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Waverly Place Literary Agency (formerly Muse Literary Management) (Debbie Carter)

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Keyboard Hound

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Just wondering. Has anyone heard any news of this agent in the past year?
 

victoriastrauss

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If you're talking about any news of sales--based on her website, it's possible she may have made one sale this year or last (a children's picture book to Simon & Schuster) but it's not entirely clear. Even if she did make this sale, one sale in a year is not an encouraging track record, even for a small agency.

- Victoria
 
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saeglopur

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I actually queried her about a year ago and she sent me the rudest response I've ever received from an agent. I couldn't even finish reading it. It crushed me, and I'm someone who can handle some strong criticism.

Her letter was pretty much along the lines of (maybe I'll exaggerate a little): "How could you be so stupid as to think I would want to read this?!!? (yes, with exclamations) You did everything wrong! This is the worst idea...." etc. etc.

So, ya. This was one of the first rejections I got. Just crushing.

It needed some cleaning up, but it wasn't that bad and the premise is original and interesting. I actually got more partial/full requests for that book than any other I've queried on.
 

HippieGirl

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Is this an agent worth querying? It would seem not if she has only 4 books sold in 10 years. Any updates?
***EDIT
I hadn't seen the second page of this thread - ignore my question :)Obviously not someone I would want to pursue.
 
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charlys

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I actually queried her about a year ago and she sent me the rudest response I've ever received from an agent. I couldn't even finish reading it. It crushed me, and I'm someone who can handle some strong criticism.

Her letter was pretty much along the lines of (maybe I'll exaggerate a little): "How could you be so stupid as to think I would want to read this?!!? (yes, with exclamations) You did everything wrong! This is the worst idea...." etc. etc.

So, ya. This was one of the first rejections I got. Just crushing.

It needed some cleaning up, but it wasn't that bad and the premise is original and interesting. I actually got more partial/full requests for that book than any other I've queried on.

Hey, so sorry you got that kind of e-mail response. I e-mailed her 9/26/09 and never got a reply. Guess I was luckier than you, huh?
 

the addster

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I gave my query a shakedown on some agents that I thought might not be right for me. I did receive a response from Ms. Carter. The exchange was interesting. It was helpful in the sense that I gained some knowledge in making my query bit more clear as to the direction of my book.

I'm not quite sure how to describe her communication style. Not rude exactly. Intense?
 

mtrenteseau

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I queried Ms. Carter last night, and had a request for a partial this morning. I submitted and got a confirmation e-mail almost immediately.

She asked me to follow up in a week if she hadn't gotten back to me. I get the impression that she asks for partials more often than many other agents, but doesn't take on many new clients. From what I've read here, even if I ultimately get rejected I'll learn something positive from the experience.
 

RoseMarie

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Wtf?

Uh, this is strange...I looked at her website for sub. guidelines...and she wants a "one or two paragraph synopsis"...is that even possible?

I think I might scratch her off my list....
 

kaitie

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It basically means she's asking for a query letter. A lot of people have no idea what a query letter is, so instead of saying "Send me a query letter," agents will say, "Send me a short biography and a one or two paragraph summary," or some variation on that. I see it all the time. Just use your normal query letter and you should be fine. On the other hand, read the rest of this thread and decide if you really want to send it in the first place.
 

mtrenteseau

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My personal update:

Queried 2/26, got a request for a partial 2/27, with the instruction to follow up a week later.

The following Saturday, I received a reply with effusive praise but also some valid criticism. I attempted to make the changes she suggested and resubmitted on 3/17. Apparently I took too much out of the first three chapters while trying to make the pace quicker. I received a rejection today, again with valid but slightly stinging criticism.

Oh, well, onward and upward.
 

simplyaven

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I got a request for partial. Any updates about the lady? I'm still wondering if she would be able to sell at all...
 

victoriastrauss

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Her website still shows the same four book sales for the same two authors that it showed in 2007. Granted, she seems to have a very small client list. But even a small agency should show more activity than this.

- Victoria
 

simplyaven

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Sadly, all the more successful ones are keeping my partials and fulls for a lifetime, it seems. LOL
 

sarahfru

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Here's the website link. Since 2005, she appears to have placed just one book. As far as I can discover, her entire track record consists of four book sales for two authors. This is not (to put it mildly) a strong track record for an agent who has been in business since at least 2000 (for much of that time under a different name).

Edited to add: Just read the interview linked in below, which says she has been an agent since 1998.

- Victoria

For not having placed many books she loves to hand out criticism like candy. She sent me a non-constructive, really disparaging critique along with the rejection for my literary fiction novel. She told me to give up on my finished ms because it's not culturally relevant. Then she recommended I read a handful of other novels, which is like throwing rocks at my MFA. What a depressing interaction.
 

simplyaven

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She rejected my almost full (she asked for a lot of pages) but didn't criticize harshly. Just told me the stroy telling was not her style, it is more women's fiction than she'd like which is true - it is a fun novel, nothing literary. :)
 

frandavea

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I'll say this much...she doesn't beat around the bush in giving her quick assessment even if to a simple query. At least in wasn't a form letter. Here it is:

"Thanks for trying me, but this sounds too driven by exterior and superficial for a YA novel. I don’t think teens would be attracted to it."

She got all of this out of my query. Either she's really good or my queries suck (though a lot of other agents who did request partials didn't seem to think so).

I'm guessing that even though she's now considering YA fiction, she's quick to discard a lot of what she recieves, and based on other posts here, I've been treated better than others. Still, for someone just starting to consider YA fiction, I am curious what she think teens would 'be attracted to.' As a teacher, I know hundreds of them, several of whom offered to read the novel I queried about, and almost all of them finished it in a single night.

No I'm not tooting my own horn, but it goes to show the subjectivity involved when courting an agent.
 

caraway

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She requested a full for a children's novel 9-17-10. Got back a little over a week later. Not what she wanted which I guess was a historical novel. The story had 1960s milieu but was presented as being more about characters than events.
 

Maddie

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I had the same thought exactly when I read this thread on Tuesday. No response yet to my query, but I'm curious as to what her response might be. My query is very...let's just say, "provocative", as the mss is equally immodest, indecent and incendiary. Looking forward to her thoughts...
 

honeysock

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My prediction: she'll respond with a 2-3 line rejection. (From what I can tell, she hasn't offered to rep anyone in years. She just really loves to play the part of the critical, rejecting agent. But yes, you can get a free albeit brief critique if she looks at your full. And, she's fast.)
 

victoriastrauss

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If an agent has very few sales over a long period of time, it suggests that she doesn't have the contacts she needs to find publishers for her clients. But it could also be that she's just not very good at spotting marketable manuscripts. If that's the case, how useful will her criticism be?

Just a thought.

- Victoria
 

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