LATEST POSTS
September 16th, 2014

JulesAnnouncement

Woohoo! I’m delighted to share the news of a new deal for Amy Spalding with Little, Brown. If you can’t easily read the above, here’s the announcement from Publishers Weekly:

Pam Gruber at Little, Brown’s Poppy imprint has acquired a new YA novel by Amy Spalding, author of Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys). In Jules, the New Guy, and Other Senior Year Distractions, a neurotic overachiever’s plans for her perfect senior year are derailed by a relationship – and then a rivalry – with a cute boy at school. It’s set for spring 2016 publication; Kate Schafer Testerman at kt literary sold world English rights.

Film rights will be handled by Brandy Rivers of ICM. Amy has even more information about JULES on her blog, plus a chance to win an ARC of KISSING TED CALLAHAN. Check it out and enter to win!

Filed Under: Sales

ABOUT

Shoe-obsessed superagent Daphne Unfeasible blogs about books and authors, answers your questions, and talks about publishing industry gossip. , subscribe to this blog, or check out her Writer's Resources.

For more information about her weekly About My Query posts, please click here.

Slushpile

Thanks to Publishers Weekly for the second star for this fabulous holiday anthology edited by Stephanie Perkins!

Cute boys, mistletoe, counting down to the midnight kiss on New Year’s Eve—there’s no shortage of cozy setups for holiday romance in this captivating collection of short stories by a dozen of today’s top YA authors. Readers will also find a broad cross-section of other emotions and relationships in these tales about the significance of varied holiday traditions. Jenny Han delivers a fantasy-tinged entry about a Korean girl left as an infant in Santa’s sleigh, who is now the only human girl at the North Pole (and crushing on a cute elf). Kelly Link delves into supernatural territory, featuring a mysterious Christmas Eve visitor in an elegantly embroidered coat. And the Jewish narrator of David Levithan’s story undertakes a wild nighttime mission, donning a Santa suit to help preserve a sense of Christmas magic for his boyfriend’s young sister. A rare seasonal treat. Ages 13–up. (Oct.)

Do feel free to pre-order a copy for your seasonally appropriate reading pleasure!

My True Love Gave to Me Cover
15 September 2014

Slushpile

booksI’ve been doing my best to get caught up on my query inbox lately, and in looking at hundreds of queries over the past few days, I’ve been struck by how many more queries I’m getting for self-published books than ever before. And that’s fine, it is. I’m absolutely open to handling print rights for previously published ebooks, or helping you take your bestselling self-published title to a bigger market, as well as handling foreign, film, and other subsidiary rights for you. But here’s the thing — ok, there’s multiple things. First of all, the key word in that last sentence? “Bestselling.” If you’ve already released your book into the market, I need to know in your query letter how it’s done. Not how many 5- and 4-starred reviews it’s received. Not how many letters you’ve receieved from kids who’ve read and loved it.  How many copies it’s sold.

I also want to know WHY you’re approaching me now. I got one query from an author who touted his book’s starred review from Kirkus — which is fantastic, but the query read more like an ad for a book I should buy than a query for something he wanted me to represent. If you’ve done so well self-publishing, why do you want to change now? Why seek me out? I know the reasons why someone would, but I want to hear YOU say it.

(And as an aside, don’t send me ads, ok? Don’t add me to your mailing list and bombard me with spam. Just don’t.)

So say you have a bestselling indie title, and you’ve written to ask me for help in breaking into the traditional publishing world — you know it’s not going to be with Book Two in your series, right? Don’t query me with the middle book in a trilogy, or the third or fourth book in a series. If you’ve done well enough with a series, let’s take your indie success and break you out with something new, something that your previous readers will flock to an actual bookstore to buy — and something they’ll pay more than $2.99 to own.

And don’t forget to keep it within the young adult and middle grade age ranges. Even with a bestselling, previously self-published series that’s done well enough that you’re ready to swing for the big leagues with your next project, let’s keep it to the types of books I actually represent, ok? Thanks!

Photo above by Flickr user Pimthida, used under a Creative Commons license.
12 September 2014

News

Congratulations to Stephanie Perkins, whose latest novel ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER is a newly minted New York Times bestseller. Time for a GIF party!


21 August 2014

Slushpile

Pretty fantastic video/poem/sentiment. Check it out:

18 August 2014

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I have responded to all queries sent to me prior to July 8th that followed submission guidelines. I apologize for not getting completely caught up before I take two weeks off, but I’ll do my best to get caught up again quickly afterwards. Note: if you queried Renee, she’s working on a different timeframe, but will continue to work on them as well. Stay tuned to Twitter for further updates.

