Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

R&R vs Offer

Posted by Caitie F on September 1, 2016

Sometimes when I talk to authors, instead of making an offer, I ask for an R&R, or a revise and resubmit. Sometimes I just send them a good amount of feedback and say that if they do revise, I’d love to see it, which is also an R&R.

I know some agents do these a lot, some agents never do them. I do them….very rarely.

So why would i ask for an R&R?

  1. If I think the genre should be different. This often happens when the book is presented as YA and women’s fiction or as romantic suspense and I see it more as a thriller. In this case, I want to see how to it done.
  2. If the writing is great, but the voice is off.  This can happen when I really, really love something, but the voice is  really uneven, without it being plot-related. In this case, it is going to be an edit that will go through several rounds and be a lot of work, so I want to see how the writer edits and if we would work well together.
  3. If I really see the potential of a project Sometimes, a book just isn’t there yet. There is a major plot issue, the writing isn’t strong enough, characters aren’t well-defined enough,etc. But there are times that happens and I can see what I think needs to be done for it to become great. In those cases, I’ll write a long email with suggestions and let them know if they do a major revision, i’d love to take another look.

I don’t do R&Rs that often because they can be frustrating. Agents put in a lot of time talking to the author or writing up editorial notes, then it goes out to a lot of agents and sometimes the agent who did the R&R doesn’t get the book. On the other hand, sometimes the R&R doesn’t work, but as an agent you can feel really bad having to pass on something you asked for.


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Life in Agenting: What I Might Ask During “The Call”

Posted by Caitie F on August 25, 2016

The call is always exciting! It happens when I love a manuscript and want to talk to the author to find out more about them and what the see for the book. Usually at some point in the call, I make an offer, but a lot of that depends on what happens during the call.

There is a lot about what authors should ask agents during the call, and you should look for those resources, but not as much as what you might get asked. Every agent is different, but here is what I tend to ask.

“What are you working on next?” 

This is always a question I ask! I look to represent a writer, not just one book, so I want to know what’s next!

“What is your preferred way to communicate?”

I am very flexible with this, but it can give me a good idea of how the author and I will get along and gives me a chance to bring up different ways to communicate if they prefer something other than the phone.

“Are you open to working with a sensitivity reader?”

If it is anything that is not #ownvoices, this is now one of my guaranteed questions. Sometimes, even if it is, because I think it is a good idea to have more than one person look at it because we all have different experiences.

“Specific questions about the book*

This can range from characters to plot to edits I see. I can find out more about why they wrote it or show them things that stood out to me, while I get to find out more about the book and who they are as a writer. So just be ready to talk about the book a lot!

“Who are some authors you would compare yourself to?”

This question can show me where they hope their career goes and where they see themselves on a shelf. It can also be a lead in to find out if they want to be a full time writer, or if they are the kind of person who wants that day job too (both are good!)

“What social media do you use and like the most?”

Social media is not  must, a platform is not a must at all, but this is how I can gauge how comfortable someone is with social media. Even more, it shows me what social media they like to use, which is important! If you don’t like it, you won’t use it.

“What questions do you have for me?”

I will always expect you to have questions, and usually a lot of questions. I have had calls last 15 minutes, I have had calls last an hour.

Those are just some questions i might ask!

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Books I’ve Loved in 2016

Posted by Caitie F on August 20, 2016

Here are just some of the books I absolutely loved this year so far and a couple swoon-y sentences on each. These are only my 10/10 books, excluding the obvious.



This book has stuck with me literally all year, it really gives you all the feels and is brilliantly written.

SALT OT THE SEA by Ruta Sepetys


I will read every book she ever writes. Stunning writing, stories that need to be told.

WE ARE THE ANTS by Shaun David Hutchinson

We are

The premise of this book is great, the execution is flawless. Would you hit the button?

US by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy


The best romance I’ve read all year and it’s m/m + hockey.

THE SERPENT KING by Jeffrey Zentner


This book will punch you in the gut and is the most realistic portrayal of a small town in the Midwest that I’ve ever read. You will sob.


when we

My favorite love story of the year with incredible representation and an ending that is brilliant.

You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LeCour


This book is happy and fun and wonderful in every single way. so much joy.

IF I WAS YOUR GIRL by Meredith Russo

If I Was

So beautifully written, so emotional, and SO needed. Read it. Put it in classrooms. Love it.

TUMBLING by Caela Carter


I read this before the Olympics, but if you are missing gymnastics, pick this up. Each voice is so distinct and you will feel for all of them.


Rocks Fall Came for the awesome title, premise and fascinating character, stayed for the most brilliant look at toxic masculinity.

