I asked for questions on Twitter for today’s post, and after answering several short ones in seeking a nice long one, I decided it’d be more fun to put ’em all together for a lightning round! Ready? Go!
From J.C. Gregorio, “How do you feel about someone you’ve sent an R w/feedback to, responding with a quick thank you note?” I’m always happy to get thank you notes!
From Stephanie McGee, “Is it wiser to set up a small business for your writing after book deal?” I would definitely advise talking to an accountant about that, but most of my clients have not.
Client Susan Adrian asks, “Did you ever talk about being an agent in Denver vs. NY? I know ppl ask me about that…” Email, phone, internet, twitter — we’re all so connected no matter where we live! Honestly, I keep in better contact with editors now than I ever did when I lived in NYC. Plus I travel regularly for meetings and conferences, so I do get that face-to-face contact regularly.
From a Facebook friend, “I go to conferences, network with published writers, and sometimes they’ll agree to blurb if I publish. Do I mention that I already have possible blurbs when I query, even if those blurbs aren’t from clients represented by the agent I’m querying?” For me, usually not, unless they’re a huge author that I would definitely know. Otherwise, I think you’re just taking up space in your query that could be better used to tell me more about your book.
A couple more from last Sunday’s Twitter #sundaypubchat, from gryffinraven, “Do you ask for any input from the writer about which editors they want to submit to?” Absolutely. They’ve often made contacts I want to know about, whether it’s at a conference, through a previous submission, or via social media.
From Julie Falatko, “In query bio, do I say I’m in a critique group?” For me, only if you’re in a group with one of my authors. Otherwise, I kind of assume you are.
From Kristen Brakeman, “Agent asked for full manuscript in July. I just checked in with him late Sept. – no response. Do I assume a NO?” I never assume a no. I keep following up.
Have more questions? Throw ’em in the comments and I will answer all weekend.
14 thoughts on “Ask Daphne! Lightning Round!”
Hi! Thanks for answering questions 🙂 What happens if one of your clients decides to write in a genre you don't represent?
Because I aim to work with my clients for their careers, not just for one book, I would read the book, and if I love it, very much still want to work with them to find it a home.
How about what to do when you revise your manuscript while you have a partial or full out with an agent or two. Do you send a note asking if they'd like to see the revise, automatically send the revise with a note? And what is a good subject line so the agent will look at your follow-up email?
I would email them and offer the revision, but not just send it automatically. For a subject line, try "Revision Available for Requested Material" and add the title of the ms.
Why are so many YA agents only looking for YA horror/thriller or contemporary and not anything from the fantasy genre? Is it because fantasy is played out? And if so, do you think it'll come back (or not…)?
I can't speak for everyone, but I think most YA agents may note particular interests, but for many, if they rep YA, you can likely query them on any genre. For some, though, fantasy may just not be an area of interest.
Personally, while I like fantasy, I'm way over high fantasy that reads like a retelling of a D&D campaign. If you can bring something unique to the genre, I imagine you'll always find someone who's interested!
Would you consider works like Graceling by Kristen Cashore D&D-ish?
No, Graceling is one of the exceptions that prove the rule! For D&D-esque, I'm talking about adventurers meeting in a tavern or otherwise banding together with their individual special skills to defeat a big bad, often involving multiple races and/or magic.
Thanks! This helps a lot. I just have to figure out how to find a way to write my query so that the lit agents I'm sending it to see that it's more like graceling and not D&D. Thank you again!
When you query, is it helpful or not to mention that you plan the book as part of a series?
Eh. The most important thing is for the first book to tell a complete story. If it doesn't, and it isn't awesome, no one will ever care abut future books in a series. Concentrate on just the first book for now, and feel free to outline or dream up ideas for future books, but don't worry too much about them at the querying stage.
Is dystopian fiction going to wane any time in the near future? A lot of it is interesting, but IMHO, enough already. Thanks for taking your time to answer these questions.
A lot of editors and agents are getting tired of it, so yes, it's on it's way out!
How many books must sell (approximately)for a publisher to consider a project a successful, and is that number different for a picture book debut vs. a middle grade book debut vs. a YA debut ?