QueryTracker Blog

Helping Authors Find Literary Agents

Friday, January 29, 2010

Publishing Pulse

PhotobucketCan you believe an entire month of 2010 has gone by? Whew, so much going on!

Success Stories: Pat continues to update the success stories as interviews come in.
Corrine Jackson
Kevin Wolf

Congrats on finding representation!

Mary Kole's KidLit contest ends in just two days! Click here for the details.

The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award opened this week. If you haven't entered yet, it appears to still be open. Check here for all the details.

Literary Agents:
Joy Azmitia at Russel & Volkening. From their website: Interests: Chick-lit, multicultural fiction, romance, humor, and non-fiction in the areas of travel, pop-culture, and philosophy.

If you haven't been following Twitter's #askagent, you should. Even if you don't understand Twitter (yet) this is a fabulous way to see what agents like/don't like and to learn the inner workings of the industry. Also, if you're a YA writer in any capacity, you should be keeping an eye on #YAlitchat.

Literary agent Chris Richman of Upstart Crow tells what's on his wishlist for this year.

Kristin Nelson and Kate Testerman-Schafer reveal why your work gets rejected--all in the first two pages. It starts here and goes through the next four posts, so read through them.

Apple's iPad made quite the splash this week. A writer's best tool? What do you think?

Author Jody Hedlund did a series of posts last week on blogging. I found them super insightful. How Can We Tell if Our Blog is Good? How Important Are Blog Followers? and Does Blogging Really Help Sell Books?

Some of you look new over there in the sidebar. You can click here for a list of our most popular posts over the past year. I also think these are quite helpful:
Nudging Know-How
Writing Goals
Genre Prejudice
Editing with a Text-to-Voice Program

Have a fabulous weekend!


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Contest Results and Interview with Emmanuelle Morgen

Contest Results

The QT Blog team would like to thank literary agent, Emmanuelle Morgen, for volunteering to judge our contest. The entire process has been a delight. Ms. Morgen selected some honorable mentions and gave comments in addition to selecting the top three. The winners are as follows:

1st Place: IN THE AETHER, by Amanda Sabourova (Send full manuscript)

2nd Place: EYEWITNESS, by Sarah Templeton (Send 50 pages)
3rd Place: BITE ME, YOUR GRACE, by Brooklyn Ann Smith (Send 30 pages)

Honorable Mention: WILD FIRE, by Rashda Kahn - Interesting concept. I'd welcome a query and the first full chapter or first 10 pages.

Honorable Mention: HER DANGEROUS INHERITANCE, by Daphne Olivier -
Interesting concept and solid start, though I'm not sure yet about the sales potential. I'd welcome a query and first chapter or 10 pages.
Honorable Mention: VIRTUALLY YOURS, by Joanne Huspeck - Concept seems more women's fiction than romance, and it could be hilarious. I'd welcome a query with the first chapter or 10 pages.

Honorable Mention: EYE CONTACT by Rebecca Royce - Concept is fantastic, but prologue didn't catch my interest. The author seemed to avoid jumping into the story; I missed having a character to relate to up front. I'd suggest cutting the prologue and starting the book with Chapter 1. I'd love to get a query after the author revises.
Honorable Mention: LEAP, by Kristi Lea - Writing is solid, but aliens are a really tough sell, and it was hard to get a sense of the heroine's motivation from the blurb.

Congratulations to our winners!

Interview with Emmanuelle Morgen

Emmanuelle Morgen is a literary agent with Judith Ehrlich Literary Management LLC.

I met Ms. Morgen last year at a writers' conference and attended some sessions in which she sat on the panel of experts. I found her charming. That sounds stupid, I know, but she stood out. Her demeanor was reserved compared to the other panelists and her answers were direct and well-thought out. She listened, which to me is a valuable trait in an agent. Had I been on an agent hunt, I'd have been in stalk mode. Really.

What I found out about her during this interview process is that she's funny too. I misspelled her name--something I was sure would be listed in her pet peeves in the interview--and her response was fantastic. I saw my mistake and immediately fired off an apology. Her response?

