Nathan Bransford, Author


Thursday, November 1, 2007

When in Doubt: Query Me

UPDATE: Hi all, I'm no longer an agent, so this post no longer applies. I'm no longer accepting queries.

In the comments section of yesterday's post, Josephine and I were talking about the types of genres I prefer. Some agents definitely do have very clear genre delineations about what they do and don't represent and you should be aware of these.

Me? Not so much.

I'm open to pretty much anything. This is in large part because in my spare time I read basically anything and everything. This year alone I've read (among other things) WELCOME TO THE WORLD BABY GIRL, THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST, GOSSIP GIRL, THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO, THE NOTEBOOK, and I'm about to start TWILIGHT.

So if you're wondering about whether or not your project will be "up my alley" -- try me. It may not be right for me, but I'd much rather err on the side of seeing everything than possibly miss out on something I might have really liked.

There are some things I pretty much basically definitely don't represent. I don't rep picture books, I probably wouldn't take on a middle grade project unless it blew my mind (or came from an existing client), I don't rep category romance (but I do rep women's fiction and memoir), I don't rep screenplays, poetry and totally true alien encounters (even if they involve monkeys).

But seriously: when in doubt, just query me. I like queries, and I usually respond within 24 hours.

The blog is going to be on hiatus tomorrow, so there will be no regularly scheduled This Week in Publishing. Have a great weekend!






103 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have a good weekend. I'm ready for mine already.

Question for you: I'm an agented author with a book deal. I've also dabbled in screenwriting. The strike notwithstanding, would it be appropriate to ask my New York-based literary agent (who does not handle screenplays) if he could make me a connection through his subrights associates in Los Angeles? Or is that rude?

Nathan Bransford said...

Anon-

Curtis Brown has its own film department, but yes -- if your agent doesn't have a film department it's absolutely fair to ask how or if he plans to exploit film rights and whether he thinks there are any opportunities available through subrights associates. There's not a possibility with every book so it's important to keep an open mind, but it's definitely a fair question to ask.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Nathan!

cyn said...

i'd be interested in your thoughts on twilight, as i just read it and reviewed it myself. but that's probably not something you can do. nathan, what is the etiquette about querying to agents in the same firm? is that a big no? or do the rules vary?

Nathan Bransford said...

Cyn-

You can query agents at the same agency, but only one at a time and you should probably wait a couple of months in between.

Josephine Damian said...

Oooh, Nathan, thanks for the mention and clarification.

It's great for writers to know there are still some agents with broad tastes, willing to consider a range of possibilities.

I know you loved "The Road" but have you read McCarthy's "Blood Meridian?" If so, did you like it?
Your answer will tell me volumes about your preferences as a reader and an agent.

Enjoy the break from the blog!

Nathan Bransford said...

Josephine-

BLOOD MERIDIAN is on my "I'm embarassed to admit I haven't read yet" list. I hear it's amazing and can't wait to read it.

So many books, so little time.

cyn said...

thanks, nathan for the tip. and you know everyone and her mom's dog is going to query you now. haha! bring it!

Annalee said...

I am now extremely tempted to go write a Christian science fiction YA called MY TOTALLY TRUE ALIEN ENCOUNTER just to see if anyone would bite on the query.

(I tried to fit monkeys into that joke somewhere, but it didn't work. They'll have to go in the hook).

Anonymous said...

"The blog is going to be on hiatus tomorrow, so there will be no regularly scheduled This Week in Publishing."

PORQUE!?!?!?!?!?!

Dr. Dume said...

Now might not be a good time to query. There are a lot of commenters here, and probably ten times as many who read but stay silent. The next mail truck at your door is likely to be bigger than usual.

However, I never decline an invitation, no matter how generic or vague. To be fair, there haven't been many invitations aimed in my direction, but I can safely say I didn't decline either of them.

I need more practice on query letters first, but one day...

Sophie W. said...

Cyn, if Nathan can handle 600+ first paragraphs in three days (was it three days?) I'm sure he can deal with everyone and their mom's dog querying him. Even if the dog only writes in pawprints.

P.G said...

Twilight is a great read and a huge favorite among the teens at my library. Certainly a book I plan to reread or recommend to a book club for that something different.
Also love to pass along good luck to my fellow NaNOists,the National Novel Writing Month, that begins today the 1st Nov. It is a great task of writing 50k or more of a novel in one month.

Helen said...

I have to admit, I am hoping to eventually query you early next year. It's also heartening to see that you're open to (almost) anything.

That said, I now have visions of an avalanche of queries landing on your desk in the next few days. Heh.

Melanie Avila said...

Nathan, thanks for clearing this up. And I think you like torturing yourself, daring all of us to query you.

Enjoy your weekend!

m.k.moore said...

I'm very glad to know that when in doubt to query you as I just mailed you one! I hope I beat the avalanche. :-) I'm new to your blog and like it a lot. Thanks for hosting it.

Phoenix said...

Hi Nathan:

So much about agenting is the connections. Most agents seem to have connections for the select group of genres they rep. Do you rely on Curtis Brown's amazing network to get you an "in" with an editor when you take on a genre you don't handle often? (Say that amazing middle grade novel falls into your hands...) Just wondering if being part of a large agency gives you an advantage over more boutique agencies.

Mary said...

Very, very, cool.

Anonymous said...

o.k., say I querry and get rejected by you, I have been learning and reading and targeting you for months. you say no thanks, then what? can I querry you again down the road when I have learned to make it a stronger querry?

Josephine Damian said...

Nathan, I'm just getting around to "The Thirteenth Tale" (I think you read that in the summer). And I've been eager to get to "Gilead" for a long time. Hopefully, soon.

Annalee, don't forget to put the evil albino in the jellytank talking on his (waterproof?) homeboy phone in your ALIEN book. :-)

Annalee said...

you're right--there totally needs to be a homeboy phone.

Anonymous said...

Umm, what about funny teen romances?

Katrina said...

Twilight is a seriously amazing book.

'Nuff said. :)

Anonymous said...

o.k., say I querry and get rejected by you, I have been learning and reading and targeting you for months. you say no thanks, then what? can I querry you again down the road when I have learned to make it a stronger querry?