2 August 2014

Slushpile

dont1Though we’re still behind, Renee and I have been doing our best to get to all of your queries, and while it’s true we do use a form response, we absolutely look at every single one of them. How are we going to find a diamond in the rough if we don’t actually LOOK at the rough? Anyway, today we received this response to a rejection:

Dear Agent,

Many thanks for your form letter rejection, which I am receiving with your regrets. I sympathize with the demands of running a boutique agency–I’m a teacher, after all, and don’t work for a living–and I understand how difficult it must be to hit [control+c] and then [control+v] several times a day after making aspiring [Dear Author]s wait for eight weeks. I appreciate your lack of specificity when it comes to the various ways in which my writing sucks, as this will guide my abiding hatred for you and for all of the Ivory Tower Guardians you associate with. May your children contract gingivitis, and may your husband come down with an itch that will have you both wondering what the illness is until you get the [Dear Patient] email that asks you to empathize with the plight of “boutique” doctors.

Best,
[Disgruntled Author]

I don’t have to tell you that this is wildly inappropriate, right? Our use of a form letter is necessary when we’re sending responses to hundreds of queries, and it’s the same letter if the query is illiterate or intriguing, but not for us. This author went so far beyond the bounds of appropriate behavior in a way that absolutely guarantees not only that we’d never consider working with him, even if he had written a Harry Potter-level masterpiece, but that we would warn others if his name ever came up.

Don’t do this, ok? Just move on to the next agent on your list.

1 August 2014

Slushpile

galleysCongrats to Stephanie Perkins, and the the 11 other amazing authors of the short stories in the upcoming holiday collection My True Love Gave To Me. Not only did St. Martin’s just tweet a picture of the galleys in their office (fresh off the presses!), but we’ve just found out it’s a Junior Library Guild Selection. Woot!

If for some reason, you’re following this blog and you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out this description:

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers (Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de La Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins, Laini Tayler and Kiersten White), edited by the international bestselling Stephanie Perkins. Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or Kwanzaa, there’s something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.

And if you need even more Stephanie Perkins in your life (and who doesn’t?) have you pre-ordered your copy of Isla and the Happily Ever After yet? Do it!

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11 July 2014

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thumb_DemonDerbyA belated but heartfelt happy pub day to Carrie Harris’ awesome DEMON DERBY, which was released on July 8th. I’m gonna steal right from Carrie’s awesome website for the cool details:

Casey kicked cancer’s ass. Now a demon wants to kick hers….

Casey hates being known as the girl who survived cancer. She wants to feel like her old self, fearless and strong. And after a creepy encounter with a crazy guy, Casey is all about reclaiming her power.

So when she has a chance to try out for the Apocalypsies roller derby team, she jumps on it. Being a derby girl would prove that she doesn’t need anybody’s pity. It doesn’t hurt that Michael, the team manager, is hot. And, apparently, not even human.

Michael’s got a secret: he trains demon hunters. That creepy guy? Demon. And the fact that Casey went head to head with evil and lived makes her a threat to demonkind. Casey thought she’d already fought and won the battle of her lifetime. But it’s only beginning….

From Carrie Harris, author of BAD TASTE IN BOYS and BAD HAIR DAY comes a knockout new read for anyone facing their own demons—inside and out.

Buzz for DEMON DERBY:

“With the strongest, snarkiest, kick butting-est heroine I’ve ever met, DEMON DERBY is an original, fast-paced adventure ride that will make you laugh, cry and beg for more.” – Gretchen McNeil, author of 3:59, TEN, and POSSESS

“Part heart-warming, part tough-as-nails heroine, and part hilarity make DEMON DERBY all-around amazing.” – Elana Johnson, author of POSSESSION, SURRENDER, and ABANDON

“Demon Derby may just be the most fun you can have without roller skates.” —Stacey Jay, author of JULIET IMMORTAL, ROMEO REDEEMED, and OF BEAST AND BEAUTY

“A paranormal adventure with both style and heart (on wheels)” – Kirkus Reviews

“Entertaining with elements of the paranormal and a cast of unique supporting characters” – School Library Journal

“Plenty of laughs in this fast-paced horror comedy…give this to Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans and those who like their horror with a big dose of snark” – Booklist

Available now from Delacorte Press!

I’ve been to a couple of roller derby matches, and if anyone can fight demons, it’d be a derby girl. Check it out on Indie Bound, Amazon, or your favorite local store!