"No worries! I've often though of changing my email address to too-many-vowels [at] gmail. com :-)"

QueryTracker: What inspired you to become an agent and what keeps you in the business?

Emmanuelle Morgen: Growing up in Oregon I read nonstop, and I always knew that someday I’d work with books. I came east for college, interned with various publishers in New York City, then eventually got a job in editorial at Fodor’s Travel. After a few years, I switched to agenting so I could work with fiction and different kinds of nonfiction. I think the publishing industry is full of interesting, passionate people who love books as much as I do and are committed to bringing great books into the marketplace. I have a huge respect for authors and their creative abilities, and working to maximize their career potential is the most fulfilling aspect of this job.

QT: We appreciate your willingness to judge a contest for the QueryTracker Blog. What made you agree to do it?

EM: For me it’s a chance to receive targeted submissions in specific genres by writers who are likely to be more professional and better informed than average. I receive 100-150 queries per week, and many of them are clearly not right for me, either because the author is writing in a category I don’t represent, or their material just isn’t submission-ready. Judging a contest is a great way to scout for new talent. :-)

QT: We've discussed conferences and oral pitches several times on our blog. Why do agents participate in conferences? Any advice for conference attendees searching for agents?

EM: I attend conferences to scout for new talent, network with other publishing professionals, and get the news out about my agency and what I look for as an agent. I find RWA conferences in particular to be well-organized and attended by writers who are serious about learning and improving their craft, and finding out the best ways to get published. A well-informed author is an agent’s best friend.

QT: Pet peeves?

EM: Queries that are obviously not for me! My interests and categories are clearly stated on my website, as are our agency submission guidelines, and we hope writers will read them before sending in their queries.

QT: Pets?

EM: Yes! I have an insane 9-year-old Cornish Rex whose real name is Mr. B but who I alternately call Gremlin, Gollum, or Evil One, depending on how good his behavior is. :-) Here’s a photo of him. He is the most cuddly cat I’ve ever known. If he’s not on the windowsill basking in the sun, he’s usually on my lap trying to crawl up under my sweater!

QT: What is the most exciting thing happening in your agenting life right now?

EM: Right before the end of the year I sold a wonderful Regency romance called A LADY AWAKENED to Bantam. It’s about a widow who finds out her recently deceased husband disinherited her because she didn’t bear him an heir, and what she does to preserve her independence. The author is Cecilia Grant, and she is definitely one to watch. I’m also very excited for my longtime client Alissa Johnson, whose fourth book DESTINED TO LAST is coming out in March. And then I’m absolutely over the moon about a new historical novelist I just signed up, whose first book takes place in an English seaside holiday town, the site of the country’s first pleasure park.


Once again, our deepest thanks to Ms. Morgen for judging our contest and taking the time for an interview.

More can be found about Ms. Morgen on the QueryTracker main site and the Judith Ehrlich Literary Management LLC website.

Have a great week!


Monday, January 25, 2010

Nudging Know-How

You'll find little information "out there" about nudging agents, and much of it is erroneous. One writing website encourages writers to call the agent ON THE PHONE if they've not had a response.

Um, no.

Today I'm going to set the record straight.

When to Nudge...

On a Query

99.999% of the time, the answer is NEVER! There is one exception, and for that I'll quote Anna Webman of Curtis Brown LTD:

Perhaps, the only exception would be if the author receives an offer of representation or legitimate interest from an editor. In that case, if they have a specific dream agent who didn’t respond to their query, they could follow-up with that person and let them know the good news.

On a Partial

Three months. It seems like a long time, but agents have a lot of material to sift through. (A lot!) So you'll need to sit back on your heels and wait. Or better yet, jump into your next writing project.

On a Full

Hang on to your hat... six months. (Did you gasp?) SIX MONTHS. I know this seems like an eternity. And you may hear back from the agent before this allotment is up. But you need to give them a good amount of time to consider you as a client, which includes time for them to research you online.