The above comment has many errors in punctuation, a spelling mistake ("querry"), grammar issues, and no capitalization.

Don't query anyone until you strengthen your basic English skills. A stronger query won't help you if the person reading it can tell you don't know how to use commas correctly. You'll never be considered publishable until you're competently literate.

And to answer your question based on what I've read on other agent's sites, no, you can't query an agent a second time for the same project. The agent doesn't care if your query letter is better now; they said no to your book.

midnight oil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
midnight oil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nona said...

Does the Curtis Brown film department read original screenplays or do they only develop adaptations from existing literary works?

Other Lisa said...

Enquiring Minds Need to Know "Hills" scandal a-brewin'!

Josephine Damian said...

Other Lisa: Somebody should call Nathan on his homeboy phone and give him a heads up on what Team Heidi is plotting. :-)

Other Lisa said...

I had to go wayyyy back in the archives here to figure out that "homeboy phone" reference!

Heather B. Moore said...

I met an agent recently at a Writer's Conference. She said that she likes it when authors compare themselves to another writer, so she can get a quick idea of what to expect.

I have a thriller ready to submit, but am I being too egotistical to compare my work to Cussler or someone else?

Anonymous said...

Hi Nathan,

My question is about professional editing! I am currently developing a historical fiction novel, and being a first-timer and with no professional background in writing, I am a bit unsure of my writing skills, and whether my novel can past any literary agent's standards! I can assure you that the plot is fantastic and unique, extremely well-researched and is of the same genre as the Da Vinci Code. Will an agent be willing to represent this 'unpolished novel' by a newbie,just on the strength of it's amazing plot and well-documented research? You see,I do not have money to pay for professional editors! Thanks in advance for answering my query!

Anonymous said...

Hi Nathan,

My question is about professional editing! I am currently developing a historical fiction novel, and being a first-timer and with no professional background in writing, I am a bit unsure of my writing skills, and whether my novel can past any literary agent's standards! I can assure you that the plot is fantastic and unique, extremely well-researched and is of the same genre as the Da Vinci Code. Will an agent be willing to represent this 'unpolished novel' just on the strength of it's amazing plot and well-documented research? I do not have money to pay for professional editors! Thanks in advance for answering my query!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Bransford:

Thank you for your blog; I find it very useful. My question is about the memoir genre. After a 2-year search, in February 2007 I finally landed literary representation with a very good agent at a reputable NY agency. For over six months my agent worked with me on revisions to my (memoir) manuscript, then began submitting to top houses (S&S, RandomHouse, Doubleday, etc) in late summer. Of the 40+ rejections we've received thus far, almost all the editors have written highly favorable comments, ranging from "riveting," to "needs to be published," "an important book," "I couldn't put it down," and "I'm sure another house will pick this up"--yet no one has made an offer. Some editors have said it might be "too dark" for their house, or else they say it's just not a good fit. My agent seems to think we've had no actual offers because the tides have turned on the memoir market, due to the (still too) recent James Frey controversy. Editors are still scared to take a chance on a new memoir, my agent says. My main concern is that my agent is now saying we may need to back off submitting for up to 6 months or longer, until the tides turn again; and while I trust him--both professionally and creatively--I'm unsure if I should go with this advice, or search for another agent who would instead continue fighting to sell the manuscript. Would you have any thoughts about my situation, or even the memoir market in general? Thank you very much.

Nathan Bransford said...

anon-

It's tough to draw conclusions about trends in publishing, and I'm not yet sure where things are coming down on the edgy memoir post-Frey. But the fact that your agent has submitted to 40+ places shows a great deal of commitment to you and the manuscript, and the fact that he is suggesting a pause before going at it again (or thinking of a new direction) also shows a great deal of commitment. If you're comfortable working this agent, I'd trust that he's doing right by you, and in the meantime, use the time to take a fresh look at the memoir and see if there are things you can do to improve it. Good luck!

Tina said...

I love this blog. I really do. And that's saying a lot because six months ago I didn't know what a blog was. Now I have a blog - I'm reading blogs - I'm leaving comments on blogs. Just goes to show that old broads need blogs, too.

Now, I just need to work up the nerve to query you. Where's a jell-o shot when you need one?

Kirsten said...

Hi Nathan,

I'm in an intercontinental novel pitching quandary...

I'm an American living in Australia. I have written two novels set in the US, but, as I live here, have been pitching them here, to a very Australia-centric industry. There have been some nibbles: both books commended by judges in a national literary competition, a big publisher vaguely interested, an agent currently reading the full manuscript... But it has been slow going. Thus far the buck keeps stopping with someone who just isn't quite into the project(s). (While I'm aware this is typical of most authors' efforts to find a home for their books, sometimes I wonder if I'm making the whole process harder than it should be.)

An upcoming trip to San Francisco, and a burgeoning desire to move back home has me thinking I should be pitching a bit closer to the land my characters inhabit, despite the fact that I've heard you should pitch where you live.

I'm curious to hear your thoughts.

Nathan Bransford said...

kirsten-

One thing I've noticed about fiction written by authors in other countries is that even when the novels are set in the US they're almost always written with the sensibility of the author's home country. It's a nebulous thing, but it's really the sensibility of the novel, more than the setting, that determines where the book is likely to succeed. What may work for readers in, say, South Africa, may not necessarily work for readers in the US, even if it's set here.

There are some books that are universal, but that is extremely difficult to do, and there are surprisingly few that are equally popular across the globe.

With all that said, it sounds like you're doing fine in Australia, but I don't see the harm in querying agents in the US if you think your work will resonate here.

Kirsten said...

Thanks for getting back to me, Nathan,

You make some good points. I definitely agree that sensibility is the key.

I like to think my stories have some degree of universal appeal, but I won't know until the votes are counted.

And I am doing OK here, but still I grumble...

There is a strong push here for Australian stories, from home-grown Aussie authors... I feel these are the new authors they're going to take a punt on.

So I do feel like I'm in kind of a professional no man's land: US agents will wonder why I'm querying them all the way from Australia, and Australian agents will wonder why an American author is querying them with an American book.