9 July 2014

Slushpile

I’m a very lucky agent, readers. In the six and a half years since I founded KT Literary, we’ve had multiple New York Times bestsellers, foreign sales out the wazoo, film options, and more great reviews than I can count! And after all that, 18 months ago I was smart enough to hire Renee Nyen when she approached me with an interest in agenting, and I’m delighted that she’s starting to look for projects of her own to represent.

To that end, we’re undertaking a small change in our submission policies. We still want to see a query letter with the first three pages within the body of your email (no attachments), with the subject line “Query: [Your title}”. But now, if you’d like to send your query to me, please email it to katequery@ktliterary.com. If you want Renee to look at it, please email it to reneequery@ktliterary.com.

We’re both seeking young adult and middle grade fiction. I’ve stated my interests in the past on my blog, in several interviews like this one and more recently, this one, and here is a great round up of lots of information. Renee was recently featured on the Mother.Write. (Repeat.) blog and on Writers Digest. If you have further questions about our individual interests, you can throw them in the comments, or find us on Twitter at @DaphneUn and @Renee_Nyen.

And if don’t want to choose, feel free to still use the old queries@ktliterary.com address. In the future, that may be reviewed by an intern, but for now, we’re both still looking at those queries as well.

20 June 2014

Events

Screenshot 2014-06-17 10.51.38I’m belated in posting this, but I’m thrilled to have been asked up to the Whidbey Writers Workshop Master of Fine Arts Fall Residency this August. As per the post title, I’ll be giving a live version of my About My Query critique workshop, as well as speaking on writing for today’s middle grade and YA market. Fun! What I love about this MFA program (my friend Yi Shun is a graduate, and my husband is a current student, so this isn’t just theoretical) is that it doesn’t just prepare its students to be writers and teachers of writing, but it rather extends tremendous effort to help its students understand the publishing process, and find success there. I look forward to adding my own two cents!

To that end, the good folks at NILA have asked me to answer a few questions, which are below. Enjoy!

1. What’s your favorite thing about teaching writers?
The snacks? No, I just loving being able to possibly give them that one extra bit of information that they can use to put together a compelling query letter and find an agent to sell their book! I mean, yes, of course, ideally it’s me, but I get such tremendous satisfaction in helping others find representation, no matter who it is.

2. How would you suggest students approach a writer, agent, or editor they admire?
If you have the opportunity to meet in person, no one minds being complemented on something they did that you enjoy. So if it’s a writer, it’s always great to open with praise of their work, assuming of course that it’s genuine. If it’s an agent or editor, you might mention a specific project they worked on that you admire, or even a blog post or tweet they might have written. The trick is not to seek out an opportunity to pitch, but to start a conversation. If that goes well, the time to pitch will come! And it will more likely lead to a positive response than opening up a conversation with “So can I send you my book?”

3. How about a sneak peek of what we can expect to learn from you in your sessions at Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA?
Well, one of my sessions is an About My Query workshop, in which I look at a sample query and help the writer craft a more compelling version. I’ve been doing it on my blog fora couple of years now, so there’s a ton of archived posts. I’m looking forward to working with the students to help them get their material ready for querying!

And my second session is an overview of the current market for YA and MG, looking at what’s selling, what that means for writers in those age ranges, and what a base level of knowledge in those categories might entail. For instance, looking at this week’s NY Times bestseller list, what conclusion can we draw from 7 realistic contemporary novels on the YA list? What does that mean for your paranormal romance? And how much effect does a movie have on a book’s success?

4. Tell us what “literary community” means to you.
What’s exciting for me right now is that community no longer has to mean something physical. I have a strong local group of other agents and authors that I can meet with for lunch, or to go see that movie based on a YA novel, but I also have a never-sleeping community of like-minded souls online, so that when I finish a novel at one in the morning in tears, I can reach out to someone to discuss it. Community means conversation, not necessarily proximity, and after moving from New York to Colorado six years, I was truly thrilled to put find an amazing group of like-minded literary friends to converse with! Thank goodness for Twitter!

5. When not teaching or working at your “day job,” you can be found…
Chauffeuring my children around between day care, summer camp, swim lessons, swim team practice, swim meets… Oh, and cosplaying at ComicCons!

BONUS QUESTION:
The MFA residency includes a FREE POLAR BEAR PLUNGE in which we all jump into the lovely, refreshing waters of the Puget Sound. On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most likely, how likely are you to participate?

Let’s call it a 4. I love the water, and am very susceptible to peer pressure.

If you’re interested in an MFA in creative writing, do check out the program! And if you have any questions, I’m very certain I can have someone come by the comments here and answer them. Thanks!

17 June 2014