Special Circumstance

Say agent A has your full, and agent B sends an email saying he/she likes your work but wants to talk about revisions. Is it time to nudge agent A? Surprisingly, no. At this point in your journey you are more likely to nudge them into a "no." So when should you nudge them? Only...

When You Have an Offer

It's time to pull out all the whistles and bells and nudge every agent who is considering your material. (This includes partials.) Let the agent know you've had an offer of representation, and give them at least a week to consider your material and get back to you.


Some agents are willing to reconsider your work after you've taken time to revise it. This is especially true if he/she liked your story (or writing) well enough to offer feedback. You'll need to tread carefully, because you don't want to come across as pushy. A simple "I've revised TITLE OF BOOK and am wondering if you'd be interested in seeing the new version." This only applies to agents who have previously read a partial or full.

When to Call an Agent?

There is only one answer: WHEN THE AGENT INVITES YOU TO DO SO.

How to Nudge

Number one rule: Be polite and professional. A secret rule: Be brief. Something like, "Thank you for considering TITLE OF BOOK. I'm wondering if you've had a chance to look at it yet." Make sure your contact info is included in the email.

Things that will Help

A great place to go is the agent's page on QueryTracker.net. People leave comments about their experience submitting to the agent, and by looking at the agent's statistics you can have a rough idea of when to expect to hear from him/her.

One final note, none of these rules is set in stone. In fact, many of them vary slightly depending on each agent's particular tastes and method of operation. So always, always, always check their websites for guidelines.

I'd like to say THANK YOU to the agents who weighed in to help make this article possible!

Suzette Saxton writes books for tots, teens, and in-betweens. She is represented by Suzie Townsend of FinePrint Literary.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Publishing Pulse 1-21-10

Around the Publishing Blogosphere:

Agent Rachelle Gardner discusses the importance of Word of Mouth in book marketing.

Dystel & Goderich Literary Management is running a title contest on their blog.

Agents Janet Reid and Rachelle Gardner both offered some tips on how to email (or how NOT to email) an agent most effectively.

Guest blogger Suzannah Windsor Freeman asked if Nathan Bransford's Blog readers were Word Nerds or Grammar Rebels

In Publishing News:

Rosetta Stone is running a fun little writing contest.

Kindle users pushed back against the delayed ebook releases.

Xerox gets into the Espresso world of novels printed to order, while you wait.

And finally, Author Kiersten White describes the less glamorous side of submissions.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

H. L. Dyer, M.D. writes women's fiction and works as the Clinical and Academic Director for the Hospitalist Program at a pediatric teaching hospital near Chicago. In addition to all things literary, she enjoys experimental cooking and composing impromptu parodies to annoy close friends and family. Click to visit her personal blog, Trying to Do the Write Thing.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cutting the Fat

In honor of the new year, it's time to lose some weight. I don't mean you, but your manuscript. Maybe it's just me, but I tend to go on and on in my writing. Since I don't outline (shudders), I usually have to go through multiple (multiple, multiple) drafts of my MS before it's ready for human consumption.

And at least one of those rounds is just to cut the word count to something appropriate. (I won't go over that here. Check Colleen Lindsay's blog for a great guide.) My latest round? I had to cut 10%, which for me is about  8000 words.

Holy deletage, people. That's a lot of words. That's more than a just a few dialog tags, you know?

So, as with anything I do in writing, I start in small steps.

1. Sweat the small stuff. This includes but is not limited to: dialog tags, adverbs, adjectives, tedious blow-by-blow action ("I got up and walked to the door. I twisted the knob and yanked the door open." We don't need a blow-by-blow. Just say, "I strode to the door and yanked it open." That's about half the words.), and "no-duh" statements ("The sunglasses fell to the ground." You can remove "to the ground." Most of us understand gravity. And hey! It's 3 words!). These are small changes, but can reduce your word count.