Kirsten said...

Thanks again, Nathan. I have yet another burning question. (Although my first really was more of a quandary than a question. But at least it wasn't a rhetorical question.)

My second novel is being considered by an agent that claims it will take about three months to get back with a yay or nay. They have a strict 'no simultaneous queries' rule.

How seriously do I take this rule? Do I really have to wait three months to try anyone else, or should I be getting myself out there? Most people give me the you-poor-sap eye roll of pity when I earnestly inform them of the rule...

Dianne said...

Is Nathan dead?

Fertility Hollis said...

Nathan:

I'm sorry if this question has been answered already, but I'm wondering what procedure you're normally following when, on behalf of a client, you're sending an inquiry to a potential publisher?

palereiter said...

Nathan:

Sorry if this is a repeat, more or less, but hindsight has taught me much about my e-naivete and the subsequent need to be thorough.

Diaz is monkey-wrenchingly splendid in his new book. But speaking of Diaz, sort of, I have a big Q about publishing short story collections. Are they an aleatory black hole of interest?

Tough stuff finding agents who are interested. So do I shop it as a novel, or...this is where you come in (I hope). I am finally ready to agentize (oooh-I just mixed my distaste for verbifying a noun (and again) with a pseudo-appropriate opportunity to do so), and I write short stories, novels, and poetry. My collection is finished and polished, and I have two strong novel starts that I cannot wait to get going once something is supposedly happening with the collection.

Your thoughts, sir?

Much Appreciated In Advance (MAIA-the cleverest of goddesses),

palereiter

palereiter said...

Hi Nathan:

I quickly realized I was not correctly clear in my previous post. What I meant to ask was whether one shops a collection of short stories as one would shop a novel. So, er, does one?

palereiter

Nathan Bransford said...

palereiter-

Yes, pretty much.

Anonymous said...

Hello Nathan,
I know it's Friday, and you may or may not feel up to even going online. I wanted to get your advice on something. I wrote a book and it is in it's finality stages of publishing. The thing is, I never expected not only friends & family, but complete strangers wanting to reserve copies of the book. Problem is this is overwhelming since I'm a first time writer and I'm going to need some help since I've self published. I don't know whether to seek an agent or what. could you please give me advice?
lynn

Avrinell said...

I know in your blogs you indicate you respond relativley quickly to your queries. I've also noticed that you get a bundle...ok more than a bundle, of queries a day. If we queried you and haven't heard back going into the fourth week should we assume that this is a rejection although it is not followed with an actual email?
Or can i keep dreaming of rainbows and puppies. :)

Avrinell said...

I know in your blogs you indicate you respond relativley quickly to your queries. I've also noticed that you get a bundle...ok more than a bundle, of queries a day. If we queried you and haven't heard back going into the fourth week should we assume that this is a rejection although it is not followed with an actual email?
Or can i keep dreaming of rainbows and puppies. :)

Avrinell said...

LOL sorry didn't mean to post that twice, i was having identity/password problems. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Nathan,

I'm interested in starting a new career as a literary agent. I've worked in academia, law, and tech, but not publishing. I have a B.A. in philosophy and a J.D. What would you recommend is the best way to enter the profession? Many thanks.

Anonymous said...

I'm in the process of agent hunting and am getting a call from an agent soon. I wonder if you have any suggestions about what kinds of questions I should ask.

Nathan Bransford said...

anon-

Check out the FAQs, there's a guest post by Ginger Clark on how to handle an offer of representation.

Anonymous said...

Hello,
I'm a screenwriter in NYC with no plans to move to LA soon. Do you know any film agents in the Curtis Brown NYC office open to receiving queries from new writers? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Bransford

I just finished my first novel on Friday Nov. 21. I was about to submit a Query Letter to you, so I decided to do my homework and with a little research I came across your blog. I just wanted to thank you for posting the helpful hints on your page with examples of the optimal letter. It stopped me from ruining too many potential contacts.(Total of 3)
Here's my question. If you've sent out the smelly Query that you know is going to hit the recycle bin. How long should i wait before I send a better, fresher version of my query?

Anonymous said...

Hi Nathan,
I have looked but couldnt find my question anywhere, so here it is. Whey you are asked for 3 sample chapters, is it better to send from the beginning of the book where you are developing characters and plot, or from the middle of the novel where there is more action and the plot is more fully developed?

Anonymous said...

My debut novel, Rarity from the Hollow, was published as an ebook by Fatcat Press in July, 2006. Shortly thereafter, the press ceased to exist: www.fatcatpress.com



My original contract with Fatcat (available on request) included an exit proviso that covered the possibility of print publication. Although I did receive royalties for ten copies sold, I have received no notice from the editor concerning the demise of the press and she has not replied to my inquiries by letter or email. Rarity was only available to the public for a brief period of time. It is no longer available from any source.



Rarity received excellent book reviews and that serve synoptic purpose and which I have included at the bottom of this query. Also following are a few blurbs that I have included as pitch lines.



Bio:

Robert Eggleton is the creator of Lacy Dawn Adventures -- the exploits of a victim empowered to save the universe, and a project which raises funds to prevent child abuse. He works as a therapist in a children's mental health program.

Other fiction writing credits: “I Found God in Cyberspace” (Wingspan Quarterly, 2006), “Stainless Steel” (Atomjack Science Fiction Magazine, 2007), and “Lionel” (Beyond Centauri, 2008).



On my queries, I have received expressions of interest by ebook publishers only. I want to explore paper with your help. I have not actually paid to copy and mail manuscripts to anybody, and feel lost in this industry.



Thank you for your consideration.



Sincerely,



Robert Eggleton

1104 Garvin Avenue

Charleston, WV, 25302

(304) 346-7907

robert_t@suddenlink.net

Book Reviews and Blurbs

Atomjack Science Fiction Magazine:

Rarity From the Hollow:
A Lacy Dawn Adventure

by Robert Eggleton

Review by Adicus Ryan Garton

Imagine "Wizard of Oz" and "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" smashed together and taking place in a hollow in the hills of West Virginia. Now you have an idea of what to expect when you sit down to read Rarity From the Hollow: A Lacy Dawn Adventure by Robert Eggleton.

