high school, what happens in college?’ not a natural progression?
I think this category is going to thrive, with or without there being a special shelves or sections at bookstores.