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Cloudcastles
02-17-2012, 08:04 PM
Additional questions in Post #4

I'm getting ready to start querying agents perhaps in another two weeks. I have a few questions.

1. For agents who request sample pages, do I include these in the same format as the main email: with space breaks between paragraphs and minus the indents?

2. What happens if an agent I'm less interested in gives me an offer of representation before other agents I'm more keen on have responded? How long can I put the agent on hold?

3. Question 2 makes me wonder if I should start querying the top agents first or less favorite ones.

4. Is it better to get an agent who reps top-selling books or one that's working their way up (and may thus work harder for your book)?

Thanks in advance!

ChaosTitan
02-17-2012, 08:15 PM
I'm getting ready to start querying agents perhaps in another two weeks. I have a few questions.

1. For agents who request sample pages, do I include these in the same format as the main email: with space breaks between paragraphs and minus the indents?

2. What happens if an agent I'm less interested in gives me an offer of representation before other agents I'm more keen on have responded? How long can I put the agent on hold?

3. Question 2 makes me wonder if I should start querying the top agents first or less favorite ones.

4. Is it better to get an agent who reps top-selling books or one that's working their way up (and may thus work harder for your book)?

Thanks in advance!

1. Yes. Single spaced, double between paragraphs, pasted into the body of the email.

2. Generally, if an agent offers, you can ask for a week to ten days to inform other agents who have requested materials. This is polite and expected. However, that's only if other agents have partials/fulls--not just agents who've queried.

3. Of course. Why would you start at the bottom of your list? Query agents you want to work with, based on their sales and reputations.

4. This is a harder one to answer, because there are a lot of variables. Sometimes agents who are starting out have higher levels of enthusiasm, plus smaller client lists, which means you'll get more of their time and attention. More established agents with larger lists may have less time for you, personally. I wouldn't recommend going with an agent with zero sales, though.

Drachen Jager
02-17-2012, 08:24 PM
1. For agents who request sample pages, do I include these in the same format as the main email: with space breaks between paragraphs and minus the indents?

In general, but some agents request an attached document. As a general rule of thumb it's best to attach anything over 10 pages unless stated otherwise.

2. What happens if an agent I'm less interested in gives me an offer of representation before other agents I'm more keen on have responded? How long can I put the agent on hold?

Two weeks in general. Don't get fixated on agents though, as a first time author you are a 'beggar' not a 'chooser'. Unless of course you're a celebrity or you've written something truly amazing.

3. Question 2 makes me wonder if I should start querying the top agents first or less favorite ones.

Almost a guarantee your query and manuscript will need updating before you find representation. Many people like to query for a while, pull the query and tweak, rinse and repeat. If that's your plan don't blow your load on the first try.

4. Is it better to get an agent who reps top-selling books or one that's working their way up (and may thus work harder for your book)?

Just worry about getting an agent with recent sales to major publishers. See answer for #2. It is highly unlikely you will have anything approaching the pick of the litter.

Thanks in advance!

Good luck, and visit hell (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=174)(password vista) before you throw yourself out there.

Cloudcastles
02-18-2012, 09:06 AM
Thanks for the replies!

I now have more questions.

Should I e-query with html or plain text? If it's the latter, how are italics/underlines indicated in the sample pages?

Next, I'm wondering how much to include in the credits paragraph after my pitch. I will be mentioning a story I have in an award-winning anthology, and that I've also written/published non-fiction books and articles. Should I also indicate the honorable mentions I received in the Writers of the Future contest (was a quarter finalist once too), or will that be too insignificant, and thus too much to reveal? (My novel is fantasy.)


Good luck, and visit hell (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=174)(password vista) before you throw yourself out there.

Thanks. I've browsed through that section of the forum. But I don't have 50 posts yet, and furthermore, I'm too nervous about putting any part of my unpublished work online where anyone and everyone can read it. I have thus far been relying on a few writer friends for feedback, but I would really like to find new, insightful readers whom I can trust. Not sure how I can do that though.

Drachen Jager
02-18-2012, 10:21 AM
Don't mention specifics on your credits, just say 'I have published over a dozen (or however many) short stories including several to Amazing (or whatever your best pub is) and one in x Anthology, and I have several honorable mentions in Writers of the Future.

Something short and simple like that, don't go crazy, but those are all creds worth mentioning. If they want to know more they'll ask, but at least give the highlights in the query.

I'm sure you'll do fine, having serious publishing creds makes a huge difference. Getting an agent without any kind of writing credentials, now that takes real talent :)

Drop by the Daily Rejection and when you get there the Next Circle of Hell in the Rejection and Dejection forum. They're a good gathering point for authors seeking representation and repped authors seeking publishing deals respectively.

Uno87
02-18-2012, 11:10 PM
I have thus far been relying on a few writer friends for feedback, but I would really like to find new, insightful readers whom I can trust. Not sure how I can do that though.

The only way to do that is to get out there. You can't get wet sitting on the side of the pool. I did the same thing until asking a stranger who I new a little bit about from a blog if they would read my work. I got an enthusiastic yes and now we're knee deep in beta-ing.

Whatever you do with the query, remember to give only what the agent specifically requests. They usually have that on their websites. I agree with the shorter is sweeter approach.

I wish you nothing but the best with the whole query process. Just try to stay positive and think happy thoughts.

Cloudcastles
02-19-2012, 07:02 AM
Thanks, everyone, for taking the time to reply to my questions!