This novel is an unabashed, unashamed exploration of the life of young Lacy Dawn, as she learns that she is the savior of the universe. The naked, genderless android, Dot-com, who lives in a ship in a cave, told her so. Add her abusive father, her weak-willed mother, a sexually-abused ghost for a best friend that was murdered by her own father, trees that talk to her, a dog that can communicate telepathically with cockroaches and so much more.

There is so much to this story, and its writing is so unblinkingly honest; Eggleton spares us nothing in his descriptions of her father beating her and her mother, the emotions that the mother and daughter go through, the dark creeping insanity that eats away at her Iraq-veteran father, and the life in general of people too poor, too uneducated to escape.

In part, it is a grueling exposition of what children endure when being physically and emotionally abused. Eggleton almost seems to suggest that the only way for a child to escape is to learn that she is the savior of the universe. Lacy Dawn is strong, tough, smart—all those attributes that any child should have—and she reminds us that children are survivors, adaptive and optimistic. Instead of giving us a story of escapism, Eggleton shows us a girl whose life follows her through the story.

But don't think you're going to be reading something harsh and brutal and tragic. This book is laugh-out-loud funny at times, satiric of almost everything it touches upon (some common themes are shopping, masturbation, welfare, growing and selling drugs, and the lives of cockroaches). The characters from the hollow and from the planet Shptiludrp (the Mall of the Universe) are funny almost to the point of tears.

I hate happy endings to stories that deal with any kind of oppression or abuse because they tend to suggest, "In this case, it worked out okay," and the reader walks away with the impression that the world is a better place (think of all those inner-city sports movies about black kids who win the big championship despite being addicted to crack). I thought for a long time that this book was an escapist fantasy, and when the fantasy broke, it was going to be tragic. No one wants to see a little girl go through heaven only to learn that hell awaits her at the end. And then when I realized that Eggleton was not writing an escapist fantasy, I worried that this happy ending effect was going to take place, making me not like the book, despite all its positive attributes. But when I realized that Lacy Dawn had to fix her life first before the story could progress, and that this was IMPOSSIBLE except by extraterrestrial means, and that Lacy Dawn carried her past with her as part of her instead of in spite of, it made the prospect of a happy ending much better.

Go here, buy the book and read it. It's absolutely fantastic, and the proceeds go to the Lacy Dawn Adventures project. It's like buying ice cream for charity—everybody wins.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



More information about Robert Eggleton and the Lacy Dawn project can be found here.

"Stainless Steel", the story of Lacy Dawn's best friend, can be read right here in Atomjack.



______










--------

Baryon 103:

RARITY FROM THE HOLLOW, A Lacy Dawn Adventure, Robert Eggleton, www.fatcatpress.com, $6.95, 411 pages, ISBN: 0977644839, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

Lacy Dawn is the last person you would pick to be the savior of the universe. She's in the fifth grade in the backwoods of West Virginia. Her best friend – Faith, is the ghost of a school mate that was beaten to death and lives in a tree. During recess she gives advice to her schoolmates about their future. Her boyfriend – DotCom, is an android that has lived in a cave for thousands of years keeping watch over her lineage from the first days of humankind.

Her dad - Dewayne is a disabled vet and her family is on welfare. Tom, the next door neighbor, grows "buds". Jenny, her mom does the best she can. Lacy and DotCom do some "reprogramming" on the parents to make them smarter and stronger and Lacy is up to college level in her studies with DotCom.

It turns out that in order for Lacy to save the universe; she must raise the prestige of Earth by becoming the greatest shopper of all time and negotiate the best deals for her services and those of her family on the planet Shptiludrp.

Eggleton has crafted a novel that deals with social commentary mixed with some eerie science fiction and a strange problem that Lacy has to solve to save the universe with the help of her family and her dog, Brownie. I can almost hear a blue grass version of Metallica while reading this. I expect to see more from Eggleton and Lacy Dawn. Good satire is hard to find and science fiction satire is even harder to find.





http://www.baryon-online.com for the finest in reviews

The Missouri Review:




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



I Owe One to Robert Eggleton
October 30, 2006 By: Evelyn Somers Category: Reviews

Earlier this year I was contacted by first-time novelist Robert Eggleton, asking if I would review his forthcoming e-book. If people knew how many requests of this kind editors get, they would understand that out of self-preservation we sometimes… well, I ignored the request.

Robert tried again. There was something in the tone of his e-mail: this mattered to him. So I said yes, I'd take a look, though I didn't think we could review Rarity From the Hollow. This is all fogged somewhat in memory: in the months since then our magazine moved its office, I was hospitalized for a cat bite (yes, they're dangerous), we've published two issues, read hundreds of manuscripts, I went to Africa, etc., etc. But as I recall, Robert sent me the first chapter, which begins with two impoverished schoolgirls (from the Hollow of the title) studying together and spelling the word for a sex toy. It was quirky, profane, disturbing. I said I'd look at the book, not entirely sure what I could do to help.

He sent me the whole thing by e-mail. I read portions of the book, which is subtitled "A Lacy Dawn Adventure," after the girl protagonist, Lacy Dawn. I liked Lacy Dawn, who lives in a world of poverty, classmates with precocious sexual knowledge and/or experience, unemployed men, worn-down women, and cruelty so casual that it's more knee-jerk than intentional. Maybe I was just too bothered by the content, but at a certain point I knew I couldn't do anything. My time was nonexistent.

So I deleted the book from my desktop.

Robert contacted me again, and I got soft. You see, there was something about the whole project in general. Robert is a social worker who has spent at least a portion of his career working with child-abuse victims in Appalachia. The book was partly about that, and mostly very strange. In the Hollow, Lacy takes up with an android named DotCom, from "out of state," which really means off of this planet. Under DotCom's wing, she decides that she will "save" her family. Little does she know she will end up saving the universe. The subject was not exactly run-of-the-mill. And Robert was donating the proceeds from sales of the e-book to help child-abuse victims.

