Thursday, October 15, 2015

1 Four Agents on Querying Your NaNo Manuscript

Today we continue our exploration of agents' views on NaNoWriMo with two more questions, both on querying when it comes to NaNo.



Q. What querying mistakes do you most commonly see after NaNo?


Natalie Lakosil of Bradford Literary


Natalie: Mentioning it’s a NaNo book! NaNo is a great accomplishment for a writer; but it isn’t something that pulls in an agent.



Sara Megibow of KT Literary



Sara: The biggest query mistake I see after NaNo is submissions from writers who have done a great job finishing their books but not a great job of researching agents.

It’s an amazing thing to write a book in a month - all writers should be given a huge high five for this accomplishment! Next up is, of course, editing and polishing the book to make it really ready. And then there’s the research step:

#1 = Know your genre

#2 = Make a list of agents who represent books in your genre (research at www.agentquery.com or Writers Digest Guide to Literary Agents to find agents-by-genre)

#3 = Vet the agents before preparing your final submissions list. Three great places to research legitimate agents:


#4 = Each agent has a different submissions policy. Take your list of legitimate agents and go to the agency website for each and every one of them. First, look at the agency’s books and clients to triple check they are currently selling and representing books in your genre. Then, read the submission guidelines carefully and be prepared to follow them.

#5 = Craft a meticulous query letter. Need query help?


#6 = NOW start submitting query letters.

Write the Book. Edit the Book. Research.
These three steps will decrease mistakes and rejections.


Jaida Temperly of New Leaf Literary

Jaida: Over-editing. It's just as bad as under-editing!



Q. Is it an automatic turnoff to mention NaNo in a query even if the manuscript was extensively revised and from a previous year?

Sara:  Nope - to me it’s not a turnoff at all. I adore NaNo and think it’s a wonderful way to support writers. THE DARWIN ELEVATOR - New York Times bestselling epic science fiction from debut author Jason M. Hough was a NaNo book. When submitting to me, feel free to mention NaNo in any query - whether it is 2015 NaNo book or NaNo book from years ago.



Melissa Nasson of Rubin Pfeffer Content

Melissa: Not for me. But it's not necessarily a "turn-on," either. What matters to me is the quality of the writing and story, however the manuscript came to be written. 


Jaida Temperly of New Leaf Literary

Jaida: Nope. But if the revisions aren't really extensive and are more like line edits, then that's a turn-off for sure.



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