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10 Reasons You Need To Read NEVERNIGHT

Posted by Caitie F on August 19, 2016


I posted about NEVERNIGHT earlier this year, and it basically sounded like the book was written for me. And turns out it is my favorite published book of the year so far. I may have even gone as far to say “Compared to NEVERNIGHT, ILLUMINAE is garbage”. And I love ILLUMINAE. So that should tell you a lot.

So here are my ten reasons you need to go buy it now. And it is only ten. I had five others. I don’t even mention the teachers! Or the other awesome students! Or that it kept me guessing!

1. That first chapter

The writing in this chapter is mind-blowing with its awesomeness. Once you get it (and it may take you a bit to get it), you will make some kinda of shocked and awe noise. Mine was an audible gasp. And once you finish the chapter, you’ll probably go back and read it again. And again (it took me five times to get to chapter two).

Writers should all read this first chapters to see how important every single word can be.

2. Mia 

Are you sick of “the strong female character” and all the tropes that come along with her? Then this is a book for you! Mia is nothing like that stereotype. She is a kick-ass female, but it isn’t over done and she is a full fleshed out character. I feel like I know her. I want to check in how she is doing.

3. The world building (and the maps!)

Gah I love this world. It is so complex and awesome. The government! The politics! The secret societies! The magic!

And the maps in this book. Virginia Allyn made them and WOW they are gorgeous. I spent 10-15 minutes pouring over them, and I am usually not a maps in books person.

4. The swears

Okay, this seems like a little one, but I love how much swearing there was in this. There is a whole conversation about the c-word (and that is actually what started the entire book) and it makes me kinda annoyed that I still feel like I have to say it like that.

The swearing makes the characters feel natural.

5. The humor

This book is so funny. I was laughing out loud a lot, and it takes a lot to make me actually laugh out loud. The humor really fit my comedy taste, but I think everyone will enjoy it too. There is even a time when the author imagines your reaction to the humor and has a footnote about it. It’s brilliant.

6. The darkness

And this book is DARK. Obviously because it is a school of assassins, but it really goes for it. I love the dark and sad. There are actual consequences to things. There is no victory without suffering. This delivered 100%

7. The writing

Goddamnit Jay Kristoff can write. And he keeps getting better and better. This book took me three times as long as normal books because I kept reading things over and over and over because they were so well-written.

8. The smutty bits

I mentioned this is my goodreads review that if Jay wrote romance under a pen name, I’d totally read it. For a dude writer, it is pretty good from the female perspective. I do wish we saw more with the Hall of Masks teacher…

9. The footnotes

When I first heard about the footnotes, I got a lot less excited about it. Used well, they can work and add a lot. But they are often not used well. But they add so much to the world and there is so much VOICE in these footnotes that I couldn’t imagine the book working without them.

10. It will be a classic

It will go down as a classic in the fantasy genre. It is that good. People will be talking about this book along with the other greats. And don’t you want to read it before then? So you can say “Ah, I read it the month it was released and I knew it was headed for greatness”? You do. And if you hurry, you can still get a signed 1st edition! DO IT.

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2016 Query Statistics

Posted by Caitie F on August 18, 2016

I have been neglecting this poor blog far too much this year, because it has been such a busy year!

I am going to try to be better these last few months. So to jump back in, I wanted to share my query statistic for 2016 – as I type this, I have 25 unread queries in my inbox. These numbers do not include requested materials from conferences, but I have not made any offers on anything from conferences so far this year.

Queries Responded to: 2,451

Partials requested: 179, which is 7.3%

Full manuscripts requested, from those partials for the most part: 21, which is .85% of all queries sent

Offers made: 5, which is .2% of all queries sent. (two of those people are with fabulous agents who are not me)

What genres am I requesting most? I have those stats too! This isn’t saying I don’t want things that are at the lower end of requests, usually it just means i am VERY picky on those genres.

YA contemporary 34
YA fantasy 28
YA science fiction 27
women’s fiction 24
MG contemporary 12
MG fantasy 6
YA mystery 6
LGBTQ romance 6
romance 6
MG historical 4
MG science fiction 4
historical fiction 4
thriller 4
MG horror 3
YA historical 3
mystery 3
MG mystery 2
nonfiction 2
memoir 1

Now to the less fun statistics. People who did not follow my submission guidelines  (included pages, sent attachments) or sent genres I don’t represent at all (picture books, chapter books, adult SFF, literary fiction mostly):

306 writers didn’t follow my guidelines. That is 12.4%

126 writers, 5.1%, submitted things I do not represent.