Robert is not a kid; he's maybe my age, maybe older. What was at stake wasn't youthful ambition, vanity or reputation. This was about some kind of personal calling. I believe in those. I also believe in people who are driven to get their writing out there to an audience, through whatever venue. The e-book idea intrigued me. The earnestness of the appeal got to me. Send the book again, I said. He did. It's still on my hard drive. (I suppose I should delete it, since I haven't paid for it.)

Robert kept after me. If I liked it, could I write a blurb? Yeah, of course. I was fund-raising for my African trip (a Habitat for Humanity build), teaching, editing, raising three kids. But who is not busy and overwhelmed? We set our own priorities. I put Robert, and his book, lower than some other things, which really wasn't fair because I had said I would do something, and I didn't.

And it has bothered me. Here's another thing people don't know about editors. They sometimes have consciences about books/stories/poems/whatever that they've allowed to slip through the cracks, to get lost or neglected in the shuffle of what amounts to thousands of pages.

So I'm belatedly giving Rarity From the Hollow a plug. Among its strengths are an ultra-convincing depiction of the lives, especially the inner lives, of the Appalachian characters. The grim details of their existence are delivered with such flat understatement that at times they almost become comic. And just when you think enough is enough, this world is too plain ugly, Lacy Dawn's father (who is being "fixed" with DotCom's help) gets a job and Lacy Dawn, her mother and her dog take off for a trip to the mall "out of state" with Lacy Dawn's android friend, now her "fiancé" (though as Lacy Dawn's mother points out, he doesn't have any private parts, not even "a bump.") In the space of a few lines we go from gritty realism to pure sci-fi/fantasy. It's quite a trip.

Rarity is published by FatCat Press, which has other e-books for sale as well. You can find it here. The blurb on the website says, in part:

Lacy Dawn is a true daughter of Appalachia, and then some. She lives in a hollow with her mom, her Vietnam Vet dad, and her mutt Brownie, a dog who's very skilled at laying fiber-optic cable. Lacy Dawn's android boyfriend, DotCom, has come to the hollow with a mission. His equipment includes infomercial videos of Earth's earliest proto-humans from millennia ago. DotCom has been sent by the Manager of the Mall on planet Shptiludrp: he must recruit Lacy Dawn to save Earth, and they must get a boatload of shopping done at the mall along the way. Saving Earth is important, but shopping - well, priorities are priorities.

Yes, priorities are. I should have had mine in order. Robert Eggleton's book deserves your attention. Check it out.

Coffee Times Romance:

RARITY FROM THE HOLLOW
ROBERT EGGELTON
ISBN# 0977644839
July 2006
Fat Cat Press
www.fatcatpress.com
Ebook
$6.95
411 Pages
Science Fiction/Fantasy
Rating: 3 cups

Lacy Dawn is a teenager with some minor changes in an average life that a normal teenager would not have in real life. She has a dog that can do technical details to improve life as she knows it, and Lacy Dawn has an android boyfriend to boot.

DotCom is the person responsible for the risks Lacy Dawn is willing to take to better her lifestyle. He shares what he knows with Lacy Dawn so that they can have a chance of being together.

But what will it cost DotCom and Lacy Dawn to take their own lives in their hands in order to save two planets?

A unique way to bring two different races together. At first, I was worried that I was not going to be able to like the world Mr. Eggleton had created. But I was surprised that as I read more of the book, the people had a way of touching a part of you that I was not expecting at all. A good read for any lover of satire and science fiction. A well written book.

Mia
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance

“Give yourself a treat with something different next time you're ready to read. Try Rarity from the Hollow. It is one of the most unusual novels I've read in a great while. Look in on a dysfunctional family, poverty, child abuse, and the thought processes of a young girl turning the corner from childhood to adolescence, then put them all together in a surreal setting that looks at our society from a distinctly different viewpoint. You'll enjoy the ride with Lacy Dawn and friends and family, but don't expect the ride to be without bumps and enough food for thought to last you a long time.”



Darrell Bain -- 2005 Fictionwise eBook Author of the Year

Double Eppie Award winner 2007

May 8, 2007

Blurbs:

"RARITY FROM THE HOLLOW is one of those strange and exciting bits of literature that captures you with its uniqueness and then lingers on your mind, reasserting itself from time to time to remind you that your reality may not be everyone else's. A rich and original work, full of aspects and images that are certain to make it worth recommending to friends you wish to impress. Not for everyone, but for those ready to embrace the offbeat, a welcome surprise." -William F. DeVault, author, LOVE GODS OF A FORGOTTEN RELIGION



"An unlikely pair, the strange Lacy Dawn and her sent-to-Earth android DotCom take the reader on a wildly improbable and sometimes disturbing romp from rural Appalachia to an alien shopping mall as Lacy attempts to save the world, heal her parents, and fall in love."

--Mary Rosenblum, author, "THE DRYLANDS," "CHIMERA," "THE STONE GARDEN," and "SYNTHESIS AND OTHER VIRTUAL REALITIES"



"Robert Eggleton is a gifted storyteller of boundless imagination and masterful skill. *Rarity from the Hollow* is a dark, humorous and suspenseful science-fantasy story that showcases Eggleton's expert characterization, description and dialogue. His frank and honest portrayal of poverty in rural Appalachia is reminiscent of Stephen King's use of "everyday horrors" to create a convincing sense of dread. Eggleton counters the story's dark mood with touches of warmth and humor, à la Ray Bradbury. I look forward to reading more from this rare, original author." --J. D. Nelson http://www.MadVerse.com



"The book reached straight for my heart-strings and played them masterfully. The book is well-written, so much so that its emotions beat stronger than in most any other book I've read. --Brent P. Newhall http://brent.other-space.com/"



"...the subject matter is dark and strong, unflinching in its portrayal of human darkness, and not for the faint-hearted or easily offended. Robert Eggleton is not afraid of employing complex style and structure to fit the needs of his story. The mixture of sci-fi, gritty reality, humour, and the mode of thriller reminds me a great deal of Dean Koontz's writing, and Robert Eggleton may indeed have the potential to follow in Dean Koontz's footsteps." --Kevin Patrick Mahoney Authortrek



"Lacy Dawn is my kinda gal, and "Rarity From the Hollow" is my kinda book. Set in rural Appalachia, it dishes up courses of the offbeat, the unusual, and blends them into a superb main course of good storytelling. This book tells me that we'll be hearing much more from Robert Eggleton, much more, and it won't come a moment too soon for me."

