Archive | Before the Deal Series

Diving Headfirst Into the Query Trenches

Guys. Queries are hard. This is an undisputed fact of the agent-acquiring process. These days a lot of agents ask for the first 5-30 pages of your manuscript when you query, because it’s so much easier to tell if a story is good by reading, well, the actual story. But the query is the hook—the bait that gets the agent past that first page and into your story. I read queries on the daily. A […]


Guest Post: Selling On Proposal

There’s a ton of information out there for writers on the submission process, or what happens once you’ve signed with a literary agent and it’s time to take your book out like a nice, meaty gazelle to all the editor lions. Usually when an author says their manuscript is on sub, they’re talking about a complete book. But what if you’ve been on the sub train before and have already got a book or two […]


The Request to Revise and Resubmit

Revision is an integral part of the writing process. Consider this quote from a recent special edition of Time magazine entitled The 100 Most Influential People Who Never Lived: Giacomo Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly failed, miserably, at its debut on Feb. 17, 1904, only to be hailed as a triumph on May 28, 1904, after the Italian composer gave it a major overhaul and staged a new version. Puccini finally stopped tinkering with the piece […]


Researching Literary Agents

When it comes to finding a literary agent, the most important step (yes, even more important than a snappy query letter) is researching which agents you intend to approach. Think about it: your wonderful query and kick-butt manuscript will all be for naught if you’re reaching out to the wrong agents. And remember that the fastest way to get a rejection is to query an agent who doesn’t represent your genre or isn’t even open […]


The Great Big Post of Querying

So, recently, a reader emailed me asking me how I went about querying and finding my agent. I’d actually meant to put up a post about this a long time ago, but the old post included my actual query, which, now that I look at it, is rather spoilery… I will, however, go through some of the tools I found most helpful and give a basic outline of how the process went. I started writing […]