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Thread: [Agency] Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    [Agency] Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises

    I can't find a thing in any thread about her - has anyone worked with her? Queried her? I wanted to shoot a query because I read an interview where she seemed super nice, which is especially odd since she's in LA. (I'm joking, LA writers!)

    Thanks for your insight.

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW rebobinar's Avatar
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    She sent me a very nice personalized rejection. I know that she is Barbara DeMarco Barrett's agent for her non-fiction book Pen on Fire. Barbara hosts a radio show that is also podcast called "Writers on Writing". I'm positive she's legit - but that's all the details I have.

  3. #3
    I heart Malamutes! :-) JerseyGirl1962's Avatar
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    Doesn't appear to have a website, but here's her Publishers Marketplace page.

    P&E has this:

    Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises: $ A literary agency. (Betsy Amster: Literary, Adult)

    That's all I could find.

    Good luck!

    ~Nancy
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  4. #4
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    Betsy Amster

    I queried her for a mystery series I'm shopping around because I read in PM she likes quirky, offbeat characters. She requested 50 pages from me and was kind enough to send them back with line edits and lots of comments! Long story short, she's interested but only after some major revisions.

    Good luck! She's at the top of my wish list when it comes to agents.

    EM

  5. #5
    Somebody give me an A a_sharp's Avatar
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    Interview and picture of Betsy Amster here. Ten years as an editor, no wonder Elaine she edited your submission. Poor gal just can't help herself.


  6. #6
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Equeried, quick ask for emailed partial, five day rejection on my partial with a nice note. I had the feeling that only the ass't had seen my partial - which isn't too surprising. From her comments I got the feeling they are looking for commercial lit.

  7. #7
    Well butter my biscuit! justme's Avatar
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    I received a nice personalized rejection email from her yesterday.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novel Idea View Post
    Equeried, quick ask for emailed partial, five day rejection on my partial with a nice note. I had the feeling that only the ass't had seen my partial - which isn't too surprising. From her comments I got the feeling they are looking for commercial lit.
    I've met Betsy Amster a number of times, and also attended talks she has given. She's a good agent, but very picky.

    I'm surprised you got the impression she's looking for commercial lit, as she is best known for agenting lit fic. In fact, she's fond of telling audiences, "If your book can be described as a page-turner, I'm probably not the right agent for it."

    From Macmillan New Writing, September 7, 2007. (Pan mass-market paperback in September, 2008). In the UK at Goldsboro Books, Borders, Waterstones, and other fine bookstores. Overseas, Amazon.co.uk and most other online retailers.

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  9. #9
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    Talking Yikes!

    I read the article...makes me wonder what she sees in me. Oh well.

    Elaine,
    who's now convinced she's out of my league.

  10. #10
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    David - I didn't mean that as any dis to Betsey Amster. I have a lot of respect for her. For one thing, the note was from her ass't, not her - as I said, I don't believe it ever got to her - and it contained suggestions for making the book more of a "thriller." That's why I got that impression. But it totally doesn't matter, I'm not trippin' on it. I'm just reporting back.

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW
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    fast reply to e-query

    Not sure that this helps, but I queried the agency on 11/2 got a quick polite reject on 11/5...

  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novel Idea View Post
    David - I didn't mean that as any dis to Betsey Amster. I have a lot of respect for her. For one thing, the note was from her ass't, not her - as I said, I don't believe it ever got to her - and it contained suggestions for making the book more of a "thriller." That's why I got that impression. But it totally doesn't matter, I'm not trippin' on it. I'm just reporting back.
    Sorry--I didn't think you were dissing her!

    But it just surprised me that her agency would be pushing for something more commercial (especially a thriller!) Maybe things are changing with her; or maybe her assistant is starting her own list?

    From Macmillan New Writing, September 7, 2007. (Pan mass-market paperback in September, 2008). In the UK at Goldsboro Books, Borders, Waterstones, and other fine bookstores. Overseas, Amazon.co.uk and most other online retailers.