2. Once is usually enough. This sounds like a "no, duh, Elana" but seriously. I had gone through my MS, deleting deleting deleting. I didn't have like two of the same word on a page or anything. That's not what this is. This is what I tell my critique partners: "You've said the same thing three times using different words."

Carolyn read my MS, and pointed out that I was establishing setting in multiple ways. Sure, I'd used different words. Different senses. But they were all establishing the--same--thing.

Once I realized this is how I write, I can usually find sentences (WHOLE sentences) that I can take out. I choose the best ones and delete the rest. You can delete hundreds, if not thousands of words this way.

3. Keep your eye on the big picture. I read through my MS, writing what happens in each scene on a tiny post it. Seriously, guys, it was like a 5-word thing of what was going on (I don't even outline AFTER the novel is written). Afterward, I looked at the scenes and what they did to advance A) the plot B) the character arc or C) nothing. Anything that fell into the C) category got the axe. If I felt like there was pertinent information I absolutely had to have in the cut scene, I wove it into a different scene that already accomplished A) or B).

Sure, it's hard. No, I didn't want to. Does that matter? Not really.

Hopefully you don't ever have to delete 10% of your manuscript to make it saleable. But if you do, I hope you find some of these suggestions helpful.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Contest Closed

Thanks to everyone who submitted to our most recent contest with Ms. Emmanuelle Morgen. The maximum number of entries has now been reached.

If you missed this opportunity, please read here for Ms. Morgen's query requirements, and send her a query.

Ms. Morgen will be back next week with an interview -- and the winners!

Good luck, everyone!

Agent Contest Open

Our Agent-Judged Contest is now open! You must be a member of QueryTracker.net (free) to submit. SUBMIT HERE.

Agent: Emmanuelle Morgen at Judith Erlich Literary Management.

Genres for this contest: romance and urban fantasy (no YA).

Of course if you read her query guidelines, and she reps another genre you write, by all means, query her! But for this contest, the genres are limited to romance and urban fantasy.

What to submit: a one-paragraph blurb about the book and the first two pages of your completed MS. SUBMIT HERE.

Only the first 50 entries will be accepted, and an announcement will be made here when the contest is full.

Questions? Comment or toss me an email: elanajohnson@querytracker.net

Friday, January 15, 2010

Publishing Pulse 1/15/10

Happy Friday, everyone! I'll start things off with some great news. Back by popular demand, the QT blog will be holding another contest this Monday. Emmanuelle Morgen will be judging romance and urban fantasy (no YA.) Click here for all the details!

The new year brings a new batch of new and updated agents:

On the web:

Have a lovely weekend!

Suzette Saxton writes books for tots, teens, and in-betweens. She is represented by Suzie Townsend of FinePrint Literary.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Our Next Contest!

That's right. We're having a contest next Monday, January 18. Yes, I know it's a holiday. So get your submissions ready now!

Agent: Emmanuelle Morgen at Judith Erlich Literary Management.

Read what she represents here.

Genres for this contest: romance and urban fantasy (no YA).

Of course if you read her query guidelines, and she reps another genre you write, by all means, query her! But for this contest, the genres are limited to romance and urban fantasy.

What to have ready: a one-paragraph blurb about the book and the first two pages of your completed MS. Pat will have the submission form up and running on the day of the contest. (And yes, there will be another post that will have the link for you that day.)

WHICH IS MONDAY, JANUARY 18. Not today, okay? Okay.

The submission form will go live at 9 AM EST, and only the first 50 entries will be accepted. So get your one-paragraph blurb ready. And your first two pages. Ms. Morgen will be requesting material from the contest entries.

Questions? Comment or toss me an email: elanajohnson@querytracker.net

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Research Before Hitting "Send"

A common complaint from agents on their blogs, Twitter and Facebook is the receipt of submissions that aren't in keeping with their agency guidelines. It surprises me in this age of internet that so many writers get it wrong.