--Ed Williams, Syndicated Columnist of Free Wheelin and author of "Rough as a Cob: More Juliette Journals"



"Rarity is one helluva a read. Buy it." - Allan Cole, "The Timura Trilogy," "Dying Good"



"Beautifully written." Roberta Gellis, "Mother of Poisons," "Thrice Bound"

"Rarity from the Hollow is an original, interesting, naughty story of a backwoods girl, who saves the Universe, in her fashion. Not for the prudish."

-- Piers Anthony, XANTH TRILOGY

Award:

http://myshelf.com/backtoliterature/column.htm
My Query --

Mr. Bransford:

My debut novel, Rarity from the Hollow, was published as an ebook by Fatcat Press in July, 2006. Shortly thereafter, the press ceased to exist: www.fatcatpress.com



My original contract with Fatcat (available on request) included an exit proviso that covered the possibility of print publication. Although I did receive royalties for ten copies sold, I have received no notice from the editor concerning the demise of the press and she has not replied to my inquiries by letter or email. Rarity was only available to the public for a brief period of time. It is no longer available from any source.



Rarity received excellent book reviews and that serve synoptic purpose and which I have included at the bottom of this query. Also following are a few blurbs that I have included as pitch lines.



Bio:

Robert Eggleton is the creator of Lacy Dawn Adventures -- the exploits of a victim empowered to save the universe, and a project which raises funds to prevent child abuse. He works as a therapist in a children's mental health program.

Other fiction writing credits: “I Found God in Cyberspace” (Wingspan Quarterly, 2006), “Stainless Steel” (Atomjack Science Fiction Magazine, 2007), and “Lionel” (Beyond Centauri, 2008).



On my queries, I have received expressions of interest by ebook publishers only. I want to explore paper with your help. I have not actually paid to copy and mail manuscripts to anybody, and feel lost in this industry.



Thank you for your consideration.



Sincerely,



Robert Eggleton

1104 Garvin Avenue

Charleston, WV, 25302

(304) 346-7907

robert_t@suddenlink.net

Book Reviews and Blurbs

Atomjack Science Fiction Magazine:

Rarity From the Hollow:
A Lacy Dawn Adventure

by Robert Eggleton

Review by Adicus Ryan Garton

Imagine "Wizard of Oz" and "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" smashed together and taking place in a hollow in the hills of West Virginia. Now you have an idea of what to expect when you sit down to read Rarity From the Hollow: A Lacy Dawn Adventure by Robert Eggleton.

This novel is an unabashed, unashamed exploration of the life of young Lacy Dawn, as she learns that she is the savior of the universe. The naked, genderless android, Dot-com, who lives in a ship in a cave, told her so. Add her abusive father, her weak-willed mother, a sexually-abused ghost for a best friend that was murdered by her own father, trees that talk to her, a dog that can communicate telepathically with cockroaches and so much more.

There is so much to this story, and its writing is so unblinkingly honest; Eggleton spares us nothing in his descriptions of her father beating her and her mother, the emotions that the mother and daughter go through, the dark creeping insanity that eats away at her Iraq-veteran father, and the life in general of people too poor, too uneducated to escape.

In part, it is a grueling exposition of what children endure when being physically and emotionally abused. Eggleton almost seems to suggest that the only way for a child to escape is to learn that she is the savior of the universe. Lacy Dawn is strong, tough, smart—all those attributes that any child should have—and she reminds us that children are survivors, adaptive and optimistic. Instead of giving us a story of escapism, Eggleton shows us a girl whose life follows her through the story.

But don't think you're going to be reading something harsh and brutal and tragic. This book is laugh-out-loud funny at times, satiric of almost everything it touches upon (some common themes are shopping, masturbation, welfare, growing and selling drugs, and the lives of cockroaches). The characters from the hollow and from the planet Shptiludrp (the Mall of the Universe) are funny almost to the point of tears.

I hate happy endings to stories that deal with any kind of oppression or abuse because they tend to suggest, "In this case, it worked out okay," and the reader walks away with the impression that the world is a better place (think of all those inner-city sports movies about black kids who win the big championship despite being addicted to crack). I thought for a long time that this book was an escapist fantasy, and when the fantasy broke, it was going to be tragic. No one wants to see a little girl go through heaven only to learn that hell awaits her at the end. And then when I realized that Eggleton was not writing an escapist fantasy, I worried that this happy ending effect was going to take place, making me not like the book, despite all its positive attributes. But when I realized that Lacy Dawn had to fix her life first before the story could progress, and that this was IMPOSSIBLE except by extraterrestrial means, and that Lacy Dawn carried her past with her as part of her instead of in spite of, it made the prospect of a happy ending much better.

Go here, buy the book and read it. It's absolutely fantastic, and the proceeds go to the Lacy Dawn Adventures project. It's like buying ice cream for charity—everybody wins.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



More information about Robert Eggleton and the Lacy Dawn project can be found here.

"Stainless Steel", the story of Lacy Dawn's best friend, can be read right here in Atomjack.



______










--------

Baryon 103:

RARITY FROM THE HOLLOW, A Lacy Dawn Adventure, Robert Eggleton, www.fatcatpress.com, $6.95, 411 pages, ISBN: 0977644839, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

Lacy Dawn is the last person you would pick to be the savior of the universe. She's in the fifth grade in the backwoods of West Virginia. Her best friend – Faith, is the ghost of a school mate that was beaten to death and lives in a tree. During recess she gives advice to her schoolmates about their future. Her boyfriend – DotCom, is an android that has lived in a cave for thousands of years keeping watch over her lineage from the first days of humankind.