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  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW Khazarkhum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elaine Margarett View Post
    I read the article...makes me wonder what she sees in me. Oh well.

    Elaine,
    who's now convinced she's out of my league.
    She isn't out of your league. She isn't right for your book.

    You wouldn't expect a Japanese cook to make spaghetti for an Italian restaurant. Likewise, don't expect an agent who specializes in fantasy to handle true crime.

    You know what my favorite agent listings are? The ones that say things like they're looking for "military thrillers/espionage, scifi, horror, dark fantasy, and literary fiction."
    Huh?

    Isn't one of those things not like the others?

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khazarkhum View Post
    She isn't out of your league. She isn't right for your book.
    Indeed.

    And an agent who isn't right for your book is worse than no agent at all. It might not seem like that when you are unagented, but it is all too true.

    From Macmillan New Writing, September 7, 2007. (Pan mass-market paperback in September, 2008). In the UK at Goldsboro Books, Borders, Waterstones, and other fine bookstores. Overseas, Amazon.co.uk and most other online retailers.

    Drop through Tomorrowville and say hello...

  15. #15
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin hawk's Avatar
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    Hasn't been any action on this thread in some time...anyone have any new info on Betsey Amster? ~ hawk

  16. #16
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin hawk's Avatar
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    Got a polite "Thanks" but "Alas, it isn't right for us." Poetic and quick - queried 4.6.09 and responded 4.8.09. ~ hawk

  17. #17
    I queried her late last night, got a R tonight via email. No explanation, just a note saying it wasn't for them. At least she responded.

  18. #18
    author, psychologist, speaker
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    I'll be signing with Betsy Amster!

    I just got off the phone with Betsy Amster. She'll be representing the parenting book (nonfiction) I'm co-authoring! She seems very nice, smart, sensible, and approachable. Her revision suggestions on the proposal were very helpful. The editors of my two previous books (one at a major publishing house, one at a small one) both speak very highly of her.

    I'm so excited!

  19. #19
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    I think so

    Quote Originally Posted by hawk View Post
    Hasn't been any action on this thread in some time...anyone have any new info on Betsey Amster? ~ hawk
    I sent 6 pp. of my edgy YA to Betsy Amster -- got 2 emails when I was
    on vacation (7-09) asking me to send 25 pp., etc. I did when I got
    home. A week later, her agent, Mary Cummings asked for the rest of
    the ms. Which I sent off yesterday. And hope she'll represent! : )
    BENVIC

  20. #20
    figuring it all out
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    Best of luck BENVIC!

    Here's two more interviews by Betsy Amster:

    http://www.asja.org/newspub/x0502b.php

    http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/3-betsyamster.php

  21. #21
    Author: Go Down Hard (2011) cbuck1's Avatar
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    Betsy Amster

    I met her last night. She seems smart and tough, which I like in an agent. She also mentioned that she loves mysteries.

  22. #22
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Betsy Amster Literary Agency

    My young adult novel, SHELTER, was accepted by Mary Cummings who represents children's and YA's for the agency and has been sent to five or six publishers so far, one of which has expressed interest. Mary communicates well with me and I'm glad we hooked up. I'll be even "gladder" if she sells it! Meanwhile, I'm working on another book. Can't have all your eggs in one basket.
    Back to work! My blog (related to book, which is set in a domestic violence shelter) is SHELTER KIDS--http://bit.ly/ruralwriter.

  23. #23
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Has a website now: http://amsterlit.com/site/
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  24. #24
    I got it covered Undercover's Avatar
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    anybody heard more news of this publisher. Mary is interested in seeing my full ms.
    My blog Lists of YA (and Adult) Publishers that pay advances and are accepting unagented submissions

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  25. #25
    Grr. Argh. Thedrellum's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if I'm misreading your question, but Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises is an agency, not a publisher. They aren't going to publish the book themselves but try to find publishers who will buy the rights to your book from you.

    But, as to your question, no, I haven't heard anything new.

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