All Star Week

That is right folks. I have declared this week to be all star week. I will be sending out my next wave of queries to the all stars of literary agents. The famous blogging agents. You know ’em, you love ’em you read their blogs religiously (if you are an aspiring writer anyway). This week I am sending queries to the following big name agents:

Janet Reid the infamous query shark herself

Nathan Bransford

Jonathan Lyons

Kristen Nelson

And I would send one to Rachelle Gardner but she isn’t interested in Science Fiction and Fantasy.

These wonderful people write fantastic blogs. Every writer should subscribe to them. They have helped me understand the publishing industry and I am excited about sending them queries. I don’t really expect to get much back. These people are the rock stars of the aspiring writer world (Janet Reid’s line at BEA Pitch Slam was at least twenty miles long) and get bombarded with queries and attention. I don’t know if my query is good enough to stand out. I do know that I owe these people a shot at my book, after all the help they have given me.

Tchuss

Lystra

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BEA Writer’s Convention Part Two

The crux of the whole thing is obviously the Pitch Slam. You can go anywhere and hear fantastic speakers talk about the things that were discussed in the various breakout sessions and speeches. You cannot find a room full of agents willing to listen to a horde of writers pitch their books anywhere but the BEA Writer’s Conference.

All in all I would say that the Pitch Slam went pretty much as I expected. I wish that it was a bit longer, I only got to speak to five agents in the two hours. Somehow the agents I wanted to talk to all had the longest lines and at 3 minutes a pop you burn through two hours fairly quickly.

My biggest disappointment of the trip was not being able to pitch to Janet Reid. I watched her during several panels and the Pitch Slam prep and I have to say she is as funny and clever in person as she is in her blog. That being said she was also the most sought after agent in the room. Her line when I first saw it held way over thirty people. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a line that size equals at least ninety minutes. I took a gamble and decided to pitch a few other agents whose lines were shorter then get into Janet’s line. Sadly at four thirty when I went to get into her line it was closed (and so was t lines for half the other agents I wanted to talk to.) I am still wondering if I made the right decision, but I need to get over that and concentrate on the agents I did speak with.

I am happy to say that two agents of my five were interested enough in my pitch to request more material. The other three will obviously hate it when I’m on the NY Times bestsellers list.

My two incredibly insightful agents were Sandy Lu of the L. Perkins Agency and Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown.  Both requested a synopsis and my first fifty pages. I am happy that I went to the Writer’s Digest Editors Intensive and already have had an editor look at my first fifty pages. I feel confident that they are strongly written and hopefully will get the agents interested in more. The synopsis is another story.

I haven’t written a synopsis. Anyone thinking of going to the BEA Writer’s Convention or any other place that allows you to pitch agents listen up. They tell you to finish your manuscript before you start to query or pitch your work well I’m going to add one more to that. Finish your synopsis. I have spent all weekend working on my synopsis and it turns out, synopsis writing is a bitch.

Imagine writing a book report on your book. Doesn’t sound fun does it. Trust me it isn’t. The worst part is I feel like I am scrambling to get it done. I want to strike while the iron is hot. I want to get this synopsis and my first fifty into these agents email inbox as quickly as possible, before they forget who the hell I am (not that I am that sure they’ll remember anyway they had to have met a lot of writers that day).

So if you are querying or pitching bite the bullet and write that synopsis today, you’ll be glad you did.

Okay wasted enough time blogging, now back to the bloody book report.

Tchuss

Lystra

BEA Writers Conference

I have been going back and forth on whether or not to go to the BEA Writers Conference/Pitch Slam. I had just about given up on it but this post by Janet Reid (the infamous Query Shark herself)  today turned my head back around. Now I don’t know what I should do.

 I figure a round trip shot to NY with hotels and eats would run me about$1200.00 give or take, which is about the same my run to Cincinnati cost me. While that is a lot of money to throw out the window of a plane, it is doable, it’ll hurt, but it is doable. The big question is will it be worth it?

The crux is the pitch slam. For those of you who haven’t heard about this it is at the end of the conference all the agents and editors let the unwashed (or unpublished anyway) masses assault them with pitches for our books.   Obviously no deals are signed on the spot but the conference boasts several book deals a year from pitches made at the slam. The benefit is when I send my new and improved (still working on it) query letter to any of the agents I meet at the conference they might not throw it directly into the slush pile, they might actually read my first five pages, then they might actually read more (dear God let them read more.)

So there you are. Do you see my dilemma?

I put together a list of the agents who will be attending that I want to talk to about my book. (You’ll notice I have Janet Reid on there, while I’m not sure my book is her thing, her blogs, both QueryShark and her own personal blog are awesome. So if I do go, I absolutely have to meet her.) and there are alot of people who seem to be looking for my genre attending.

So how far do you go chasing rainbows?

Hmmmmm.

What do you think?

PITCH SLAM 2009

MIRIAM KRISS (Irene Goodman Literary) is seeking all areas of commercial fiction including, but not limited to: mystery, romance, thrillers, YA, fantasy (especially urban fantasy), and SF.  She is also interested in narrative nonfiction and memoir.

CHERRY WEINER (Cherry Weiner Literary) handles all genres of fiction, and
specializes in science fiction, fantasy (especially urban fantasy), romance, Westerns and Native American works. Some nonfiction has even crept into the mix but she doesn’t consider poetry or children’s.

JOANNA STAMPFEL-VOLPE (Nancy Coffey Literary & Media Representation) represents everything from children’s books (chapter books to YA, both nonfiction and fiction), to adult fiction (speculative, romance, historical, paranormal, unique fantasy, thrillers, literary, dark comedy, dark drama, horror) and she will occasionally take on strong narrative nonfiction with pop culture, environmental or food elements.

GRETCHEN STELTER (Baker’s Mark Literary Agency) works with creators who write in the same genres she loves to read: middle grade and YA fiction, magic(al) realism, contemporary fiction, and women’s fiction. She is interested in anything with an urban fantasy touch (more Mike Carey than Maurice Dantec), and the middle grade and YA should have edgy, true-to-life characters and dialogue. The contemporary and women’s fiction should have a wide entry point for its audience but a strong hook that makes it stand out from the crowd.

GINGER CLARK (Curtis Brown, Ltd.) represents science fiction, fantasy, paranormal romance, paranormal chick lit, literary horror, and young adult and middle grade fiction.

STACIA DECKER (Firebrand Literary) is looking for adult narrative nonfiction in the areas of politics, history, biography, travel, memoir, current events, and pop culture. She also specializes in hard-boiled mystery and crime fiction.

LEAH HULTENSCHMIDT (editor, Dorchester Publishing) is looking to meet with authors or agents who have a completed romance manuscript of 75,000-95,000 words in the following romance subgenres: historical, paranormal, futuristic, urban fantasy, and romantic suspense.

SANDY LU (L. Perkins Agency) specializes in both quality fiction and nonfiction, with a particular interest in dark literary fiction, edgy urban fiction, historical fiction, mystery, thriller, psychological horror, upscale women’s fiction, and multicultural fiction.  Her nonfiction categories are narrative nonfiction, history, biography, science, pop culture, and food writing.

JENNY RAPPAPORT (The Rappaport Agency) specializes in the genres of science fiction and fantasy, young adult, and romance. 

JANET REID (FinePrint Literary Management, aka QueryShark) specializes in crime fiction.  She also represents narrative nonfiction, reference and how to books.  She’s open to pitches on any topic however.  Good writing trumps all.