Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

5K twitter followers giveaways!

Posted by Caitie F on August 21, 2017

I wanted to do a big giveaway for 5K followers. You can win a book, a query critique, or a 10 minute Skype call

Here are the rules:

  1. Enter for as many as you want to! One entry per person per giveaway (and yes, I’ll check!
  2. All giveaways are worldwide.
  3. You must follow on twitter in order to win. I’ll be checking this too.
  4. It closes midnight September 1st, EST
  5. The number of winners for query critiques and skype calls will depend on the number of entries and the number of twitter followers gained during this time

BOOKS

I’m giving away my two favorite books of the year, plus an ARC of an amazing book that is coming out later this year with each. Contemps: LITTLE & LION by Brandy Colbert and BROODING YA HERO: BECOMING A MAIN CHARACTER (ALMOST) AS AWESOME AS ME) by Carrie DiRisio. Fantasy: GODSGRAVE by Jay Kristoff (the B&N special edition!) and ARC of FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS by Julie Dao.

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QUERY CRITIQUE

 

10 MINUTE SKYPE CALL

 

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10 queries!

Posted by Caitie F on June 8, 2017

I’m am going to go through the next ten queries and tell you what I did and why! Kinda like the hashtag on twitter, but without the character limit.

Q1 YA contemporary – this had a cool premise that involved mental health and homelessness. But some of the language used was so derogatory that I was super uncomfortable reading it.. It also had really unrealistic comps. One was The Fault in Our Stars. Pass

Q2 YA time travel and retelling – I would love an amazing Time travel book, so I was interested, until I saw that that they were traveling back to a time to get to a retelling. It felt like a strange mix and was a retelling for something I’m not a big fan of, plus the comps were OUTLANDER + what is being retold. Pass

Q3 YA fantasy – this one felt like a very typical fantasy and didn’t show what made it stand out from all of the other fantasy books. There were also a LOT of named characters and kingdoms. It was only three short paragraphs, but I had to keep looking up to figure out who people were and what side they were on. Pass

Q4 literary? Maybe? – this claims that there have been no books about what it was really like to be a teen in the 90s. It sounds soooo stereotypical in characters and writing and situations. I can’t tell you how many queries I see each week that mention Kurt Cobain and how different it is that they are centering something on him. Pass

Q5 Paranormal adult fantasy – so this one hit the jackpot. Not a genre I represent and included pages (didn’t follow guidelines). If you don’t do these things you are so far ahead of so many. Pass

Q6 LGBTQ+ Historical Romance – this sounds like it straddles that line of genre and commercial fiction. The main character is reminiscent of Mr. Darcy,, but is gay and not as much of a jerk. If it feels too much like a romance that doesn’t fit into that commercial fiction side, I’ll pass on the partial, but this was so good that I had to read how they did it. Request

Q7 MG contemporary – this is SO damn charming even in the query. It was filled with middle grade humor, a clever twist, and humor! Here’s hoping the pages match the query! Request

Q8 YA contemporary – this sounded absolutely delightful. High-concept and fun. But it reminded me way too much of a book I just finished. If I had read this query before reading the other book, I probably would have requested it, but in this case, it is a Pass

Q9 women’s fiction – The concept was good, but the voice felt a little off. I also tried to think of a few people i know I would recommend it to and was unable to come up with anything. Pass

Q10 Adult commercial fiction – while well-written, it had a lot of references to the political climate. Everything changes so fast and publishing is so slow that this it doesn’t really work. That big scandal that we are talking about tonight might be reversed or moot by the time I am reading the full. Pass

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2016 Reading Statistics

Posted by Caitie F on December 31, 2016

Thanks so much to Jamie at Perpetual Page Turner for doing this again! She’s the best, you should follow her on all social media.

Statistics:

Number Of Books Read: 104

Genre Break down:
YA fantasy: 15
YA Science fiction: 8
YA contemporary: 36
YA historical: 5
Middle Grade: 7
Adult fantasy: 5
Adult science fiction: 2
Graphic novels: 5
Adult romance: 12
Adult mystery: 3
Women’s fiction: 3
Nonfiction: 3
Books with male authors*: 32
Books with female authors*: 78
Diverse books**: 62

*Some books counted twice because coauthors
**This means books written by and/or with a main character who is not white, straight, cis gendered, or abled.

