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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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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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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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