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Thread: Ask Pam van Hylckama Vlieg:

  1. #251
    Hopelessly Hopeful Tromboli's Avatar
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    Dystopian is hard to sell in YA right now, I know that. But what about MG? I'm working on a MG urban fantasy set in a dystopian city (but it's not very central to the plot). Just wondering if that will hurt me when it comes to querying.
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  2. #252
    Sipper of Mojitos Pamvhv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tromboli View Post
    Dystopian is hard to sell in YA right now, I know that. But what about MG? I'm working on a MG urban fantasy set in a dystopian city (but it's not very central to the plot). Just wondering if that will hurt me when it comes to querying.
    I don't really know if that will trend in MG. They're so closely related anymore. MGers are reading The Hunger Games for example. If you've written a great book it doesn't matter what genre it's in. Even if you've heard the genre is a dead one.

  3. #253
    paralibrarian GingerGunlock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamvhv View Post
    I don't really know if that will trend in MG. They're so closely related anymore. MGers are reading The Hunger Games for example. If you've written a great book it doesn't matter what genre it's in. Even if you've heard the genre is a dead one.
    Bold mine.

    This is a concern I've been wrestling with, as I've been working through (and okay, wrestling with as well) my current works in progress, which are a werewolf trilogy. I've got other projects, but my werewolf books keep drawing me back.

    The words "dead genre" fill me with such despair and disappointment, and not just because it's my own concern. I feel like it's prematurely closing a door, I guess.
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  4. #254
    Sipper of Mojitos Pamvhv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerGunlock View Post
    Bold mine.

    This is a concern I've been wrestling with, as I've been working through (and okay, wrestling with as well) my current works in progress, which are a werewolf trilogy. I've got other projects, but my werewolf books keep drawing me back.

    The words "dead genre" fill me with such despair and disappointment, and not just because it's my own concern. I feel like it's prematurely closing a door, I guess.
    Maybe by the time you're done the door will be open again .

  5. #255
    paralibrarian GingerGunlock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamvhv View Post
    Maybe by the time you're done the door will be open again .
    It certainly is a dear, fond hope
    My writing blog: Authorized Musings

    My Doberman/dogs blog: The Elka Almanac


    My first acceptance, "Adventuring", can be read at Daily Science Fiction.

  6. #256
    Squeee MostlyBecca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamvhv View Post
    Also, if you send out 10 queries and get 8 or more rejections at query level, rewrite the query. Then send 10 more and see how that goes.
    I always hear that a 10% response rate to queries is decent and 20% is really good. Is this not true?

  7. #257
    practical experience, FTW Patrick.S's Avatar
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    I was wondering if you have ever rejected over a crappy title? I'm banging my head against my desk right now.

  8. #258
    Sipper of Mojitos Pamvhv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MostlyBecca View Post
    I always hear that a 10% response rate to queries is decent and 20% is really good. Is this not true?
    You'll be able to tell if your query isn't working.

  9. #259
    Sipper of Mojitos Pamvhv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick.S View Post
    I was wondering if you have ever rejected over a crappy title? I'm banging my head against my desk right now.
    Nah, one of my most favorite MG books came to me with the title Dogs Die. We changed it.

  10. #260
    practical experience, FTW Patrick.S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamvhv View Post
    Nah, one of my most favorite MG books came to me with the title Dogs Die. We changed it.
    Was the sequel called Goldfish Float? Thanks for the quick response once again, Pam.

  11. #261
    paranormal erotic romance gingerwoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick.S View Post
    I was wondering if you have ever rejected over a crappy title? I'm banging my head against my desk right now.
    Just go to Amazon search engine, virtually every title you can think of is there already anyway. Might give you some ideas.
    Last edited by gingerwoman; 09-23-2013 at 04:24 PM.
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  12. #262
    practical experience, FTW
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    How long a wait?

    Hi Pam --

    I sent a query to an agent I took a class from at a conference, and she almost immediately asked for the manuscript. But I didn't hear anything from her saying she'd gotten it, and haven't heard anything since. Because I knew her (and I thought she was very polite in asking for it) I haven't sent to anyone else (it hasn't been very long). So I'm wondering how long does it take you to read a manuscript you've asked for, and how long should I wait before sending to others?

    Thanks, and thanks for all the help around here!

  13. #263
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Unless you agreed to let her have your work on an exclusive basis, send it out to other agents right now.

    Once she's had it for three months give her a gentle nudge, and ask how she's doing.

  14. #264
    Sipper of Mojitos Pamvhv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiporee View Post
    Hi Pam --

    I sent a query to an agent I took a class from at a conference, and she almost immediately asked for the manuscript. But I didn't hear anything from her saying she'd gotten it, and haven't heard anything since. Because I knew her (and I thought she was very polite in asking for it) I haven't sent to anyone else (it hasn't been very long). So I'm wondering how long does it take you to read a manuscript you've asked for, and how long should I wait before sending to others?

