The third installment of Allison Pang's Abby Sinclair Series is out today.

A Trace of Moonlight

My favorite thing about this series is Abby. Her voice is amazing. I would follow her anywhere.

Also don't miss the launch party with Sandy Williams whose novel A Shattered Dark is out today!

We've had to postpone the launch party due to the power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy, but next week, we'll party!

I was a little late with my queries and didn't get them finished up until 11:57 pm on Saturday 10/27.

I had 181 queries in my inbox.

A lot of historical queries this time--historical YA, historical adult, historical middle grade. It wasn't exactly more than other genres but more than I seem to typically get!

I requested 3 manuscripts.

MG part X-Files part Encyclopedia Brown with great writing.
YA Fantasy, Graceling meets Game of Thrones.
Adult historical romance with pirates!

I regretfully passed on 1 manuscript.

YA Thriller--It sounded interesting and the writing was good, but it just felt too similar to a few things on my list already.
Due to Hurricane Sandy, we're postponing this event. We'll party next week. Stay tuned.

 Tuesday is the launch day for Allison Pang's A Trace of Moonlight and Sandy Williams The Shattered Dark. These are both fabulous series so we're throwing a virtual launch party (7-8 pm) and giving away a copy of each book.

Make sure you're there!


It's 4 pm on Friday, 10/19/2012 and I've finished reading my queries.

I had 180 queries this week--a lot of fantasy in the inbox this week.

I requested 2 manuscripts

YA steampunk that sounds awesome.
Contemporary New Adult, clearly it sounds amazing.

I regretted but had to pass on 1 manuscripts.

YA fantasy. Great query and comp titles, but the writing just didn't seem there.

Now I know this seems a little light for me. I've been noticing lately that I think the quality of my queries has gone up. On one hand this is awesome. On the other it makes it a little harder for people querying me to stand out. Because the truth is I can't represent everything that I think is awesome--I can't even read everything that I think is awesome because I don't have the time.

Queries and reading requested material is barely 10% of what I do. And trust me, no one would want me for an agent if it was more than that. But that means I have to be selective with my time, and if the quality is going up it means I might have to be even more selective.

That means if you're querying, really make sure your first pages are stellar. That's what's going to make me need to read more--and probably other agents too.
Ingrid Paulson's debut novel, Valkyrie Rising, is out today.

When I first read this manuscript, Ingrid had an agent who was leaving agenting. He sent the manuscript to me, hoping I'd like it and would take it on. I loved it.

The top three things I loved about it:

1. The concept: it's an urban fantasy based in Norse mythology, something I hadn't seen before, and it was executed so well.

2. Ellie: She's a fabulous main character. She's sweet but also strong, and she steps up and comes into her own during the course of the manuscript.

3. The romance: It's one of the most swoonworthy romances, I've ever read. So realistic, so sweet, and so amazing. 

As of 2:35 pm, I've answered all my queries.

There were 166 queries in my inbox today.

Of those, I requested 1 manuscript.
A self published YA paranormal trilogy that I considered pre self publishing as well. The author has had success and wants an agent to help with her career.

I regretfully passed on 1 manuscript.
A really unique sounding fairytale retelling in a steampunk world. I'm still thinking about it. Someone will snatch it up--it's just not for me since I have a few fairytale retellings or original fairytales on my list. ***
-- This query stood out though and even though I didn't request it that's what you want. For your query to stand out.

This is where I'm going to encourage that if you're a querying writer, read a lot of queries. The more you read them the more you'll recognize what works and what doesn't. Read the queries on Queryshark, talk to other querying writers, see if authors who have recently sold their work have their query online (like this one).

To answer Lexa's question in the comments:

Thanks as always for the insights on the inner working of the agent's world. Interesting that you'd pass on something because you already rep someone whose works resemble it. Perhaps it's because those works haven't sold? It's something that never occurred to me.

Agents and editors never want too much of the same thing on their lists. Otherwise they compete with each other. Granted I can have more than one paranormal or urban fantasy series, but I try to acquire things that are different. So I have on my list Personal Demons (angels and demons), Valkyrie Rising (Norse Mythology), Anew and Awry (immortals and a take on a famous legend) and The Nightmare Affair (everything, but the main character is a nightmare). This works for me, but I wouldn't want to have four angel and demon books. I also probably shouldn't have a list full of paranormal YA.

Fairytales, original and retellings, have had a surge in popularity. On my list I have two that have come out, two that have been sold, one that a client is working on. It's already a solid list. So to take on another fairytale it would need to be very stand out and unique, but it would also need to be different than what I already have.

This is important because an agent's work doesn't end after the sale. There's a lot of work that goes into getting that book from sale to publication and then their publicity and the author's career after that debut novel.