Say What, Now?

Thursday, March 15, 2018

THE CALL. The CALL. THE call. The call has reached legendary status among querying writers. Stories told at writing conferences over drinks, everyone with their own version. With my very first offer, the agent emailed me to say, “I loved your manuscript and I’d like to set up a time to chat.” This will incite great panic in writers, because they suddenly begin to gaslight themselves. Is the agent calling…

Read More >>

The Call: It Doesn’t Always Go Like You’d Think

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

  When I was an aspiring author, I read every query letter success story I could get my hands on. There was a common theme to these essays, which tended to go something like this: the writer, having long since given up hope that she’d ever become published, is strolling through Target one day when her phone rings. She glances at it, realizes the phone is displaying the 212 area…

Read More >>

My Long and Winding Path to Representation

Thursday, September 28, 2017

In 2013 I wrote a book called A SMALL LIFE. I revised it and by the fall, began querying it (much too soon). I scoured Janet Reid’s archives on Query Shark, I read through Query Tracker, researched who represented my favorite books, and assembled a list of agents to query. On that initial list was Mollie Glick, who was then at Foundry. She wasn’t a new agent, but as I…

Read More >>

Dear Agent: XOXO from Kimmery

Jane Dystel, Mariam Goderich, Kimmery Martin
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Note: this week, we are discussing the process of landing a literary agent. For anyone unfamiliar with this torturous process, it involves writing a one-page letter, describing your book and yourself, in which you are supposed to entice, or at least not frighten, the agent. You wanna talk about the sting of rejection? Settle in, child. I am the patron saint of awful query letters. In the beginning, I tried…

Read More >>

A Match Made in Elysium

Monday, September 25, 2017

This week, we’re discussing how we found and landed our agents. I started my search in early 2013, after about six months of editing the manuscript I’d finished the previous summer. We’re doing a week on query letters and the querying process later in the year, so I’ll spare you that gore for now, except to drop this truth: query letters are the devil. Once I’d beaten the query letter…

Read More >>

What Makes a Literary Agent Tick?

Monday, March 6, 2017

This week the Debs are sharing stories about their agents, editors and or publishers. Note, this is a repost of a blog post I wrote on Sep. 26, but fit perfectly for this week’s Deb topic. A few months ago, I wrote a big long article on the Grub Street blog on how long it took me to find an agent and how I eventually connected with the amazing Amaryah Orenstein at…

Read More >>

Let’s Pretend I Was Calm and Sane as I Queried Agents

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

I’d love to write a post for today about how easy it was to find an agent. It’d go like this: I whipped up a few query letters, shipped them off, continued to write another book without any angst at all, and then magically one day a phone call and offer of representation changed my life. Simple! No big deal! Alas, that’s not how life unfolded. In reality, it took 61…

Read More >>

Taking the Long View: From a Book without an Agent … to an Agent without a Book

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

I started the process of seeking an agent the way many of us do: a combination of earnest mailings to total strangers, desperate mailings to friends of friends, and offering my first born to the gods of literary representation. But strangers ignored me, friends of friends rejected me, and eventually my first born turned eighteen, making him a less appealing sacrifice. I had no takers. I had written a novel called…

Read More >>

Agent Interview with Michelle Brower: On Pitch Sessions, Her Dream Project, & Industry Gossip

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

This week we are presenting the insights of our agents on querying and the publishing business in general. I am fortunate to be working with Michelle Brower, formerly of Folio Literary Management but now at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth. Michelle picked my novel out of the slush pile one snowy afternoon, and changed the course of my life. Working with her has been a joy. She has the instincts of an editor,…

Read More >>

When Not to Query

Monday, January 18, 2016

A funny thing happens when you finish your manuscript and you are ready to begin your search for representation. Suddenly you are required to make the giant leap from artist to businessperson–someone who can write a sharp query letter and pitch their work with ease. When I entered this phase of my writing career, I did what I always do when I’m faced with a new writing task, and spent…

Read More >>