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Archive for August, 2016

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

20500616

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

27158835

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

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 »