Miss me?

April 26th, 2011 • Kate

thumb_LastLittleBlueEnv_finalHowdy, folks! Just checking in from the wilds of maternity-leave-land, and its attendant piles of laundry, broken nights of sleep, and full-on adorableness to tell you (if you didn’t know already) that The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson, the long-awaited sequel to 13 Little Blue Envelopes, is available today!

I’m running a short contest on Twitter for a free copy of the book — to enter, tweet me a picture of a decorated envelope or postcard by 5pm Mountain!

In other news, I’m still getting loads of queries, and they’re all still being deleted unread. With trying to keep up with current client work in between naps and feedings, I just can’t reopen yet. That being said, however, I’m setting a date for new submissions! My little man is going into daycare in June, and though I’ll miss him terribly, I think I can put to use the time he’s not here in reading your fabulous queries. I’ll make the official announcement on the blog and twitter when the time comes, but for now, start polishing those queries and opening pages.

On that note, I want to start posting again more regularly, if not quite the daily schedule I used to be on. I’m going to start with client news, like this review for Ransom Riggs‘ upcoming debut novel, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, from Publishers Weekly, which calls Miss P “an enjoyable, eccentric read, distinguished by well-developed characters, a believable Welsh setting, and some very creepy monsters.”

But I also want to get back into the swing of things with answers to YOUR publishing questions. So, head to the comments and start laying them on me. I’ll dust off my high heels and get to answering!

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14 Responses to “Miss me?”

  1. Matt Says:

    Welcome back, Lady!

  2. Eleni Alexandraki Says:

    I can't apply for envelope contest, but I wish everybody luck! You are very kind to do this while you are out on maternity leave with your little man! I hope you are all doing well and enjoying your time together as a family.

    Yay for the new query date! I can't wait! I will be eagerly anticipating that date and will have my query letter ready to send. (Is that a threat? Or is it! LOL)

    These are my questions right now: I've got a 7 page synopsis in rough draft form for querying. Do I need a 7-page synopsis or is that pretty rare?

    Does it matter if I have a webpage when I'm querying agents?

  3. Deserae McGlothen Says:

    We have missed you, indeed. I honestly can't wait to read The Last Little Blue Envelope— Maureen Johnson is such an amazing story teller. And, gah! Don't even start me on Stephanie Perkin's Lola and the Boy Next Door. I've been waiting for that one since the day I finished Anna! I have been wondering, though, what you do look for in those first three pages. Voice, seems to me to be a given, but are there specific turn ons and turn offs that hit you, specifically?

  4. Alwyn Says:

    Welcome back and congrats on the baby!

    Unfortunately I am in a hotel room with no enveloppes and none of the random crafty supplies that live in drawers at my house so I can't make an envelope but I look forwards to seeing other people's!

    I have a quick publishing question. Do you think it's a faux pas to start a query letter with the same first line as the MS? (Assuming the first line is a general statement/quote and not a line of dialogue or description etc.)

  5. Anne C Says:

    I know editors at publishing companies ask for re-writes, both great and small, depending on the manuscript. But would you say there is a typical percentage range of changes that authors should expect to make on their novels before publication? For example, are most authors you work with usually asked to change 5% of their original work or closer to 30%? Or nowadays is it simply typos and grammatical errors that are changed? Or does it depend on how busy an editor is and how much time he/she's willing to spend on rereads?

    Also, are publishers much less likely to sign an author if he/she doesn't have a built-in, pre-existing platform? I know its a bonus for an author, but does NOT having an existing platform actively work against you?

  6. Chelsey Says:

    Welcome back!

    I'm so happy you'll be open again soon. My manuscript and query are being polished so they'll shine with the time comes! Also, I've really missed the blog. It's one of the most helpful blogs out there!

  7. Charlotte Sannazzaro Says:

    Great to see you back!

    I'd like to ask about clients who live outside of the US. I'm in New Zealand, and I'm compiling lists of agents who represent what I write. There are only a few in New Zealand and Australia, so I'm really focussing on the US and the UK. I've researched other authors from this corner of the globe, and I noticed that some of them have muliple agents (in different geographic areas), while some only have one in the US.

    If the absolute best case scenario should happen and I was to have an offer from agents in different countries, what is the best practise? Would you want to know if I had an offer from a UK agent? Or would you prefer to be the *only* agent?

  8. Ella Schwartz Says:

    Congratulations on the little one! I know the feeling trying to squeeze a bit of work in between naps! Working moms are definitely super heroes!!

    Since you asked….I do have a question. How important is it to define the genre of a novel? I am struggling to define my MG novel. It definitely has elements of fantasy, but it can also be categorized as action adventure. Can I define my novel as fantasy/adventure?

  9. Amy L. Sonnichsen Says:

    Welcome back! I'm glad to hear you're enjoying your little man so much. My baby girl is three months old and I'm loving all her coos and smiles. They are so wonderful at this age! I don't want her to grow up!!

    I'll be looking forward to your inbox reopening in June and also to reading The Last Little Blue Envelope. Maureen Johnson is so talented and her books are so fun. Congrats to both of you.


  10. Robyn Oakes Says:


  11. Kati Bartkowski Says:

    Welcome back, and congratulations! I have a coworker who had a second baby a little while ago, so I hear how wonderful and tiring it is.

    My question about publishing is, when you co-write a novel with someone else, how would you go about pitching it to an agent at a writing conference?

    I'm glad that you'll be back to updating your blog, I've enjoyed everything you've posted for about the last 2 years.

  12. Mark R. Hunter Says:

    Welcome back to work — not that having a newborn isn't work enough!

  13. Anne B. Says:

    Welcome back, Kate. Missed your weekly insight. My question: Is the market improving for YA contemporary yet?

  14. Sara Mackey Says:

    Glad to have you back!