Perhaps part of the problem is the internet itself. There is often more misinformation than there is fact. The trick is sifting through inaccurate or obsolete information and finding the correct answer.
There are numerous sites designed to help authors make sense of the publishing maze. Is one of them the definitive source with the all right answers?

No. (Does my answer surprise you? I am representing QueryTracker after all!)

QueryTracker is pretty darned close to being the definitive source, but it doesn't eliminate research. Not even close. It does make it easier though.

QueryTracker lessens the probability a writer will query a "scammer"' or unqualified agent. An agency's sales and reputation are researched before that agency is added to the QT database. There have even been cases where agents were removed from QT after being red flagged by Predators and Editors.

When I was searching for an agent, one of the things I liked about QT was my ability to track the format in which I had sent queries and to whom. Another helpful feature is the links to other resources from an agent's profile that make it easy to research him/her in "Quick Click Tools."

The agent's website, blog and other sites are linked as well. Research links are all in one place.

Writers using QueryTracker effectively should not be among the ones agents complain about because of poor research. Really.

Now, here's the catch: Even though acceptable query methods are listed on QueryTracker, you can't rely on that anymore than you can rely on information on other agent listings or databases. What if the agent listed above adopted an online form last week and didn't inform QueryTracker?

You MUST read and follow the submission guidelines on the AGENCY WEBSITE. Other sources may not be up to date.

Agents provide information initially listed on QueryTracker, but they do not update it as often as they update their own websites. There are agents who will occasionally close their inboxes to submissions for a brief period of time. They also stop taking certain genres. Sometimes, they don't inform all the databases on which they are listed. So, again...

You MUST read and follow the submission guidelines on the AGENCY WEBSITE. Other sources may not be up to date.

Research agents thoroughly before you hit "send." There is no excuse to submit your adult project to an agent who only accepts children's projects. Don't waste your time or the agent's time. Check their website to be sure nothing has changed.

You want your project to receive the serious consideration it deserves. Not researching properly before you query turns your hard work into
Have a wonderful, well-researched, spamless week!


Monday, January 11, 2010

Medical Fiction Questions Answered 1/11/10

Okay, gang... the Doctor is IN!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is intended for writing purposes only and does not represent medical advice. (Sorry, my lawyer-boy husband makes me say that.)

I saw your post on Query Tracker how you answer medical questions for fiction. So interesting!

I have a question for you. How would a doctor diagnose retrograde amnesia and how would a patient act or think with this type of amnesia?

Thanks and I really loved your website too.

Ah, amnesia! That's a great topic for conversation in the land of fiction.

Basically, there are two kinds of amnesia... anterograde and retrograde. A patient may suffer from one or both, depending on the circumstances.

Retrograde is RETRO, meaning backwards in time. A patient with retrograde amnesia has lost memories or information from before the insulting event.

ANTERO, as you may have guessed, means forward. A patient with anterograde amnesia has trouble forming new memories or storing new information, and therefore loses information from after the insulting event.

These losses may be temporary or permanent, depending on the injury or insult involved.

For a patient with a head injury due to a sledding accident, for example, they might remember talking about going sledding and getting dressed for the snow and the next thing they might remember is lying on a gurney in a hospital emergency room. They may be confused for several hours or even days afterwards, and ask questions several times over again, having forgotten the answers or that the question had already been asked. They may have no memory of sledding at all, let alone the accident, or the paramedics arriving, ambulance ride, etc. This would be a mixture of anterograde and retrograde amnesia, as the patient would have lost memories from both before and after the event.

Someone with a significant traumatic brain injury, might have anterograde amnesia symptoms on a permanent basis. Patients with Alzheimer's disease often suffer from anterograde amnesia symptoms, becoming less and less able to make new memories, and then moving into retrograde amnesia and losing past memories as well.

Regarding your question of a pure retrograde amnesia, this suggests the common plot device in movies and television stories where the victim suffers a head injury and suddenly forgets everything about their own pasts, including their identities. This is actually extremely unlikely to happen. Even patients with devastating retrograde amnesia generally maintain their sense of identity. And even less likely is the common "remedy" displayed in the media where a second trauma restores the lost memories.