1. Best Book You Read In 2016?

 

I am going to list the best 10.

My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand
The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

The Great American Whatever – just not for me.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

My Sister Rosa – I didn’t think it would be so amazing, but it was phenomenal!

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Nevernight – I hand sold more copies of this book than any other. ❤

 5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

Best series started: The Lotus Wars
Best sequel: A Court of Fist and Fury (book two is way better than book one!)

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?

Roshani Chokshi

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Three Dark Crowns

 9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

None

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?

Nevernight. I mean, just look at it – that cover is sexy.

Nevernight

11. Most memorable character of 2016?

My instinct is Mia from Nevernight because she is everything. But also Travis from the Serpent King. And Rosa from My Sister Rosa is still in my brain.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?

I hate to sound like a broken record, especially since we are pals, by Jay Kristoff writes the most beautiful books. So Nevernight, Stormdancer, and Kinslayer are al on that list.

And I Darken gets an honorable mention

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? 

Stormdancer. I was in the acknowledgements but didn’t read it until now. Oooops

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

We are the Ants – such a great book.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Mia and Mr Kindly (NN) and Dill, Tavis and Lydia (TSK)

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Nevernight, because My Sister Rosa was my first from Justine.

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?

Mia (let’s pretend she’s not a teenager for this one, okay?). Also Cora from Loving you Easy.

23. Best 2016 debut you read?

The Star-Touched Queen

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Gemina! Such a great setting

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

You Know Me Well by NIna Lacour and David Levithan

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?

The Serpent King and Goodbye Days. Jeff Zentner is the worst

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Nevernight because it’s what Jay does best

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?

I have a whole list over at my challenge.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?

The last book in the Illuminae Files series

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

You Don’t Know Me But I Know You by Rebecca Barrow

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?

The Ship Beyond Time

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

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2017 Reading Challenge

Posted by Caitie F on December 29, 2016

I tried (and failed) at this challenge last year. I wanted to try again to read 48 specific books, and try to balance it to four a month. This is just my own personal challenge.

My only rule I am making for myself is that it cannot be a 2017 book. These have to be books that were published in 2016 or earlier.

Most of these are books I really want to read this year. The bottom 15 were picked at random from my spreadsheet of books I want to read.

1. Endsinger by Jay Kristoff
2.These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meghan Spooner (and the rest of the series)
3. Mr Mercedes by Stephen King
4. Planetfall by Emma Newman
5. Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older
6. The Midnight Star by Marie Lu
7. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
8. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
9. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
10. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
11. Willful Machines by Tim Floreen
12. Night Film by Marisha Pessl
13. The Map of Time by Felix J Palma
14. The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
15. A World Without You by Beth Revis
16. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
17. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
18. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
19. The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley
20. Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
21. Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
22. The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
23. Before They are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie
24. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
25. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas
26. In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce
27. Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
28. Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes
29. The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman
30. Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde
31.This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
32. Adaptation by Malinda Lo
33. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
34.Working in the Shadows: A Year of Doing the Jobs (Most) Americans Won’t Do by Gabriel Thompson
35. Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers
36. The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani
37. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
38. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
39. Drama High by Michael Sokolove
40. The Rebel Wife by Taylor M Polites
41. Timekeeper by Tara Sim
42. The Diviners by Libba Bray
43. The Liar Society by Lisa Roecker
44. Run by Kody Keplinger
45. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
46. Hard Choices by Hillary Rodham Clinton
47. Changeling by Philippa Gregory
48. The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Christopher Scott

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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.

THE FIVE STAGES OF ANDREW BRAWLEY by Shaun David Hutchinson

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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

Salt

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

Us

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

THE SERPENT KING by Jeffrey Zentner

Serpent

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 COLLIDED by Emery Lord

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

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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

Tumblin

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, EVERYONE DIES by Lindsay Ribar

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

Posted in Lists | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

10 Reasons You Need To Read NEVERNIGHT

Posted by Caitie F on August 19, 2016

Nevernight

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.

 

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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

Nevernight

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.

3. THE MIDNIGHT STAR by Marie Lu

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

Gemina

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.

6. BOUND BY BLOOD AND SAND by Becky Allen

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

Yoon_9780553496680_jkt_all_r1.indd

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

Supernova

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

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