    Thanks, and thanks for all the help around here!
    You should most definitely do your query rounds now .

  15. #265
    practical experience, FTW
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    Pam and Old Hack --

    Thanks for the input. Since I'm here, I'll ask one more.

    My book has a science fiction element to it -- it deals with parts of the space program -- but that's more a backdrop for the relationship between my protagonists. But it's hard to describe the book without mentioning the space elements. That said, a lot of agents say they don't want to receive science fiction. I don't think of my book as science fiction at all (not that there's anything wrong with that ), but should I avoid those agents who say they don't want those kinds of submissions?

    Thanks again -- Matt

  16. #266
    Benefactor Member TaintedBoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamvhv View Post
    Dogs Die.
    This made me chuckle

    Thank you for taking the time to answer questions for us!

    Are you seeing a comeback for any genres that have been considered dead in recent years?

  17. #267
    practical experience, FTW Charging Boar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick.S View Post
    Was the sequel called Goldfish Float? Thanks for the quick response once again, Pam.
    LOL, that would be an interesting story

  18. #268
    creative genie katci13's Avatar
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    If the first sentence in the sample pages is of someone running through the woods, is that an automatic reject?

    My story opens up with my MC running from the antagonist through the woods. They meet face to face a page later and the woods are an important part of the story, so it makes sense for me to start it that way. But I've recently seen a couple of agents say that it could be viewed as lazy on my part. But he's not running for no reason. Any thoughts?

    Thanks for your help!

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  19. #269
    Mentoring Myself and Others Debbie V's Avatar
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    I've heard a rumor that agents/editors are now thinking of picture books as for ages 2-4 or so rather than for ages 4-8. The indication is that parents are pushing their kids into chapter books by first grade, so picture books will have to skew younger. Have you been hearing this also? Does this effect the standard word targets and other factors in consideration for authors working on picture books? Does it impact the board book market?

    Thank you for the insight into this and everything you've commented on so far.

  20. #270
    Sipper of Mojitos Pamvhv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiporee View Post
    Pam and Old Hack --

    Thanks for the input. Since I'm here, I'll ask one more.

    My book has a science fiction element to it -- it deals with parts of the space program -- but that's more a backdrop for the relationship between my protagonists. But it's hard to describe the book without mentioning the space elements. That said, a lot of agents say they don't want to receive science fiction. I don't think of my book as science fiction at all (not that there's anything wrong with that ), but should I avoid those agents who say they don't want those kinds of submissions?

    Thanks again -- Matt
    Plenty of agents love other things and scifi. Query them.

  21. #271
    Sipper of Mojitos Pamvhv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katci13 View Post
    If the first sentence in the sample pages is of someone running through the woods, is that an automatic reject?

    My story opens up with my MC running from the antagonist through the woods. They meet face to face a page later and the woods are an important part of the story, so it makes sense for me to start it that way. But I've recently seen a couple of agents say that it could be viewed as lazy on my part. But he's not running for no reason. Any thoughts?

    Thanks for your help!
    I don't know really. I personally wouldn't like to see someone running with no context.

  22. #272
    Sipper of Mojitos Pamvhv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debbie V View Post
    I've heard a rumor that agents/editors are now thinking of picture books as for ages 2-4 or so rather than for ages 4-8. The indication is that parents are pushing their kids into chapter books by first grade, so picture books will have to skew younger. Have you been hearing this also? Does this effect the standard word targets and other factors in consideration for authors working on picture books? Does it impact the board book market?

    Thank you for the insight into this and everything you've commented on so far.
    I think people are always talking about the picture book market and to be honest it hasn't changed in a million years. You'll be fine if you have a great marketable book.

  23. #273
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Pam, do you see New Adult becoming popular in spec genres, like SF, fantasy or even horror? I know that its gaining legs at the present, but it seems to be in college or contemporary settings, with more sexual exploration. Or if you do see story lines featuring 19 to 26 year-olds in genre fiction, do you just consider that adult reading?

    Tri

  24. #274
    Sipper of Mojitos Pamvhv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by triceretops View Post
    Pam, do you see New Adult becoming popular in spec genres, like SF, fantasy or even horror? I know that its gaining legs at the present, but it seems to be in college or contemporary settings, with more sexual exploration. Or if you do see story lines featuring 19 to 26 year-olds in genre fiction, do you just consider that adult reading?

    Tri
    I sure hope so! But we'll have to wait and see.

  25. #275
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    I hope so too. They seem to be taking it nice and easy with it. Perhaps we might see NA military in the not too distant future, exploring relationships and action/adventure in the various services. If it really starts booming, it could open up like Harlequin's flavors.

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