In reality, retrograde amnesia is typically limited to a relatively brief period immediately before whatever insult caused the loss of memory (which could be a brain injury-- either through head trauma, or oxygen deprivation, a seizure, drug and/or alcohol exposure, and any experience that could cause loss of consciousness). Longer periods of time may be lost in the case of repeated exposures to physical/psychological traumas, as in the case of severe child abuse or sexual abuse, due to a defense mechanism called repression.

For diagnosis of amnesia, the physician would primarily rely on the patient's history, as obtained by talking to the patient and his or her family and friends (if available), as well as simple tasks to evaluate the patient's ability to remember new things (such as giving the patient a string of numbers or a random trio of words to remember).

As far as how the patient would act in this situation, this would widely depend on the extent of the memory loss and whether or not there was a co-existing anterograde component. If they were coherent enough to realize they were suffering from memory loss, they would likely be frustrated and possibly embarrassed. They may try to avoid situations that demonstrate their weaknesses. For example, a patient who had trouble remembering words, may avoid talking in public or to strangers.

Amnesia is a fascinating problem, but can be very tricky to deal with in a realistic manner when writing fiction. I hope this information is helpful, and I wish you the best of luck!

Remember, if YOU have a medical fiction question, email me at hldyer at querytracker.net and include "medical question" in the subject title. You'll receive an automatic reply confirming that your question has safely arrived in my email box.

H. L. Dyer, M.D. writes women's fiction and works as the Clinical and Academic Director for the Hospitalist Program at a pediatric teaching hospital near Chicago. In addition to all things literary, she enjoys experimental cooking and composing impromptu parodies to annoy close friends and family. Click to visit her personal blog, Trying to Do the Write Thing.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Publishing Pulse: 1/8/2010

Welcome to our first Pulse of 2010! We've got lots of exciting stuff for you in this week's edition!

Agent News

Fine Print Literary agent Colleen Lindsay is open to queries again. Be sure to read through her submission guidelines carefully! She also details what she's looking for now (hint: high concept)!

Epstein Literary agent Kate Epstein is now accepting YA fiction and nonfiction. Read all the details here!


Andrea Brown agent Mary Kole is doing a "novel beginnings" contest over at kidlit.com. Send her up to 500 words of your completed MG or YA novel by January 31st and you could win a critique of up to 15 pages of your book! Visit her website for more details.

Sourcebooks has created a new YA imprint called Sourcebooks Fire. Between February 1 and February 28th, YA writers are invited to submit their fiction for consideration. Please read the details and rules posted at Georgia McBride's blog!

Around the Web

The Blood-Red Pencil has a great post on how to survive honest feedback (ie an "edit") from an editor. (And if you want a sneak peek at what drives editors crazy, try this post.)

Both Rachelle Gardner and Michael Hyatt posted this week on what it means if you just can't seem to find a home for your writing after months...no, years of trying. Read Rachelle's to get-it-straight, no-BS, the-reason-you're-stuck-after-all-this-time. And then limp over to Michael's page to figure out how to pick yourself up again.

On a cheerier note, St. Martin's Press recently coined the term "New Adult fiction" to refer to fiction geared toward young adults who are still figuring out what it means to be a grownup. Read more about this new genre at Guide to Literary Agents.

Have a wonderful weekend and we'll see you right here next week!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Author Bio

Today we're going to discuss the bio. That's right, your bio. The one you put in your query letter. The one you might put on your blog or website. The words that tell all about you. I know some of you have the fear of all that's holy in your heart right now. I can practically hear some of you saying, "But, but, there's nothing special about me. What am I supposed to say?"

Believe me, I've felt this terror. It started last year when the five of us got together and started writing on this blog. I had to come up with something to say about myself. It was one of those deer in the headlights moments.

But never fear. You can write an amazing bio by considering these few simple points.