So those are my statistics! Be on the lookout for more here soon – I have a few in the works right now: What I might ask in the call, R&Rs, thoughts on #ownvoice. And I am going to be gushing about my favorite book of the year early next week.


Posted in Agenting, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

TTT: Ten Most Anticipated Reads for the Second Half of the Year

Posted by Caitie F on June 14, 2016

I haven’t posted in forever, but today, I need a little joy in my life and talking about books i am excited about brings me a lot of joy! Love the awesome people at Broke and the Bookish for hosting! 

This was a very, very easy topic. I already have most of these preordered!

1. NEVERNIGHT by Jay Kristoff


I’ll buy every book Jay ever writes, but this is probably the book I am most excited about. Just part of Jay’s description of this book includes “And was a school where, instead of learning magic and the true value of friendship, you learn to murder the shit out of people:” And there are smutty bits. *grabby hands* (also if you preorder the US version it will be signed so do that now)


2. CROOKED KINGDOM by Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom

SIX OF CROWS was one of my other favorites books of last year. I can’t wait.


Midnight Star

Marie is an insta-buy author for me and this series is brilliant. I don’t want it to end, but at the same time, I want it to come out now so i can read it.


4. GEMINA by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


Duh. ILLUMINAE was my favorite book of last year. OF COURSE I am eagerly waiting for October.

5. A WORLD WITHOUT YOU by Beth Revis

World Without You.jpg

I adore Beth’s writing and cannot wait to read her latest.


Bound by Blood

This is a debut and sounds incredible. I was sold by “Though revenge clouds her vision, she agrees to help if the kingdom’s slaves are freed. Then Elan’s father arrives. The ruler’s cruelty knows no limits. He is determined that the class system will not change—and that Jae will remain a slave forever.”

7. BLOOD FOR BLOOD by Ryan Graudin

Blood for Blood

I read the first book earlier this year and it blew me away!

8. STRANGE THE DREAMER by Laini Taylor

Strange the Dream

Her writing is just so amazing and this looks absolutely brilliant!

9. THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon


EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING was one of my favorite books of 2015, so of course I need to read this one!

10. SUPERNOVA by C.A Higgins


LIGHTLESS was one of the best SF books I’ve ever read, so I am super excited for book two.

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Spring 2016 Readathon

Posted by Caitie F on April 23, 2016

It is that time of year again – the readathon! I am going to do this one a little differently. instead of reading only books in my stacks, I am going to be reading partials I have requested as well.

I have been really busy with client’s edits lately (yay!) and my partials have gotten a little out of hand. Today, I am going to try to read 20 partials. I don’t want ti to be an entire day of work, so for every 5 partials I read, I will get to read for an hour for fun. I think it will be a good balance!

Opening Meme 

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? New Jersey!

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? I will be finishing up JUST VISITING by Dahlia Adler, so that is exciting. I am really excited about A TYRANNY OF PETTICOATS, SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA, and, of course, the HAMILITOME.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Leftovers from last night’s dinner – my husband made Lamb Kabuli Pulao

4) Tell us a little something about yourself! i am on a swim team – I may be heading to practice today!


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Things that make me happy

Posted by Caitie F on February 28, 2016

A meme went around twitter yesterday and I was feeling kinda crappy, so I decided to do it! For every like, I listed on thing (not person) that makes me happy). I didn’t want to lose it to the timeline of twitter, so I wanted to post it here too.