Her dad - Dewayne is a disabled vet and her family is on welfare. Tom, the next door neighbor, grows "buds". Jenny, her mom does the best she can. Lacy and DotCom do some "reprogramming" on the parents to make them smarter and stronger and Lacy is up to college level in her studies with DotCom.

It turns out that in order for Lacy to save the universe; she must raise the prestige of Earth by becoming the greatest shopper of all time and negotiate the best deals for her services and those of her family on the planet Shptiludrp.

Eggleton has crafted a novel that deals with social commentary mixed with some eerie science fiction and a strange problem that Lacy has to solve to save the universe with the help of her family and her dog, Brownie. I can almost hear a blue grass version of Metallica while reading this. I expect to see more from Eggleton and Lacy Dawn. Good satire is hard to find and science fiction satire is even harder to find.





http://www.baryon-online.com for the finest in reviews

The Missouri Review:




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



I Owe One to Robert Eggleton
October 30, 2006 By: Evelyn Somers Category: Reviews

Earlier this year I was contacted by first-time novelist Robert Eggleton, asking if I would review his forthcoming e-book. If people knew how many requests of this kind editors get, they would understand that out of self-preservation we sometimes… well, I ignored the request.

Robert tried again. There was something in the tone of his e-mail: this mattered to him. So I said yes, I'd take a look, though I didn't think we could review Rarity From the Hollow. This is all fogged somewhat in memory: in the months since then our magazine moved its office, I was hospitalized for a cat bite (yes, they're dangerous), we've published two issues, read hundreds of manuscripts, I went to Africa, etc., etc. But as I recall, Robert sent me the first chapter, which begins with two impoverished schoolgirls (from the Hollow of the title) studying together and spelling the word for a sex toy. It was quirky, profane, disturbing. I said I'd look at the book, not entirely sure what I could do to help.

He sent me the whole thing by e-mail. I read portions of the book, which is subtitled "A Lacy Dawn Adventure," after the girl protagonist, Lacy Dawn. I liked Lacy Dawn, who lives in a world of poverty, classmates with precocious sexual knowledge and/or experience, unemployed men, worn-down women, and cruelty so casual that it's more knee-jerk than intentional. Maybe I was just too bothered by the content, but at a certain point I knew I couldn't do anything. My time was nonexistent.

So I deleted the book from my desktop.

Robert contacted me again, and I got soft. You see, there was something about the whole project in general. Robert is a social worker who has spent at least a portion of his career working with child-abuse victims in Appalachia. The book was partly about that, and mostly very strange. In the Hollow, Lacy takes up with an android named DotCom, from "out of state," which really means off of this planet. Under DotCom's wing, she decides that she will "save" her family. Little does she know she will end up saving the universe. The subject was not exactly run-of-the-mill. And Robert was donating the proceeds from sales of the e-book to help child-abuse victims.

Robert is not a kid; he's maybe my age, maybe older. What was at stake wasn't youthful ambition, vanity or reputation. This was about some kind of personal calling. I believe in those. I also believe in people who are driven to get their writing out there to an audience, through whatever venue. The e-book idea intrigued me. The earnestness of the appeal got to me. Send the book again, I said. He did. It's still on my hard drive. (I suppose I should delete it, since I haven't paid for it.)

Robert kept after me. If I liked it, could I write a blurb? Yeah, of course. I was fund-raising for my African trip (a Habitat for Humanity build), teaching, editing, raising three kids. But who is not busy and overwhelmed? We set our own priorities. I put Robert, and his book, lower than some other things, which really wasn't fair because I had said I would do something, and I didn't.

And it has bothered me. Here's another thing people don't know about editors. They sometimes have consciences about books/stories/poems/whatever that they've allowed to slip through the cracks, to get lost or neglected in the shuffle of what amounts to thousands of pages.

So I'm belatedly giving Rarity From the Hollow a plug. Among its strengths are an ultra-convincing depiction of the lives, especially the inner lives, of the Appalachian characters. The grim details of their existence are delivered with such flat understatement that at times they almost become comic. And just when you think enough is enough, this world is too plain ugly, Lacy Dawn's father (who is being "fixed" with DotCom's help) gets a job and Lacy Dawn, her mother and her dog take off for a trip to the mall "out of state" with Lacy Dawn's android friend, now her "fiancé" (though as Lacy Dawn's mother points out, he doesn't have any private parts, not even "a bump.") In the space of a few lines we go from gritty realism to pure sci-fi/fantasy. It's quite a trip.

Rarity is published by FatCat Press, which has other e-books for sale as well. You can find it here. The blurb on the website says, in part:

Lacy Dawn is a true daughter of Appalachia, and then some. She lives in a hollow with her mom, her Vietnam Vet dad, and her mutt Brownie, a dog who's very skilled at laying fiber-optic cable. Lacy Dawn's android boyfriend, DotCom, has come to the hollow with a mission. His equipment includes infomercial videos of Earth's earliest proto-humans from millennia ago. DotCom has been sent by the Manager of the Mall on planet Shptiludrp: he must recruit Lacy Dawn to save Earth, and they must get a boatload of shopping done at the mall along the way. Saving Earth is important, but shopping - well, priorities are priorities.

Yes, priorities are. I should have had mine in order. Robert Eggleton's book deserves your attention. Check it out.

Coffee Times Romance:

RARITY FROM THE HOLLOW
ROBERT EGGELTON
ISBN# 0977644839
July 2006
Fat Cat Press
www.fatcatpress.com
Ebook
$6.95
411 Pages
Science Fiction/Fantasy
Rating: 3 cups

Lacy Dawn is a teenager with some minor changes in an average life that a normal teenager would not have in real life. She has a dog that can do technical details to improve life as she knows it, and Lacy Dawn has an android boyfriend to boot.

DotCom is the person responsible for the risks Lacy Dawn is willing to take to better her lifestyle. He shares what he knows with Lacy Dawn so that they can have a chance of being together.

But what will it cost DotCom and Lacy Dawn to take their own lives in their hands in order to save two planets?

A unique way to bring two different races together. At first, I was worried that I was not going to be able to like the world Mr. Eggleton had created. But I was surprised that as I read more of the book, the people had a way of touching a part of you that I was not expecting at all. A good read for any lover of satire and science fiction. A well written book.