For queries:
1. Be briefest. If you don't have any publishing credits, don't despair! You can still put a sentence about yourself. Here's what I put in mine: I am an elementary school teacher by day and a contributing author of the QueryTracker blog by night.

Sounds good, right? It's quick and easy. Now, you might be thinking, "Yeah, but you have this wicked QT blog credit."

And that's true. But I didn't always have this. Before I started writing for The Blog, I simply said: I am an elementary school teacher by day and an avid writer by night. Just give them something brief, personal and sincere.

2. If you have publishing credentials, list them! Publisher and date, along with title is all you need.

3. Mention education/experience that qualifies you as the perfect author to write your book. For example, if you've earned an MFA degree in creative writing, write for a newspaper, etc. you can use that in your bio.

For websites/blogs:
1. Be brief. People want to read a little bit about you, but not your life story starting with the third grade. My bio on my website is quite a bit longer than what I put in my query. In fact, it's longer than what's on my blog. Or on Facebook. Or anywhere really. In fact, your website is the best place to put the most comprehensive bio. For everywhere else: Pare it down to the bare essentials so that when someone clicks on your blog or Facebook page, they can see who you are in a few short sentences.

My bio on Facebook: I teach, I parent, I cook, I drive too fast and I watch a lot of reality TV. After that, I write YA novels.

I am represented by Michelle Andelman of Lynn C. Franklin Associates, Ltd.

And yes, I sleep. Sometimes.

And on Twitter: YA author, repped by Michelle Andelman

2. Read other bios. I think the best way to learn about bios is to read them. A lot. Try it. Go to your favorite author's website and read their bio. Open the back covers of your favorite books and read the bios (those are s-h-o-r-t). See what you can apply to your own bio.

In general:
1. Lead with your strongest quality. I was recently asked to speak at a conference, and they asked me to submit a bio. I didn't have an agent at the time, and that paralyzing fear I spoke of at the beginning of this post? Yeah, that gripped me. And the conference organizer said, "Just lead with your best stuff," and she helped me put my credits in the proper order.

2. Use your "voice." Your author voice. The one you write your blog posts or Facebook statuses with. Show some personality.

I think the author bio is important. I don't think it's a secret that I frequent a lot of blogs. When I go to a blog I've never read before, the very first thing I look for is a bio box. I want to see who that person is. What they write. I want a quick glimpse at who they are. That can all be accomplished with a well-written bio.

Thoughts? Questions? Throw 'em my way at elanajohnson (at) querytracker.net or leave a comment.

If you're so inclined:
Elana's bio on her website
Elana's bio on her blog
Elana's bio on that conference she was talking about (it scrolls through the speakers. She thinks she's seventh or something like that)
Click here to see the QT bloggers and our brief bios


Monday, January 4, 2010

Top 10 Lists

Do you know who the most-queried agent is? What about genres - which ones are agents requesting the most? And which agent is most likely to reject you?

The answers are just a click away. QueryTracker.net has a feature called Top Ten Lists. With over 21,000 members entering data, these lists are constantly and automatically updated to help you spot the hottest trends. And, if you're like me, you'll find them a fun place for satiating your curiosity! (To find the lists on QT's main page, just hover over "Reports" in the main bar.)

There are Top 10 Lists for the following:

  1. Most Queried Agents
  2. Most Accepting Agents (i.e. those who request most material)
  3. Most Non-Responsive Agents
  4. Most Rejecting Agents
  5. Most Popular Fiction Genres (that are submitted to agents)
  6. Most Requested Fiction Genres (requested by agents)
  7. Most Popular Non-Fiction Genres
  8. Most Requested Non-Fiction Genres

To answer the questions I posed at the beginning of this post, the number one most-queried agent is Nathan Bransford. And the genre agents request to see the most? Young Adult. As for who rejects the most queries... you'll just have to look that one up for yourself. *wink*

Wishing you all a blissful 2010 in which all your literary dreams come true.


Suzette Saxton writes books for tots, teens, and in-betweens. She is represented by Suzie Townsend of FinePrint Literary.