1. Getting a client’s edited or new manuscript in my inbox.
2. There is a google hangout I get to be a part of. It brings me happiness every single day.
3. Obviously, books. They make me happy in multitudes of ways (may get more specific later)
4. Podcasts. I get to learn about other people’s experiences, see the world differently, and learn new things.
5. That feeling when I read a manuscript and know I am going to offer on it.
6. Playing board games. All kinds of board games (except purely co-op games. Someone needs to be able to win).
7. Twitter. Sometimes it isn’t great, but it is my favorite social media and most of the time, it makes me really happy.
8. Messages or emails from my friends around the world. I can’t always reply right away, but seeing them hit my inbox = instant happiness
9. My job. It have my dream job, it makes me so happy, even though like all jobs it has its moments.
10. Music. I love every genre of music.
11. Random acts of kindness. Every time I see people being kind to each other, it makes me really happy.
12. Swimming. I am so glad I am doing it again.
13. Saving money. I would rather save money so I can do big things than instant gratification, so whenever I save, I’m happy.
14. Theater. I love theater almost as much as I love books.
15. Singing. I don’t do it is public anymore, since I used to really do it and just notice mistakes, but doing it makes me happy.
16. Great public transportation systems. If I can get around on my own, it makes me beyond happy.
17. Small dogs. Especially shih tzus. They make me smile all the time.
18. To get political – the results tonight in SC are making me pretty happy right now.
19. Deadpool. Weeks later and I am still randomly thinking of lines and scenes from that movie.
20. My bathrobe. It is SO comfy.
21. Spending time with funny people.
22. Ice cream. It probably makes me too happy but it is my weakness.
23. Jeopardy. We have a bunch on our DVR, and will watch them all. Trivia in general makes me happy.
24. Disney and Pixar movies. I see almost all of them.
25. Puzzles. Word, logic, jigsaw, and more. (I am such a nerd)
26. Going to a bookstore. Even if I don’t buy anything, just being there makes me feel better.
27. Intersectional feminism.
28. Cross stitching. I don’t do it as often as I should.
29. Throwing things away. I love it when I realize I don’t need something anymore.
30. Alcohol. I am a happy drunk.
31. Playing poker. I haven’t in forever but it’s awesome.
32. The golden age of television. So much great stuff!
33. Lazy Sunday breakfasts. They are the best.
34. My fruit infuser pitcher. Having delicious strawberry water right now.
35. Living a three minute walk away from my library.
36. Travel. I want to do it more, but traveling makes me so happy.
37. Coffee. And tea. Hot beverages in general are pretty awesome.
38. Books that give me all the feels. If a book can do that, it is amazing.
39. This video of dancing baby goats.
40. When my friends get good news I get almost as happy as if I got that good news
41. When I see my clients are excited about what they are writing/editing.
42. Hotels with great water pressure.
43. Marriage equality.
44. Hamilton. (I know, what a shock!)
45. Geeking out about books with editors over coffee or lunch.
46. Starting a new book and diving into a new world. Also reading the next book in a series and getting to go back into a world I love.
47. Conversations about pop culture with smart people.
48. Spending time with @jasonflum
49. Pre-ordering books months before they come out.
50. Getting my query inbox to 0.
51. Planning vacations. Going on them is fun, but planning them just makes me happy. I plan trips I will probably never take.
52. Sarcasm. How did it take me so long to list sarcasm?



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Query critique giveaway!

Posted by Caitie F on January 20, 2016

Since I got to 2,000 Twitter followers before 10:00 PM today, it is time for a query critique giveaway! Don’t worry – if you aren’t to the querying stage yet, you can hold onto it until you are ready. It is open to all genres.

At least 50 people are going to win. If my following increases significantly before this ends, there will be more.

The rules are simple:

You must follow me on twitter when I draw the winners
You must still follow me on twitter when I get to your query to critique
You must enter by January 25th.

If you win, I will critique your query. I’ll tell you if I would request or reject and why. I will also make comments in the query itself pointing to specifics.

Good luck!

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments »

Hello 2016 – 2015 recap

Posted by Caitie F on January 1, 2016

I feel weird not wrapping up 2015 in some way and it was a very good year.


– I started agenting in addition to assisting. It has been great and stressful. Most of my agenting is done nights and weekends, but turns out I am good at time management.

– I signed four clients – two in the last two weeks of the year.

– two projects are on submission and being out on submission is hard. Publishing is not for the impatient.

– I am so happy with the agency I am at. Liza Dawson Associates grew this year and got a West Coast office. Our clients are great and so many came out with fantastic books in 2015


– I read 100 books. I didn’t think that would happen.

– 25% of the books I read were diverse. Last year it was about 10%, so that is an improvement.


– was a mixed bag. Have some new friends, some friends who are closer now, and some who aren’t anymore. It is life.

– I started seeing a hip doctor, did physical therapy for 6 months, but plateaued and had to stop. Wish I could still go because it really helped.


– was great this year. Hamilton! Supergirl! Things on Netflix! Bring Me the Horizon! Star Wars! Crazy Ex Girlfriend! So much more!


I met someone from my internet/publishing past this year and that moment may have actually changed my life, which feels so over dramatic to say. It made me look at some things professionally differently and made me think big picture in a new way. I am not sure just how long range that will be, but it was a big fucking deal.

Onto 2016

This year will be exciting. I am going to BroadwayCon this month, being a tourist in NYC, going to Chicago, going to a writers conference in Seattle, and going on vacation…plus hopefully selling lots of books.

I don’t think I am setting specific goals this year like i have in the past. other than hoping to read 100 books. I doubt i will be able to. I am going to keep swimming and participate in my first meet, work my ass off, and try to enjoy whatever 2016 brings.

Here’s to 2016 being the best year yet!

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