Mia
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance

“Give yourself a treat with something different next time you're ready to read. Try Rarity from the Hollow. It is one of the most unusual novels I've read in a great while. Look in on a dysfunctional family, poverty, child abuse, and the thought processes of a young girl turning the corner from childhood to adolescence, then put them all together in a surreal setting that looks at our society from a distinctly different viewpoint. You'll enjoy the ride with Lacy Dawn and friends and family, but don't expect the ride to be without bumps and enough food for thought to last you a long time.”



Darrell Bain -- 2005 Fictionwise eBook Author of the Year

Double Eppie Award winner 2007

May 8, 2007

Blurbs:

"RARITY FROM THE HOLLOW is one of those strange and exciting bits of literature that captures you with its uniqueness and then lingers on your mind, reasserting itself from time to time to remind you that your reality may not be everyone else's. A rich and original work, full of aspects and images that are certain to make it worth recommending to friends you wish to impress. Not for everyone, but for those ready to embrace the offbeat, a welcome surprise." -William F. DeVault, author, LOVE GODS OF A FORGOTTEN RELIGION



"An unlikely pair, the strange Lacy Dawn and her sent-to-Earth android DotCom take the reader on a wildly improbable and sometimes disturbing romp from rural Appalachia to an alien shopping mall as Lacy attempts to save the world, heal her parents, and fall in love."

--Mary Rosenblum, author, "THE DRYLANDS," "CHIMERA," "THE STONE GARDEN," and "SYNTHESIS AND OTHER VIRTUAL REALITIES"



"Robert Eggleton is a gifted storyteller of boundless imagination and masterful skill. *Rarity from the Hollow* is a dark, humorous and suspenseful science-fantasy story that showcases Eggleton's expert characterization, description and dialogue. His frank and honest portrayal of poverty in rural Appalachia is reminiscent of Stephen King's use of "everyday horrors" to create a convincing sense of dread. Eggleton counters the story's dark mood with touches of warmth and humor, à la Ray Bradbury. I look forward to reading more from this rare, original author." --J. D. Nelson http://www.MadVerse.com



"The book reached straight for my heart-strings and played them masterfully. The book is well-written, so much so that its emotions beat stronger than in most any other book I've read. --Brent P. Newhall http://brent.other-space.com/"



"...the subject matter is dark and strong, unflinching in its portrayal of human darkness, and not for the faint-hearted or easily offended. Robert Eggleton is not afraid of employing complex style and structure to fit the needs of his story. The mixture of sci-fi, gritty reality, humour, and the mode of thriller reminds me a great deal of Dean Koontz's writing, and Robert Eggleton may indeed have the potential to follow in Dean Koontz's footsteps." --Kevin Patrick Mahoney Authortrek



"Lacy Dawn is my kinda gal, and "Rarity From the Hollow" is my kinda book. Set in rural Appalachia, it dishes up courses of the offbeat, the unusual, and blends them into a superb main course of good storytelling. This book tells me that we'll be hearing much more from Robert Eggleton, much more, and it won't come a moment too soon for me."

--Ed Williams, Syndicated Columnist of Free Wheelin and author of "Rough as a Cob: More Juliette Journals"



"Rarity is one helluva a read. Buy it." - Allan Cole, "The Timura Trilogy," "Dying Good"



"Beautifully written." Roberta Gellis, "Mother of Poisons," "Thrice Bound"

"Rarity from the Hollow is an original, interesting, naughty story of a backwoods girl, who saves the Universe, in her fashion. Not for the prudish."

-- Piers Anthony, XANTH TRILOGY

Award:

http://myshelf.com/backtoliterature/column.htm

Anonymous said...

Dear Nathan,

What's the difference between a penguin and a pelican?

Silke said...

Dear Mr Bransford,
I'm about to go into the query frenzy, and during some discussions with friends, a question came up.
I've looked around your very informative blog, and I may have missed the answer amidst all of it, but I'm hoping you may blog on this some time in the future:
What does an agent do after the book is sold?
Sure, you will work on future projects, but I just wondered what happens after you take on a client, and sell the book.
Thank you in advance, should you decide to blog on this subject.
Silke

Ali said...

Dear Mr. Bransford,

I love your blog. It has in many ways saved me a lot of headache from those 'I don't know what to do' scenarios. I have finished a query letter for my novel, and I was curious if it is possible that you could criticize it? I'm sure it has plenty of faults that I simply cannot see.

Thanks.

inkspot said...

Do you represent only full-length books or do you also accept shorter pieces (essays) and try to place them in magazines? Are there agents who specialize in placing short pieces?

Thanks. Love the blog.

Anonymous said...

I can't see any mention in your blog re the use of editors and/or manuscript assessors. I've just sent part of a manuscript off for assessment, solely because I'd like some sort of feed back on what I'm doing. Any thoughts?

Sam said...

"Blast from the Past" question:

About 15 years ago, a friend wrote a novel and got an agent, who never sold the novel. He went on to a writing career (teaching, leading workshops, many published essays and articles, and an award-winning book that did not sell well).

This year he dug out the unpublished novel, gave it a major revision, and is ready to send it to an agent again.

Should he explain the novel's first go-round, and if so, what should he say?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. You have a terrific website.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I haven't seen this question on your blog before so forgive me if it's already been answered. I notice that several publishers in "The Writers' Market," say that they're only looking for books "with good values," or just "values." This seems kind of vague. What exactly do they mean?

Fridley said...

Please visit http://pandanacho.yolasite.com/, my website that I've filled with some of my works. The links page will take you to other sites where I have put my stories. Copyright enforced.

C.S. Gomez said...

Nathan,

I hope you're still reading these comments. It seems to have been a while since you posted something in them. I have a couple of questions about my first novel which I'm currently writing.

1) So far my book is just over 17,000 words long and at a guess I would say it will end up being 28,000 to 30,000 words long. I know it's probably dangerous to guess these things, but I think I have a fairly good sense of what I'll be writing from this point on. My question is: Is this too short to be published in a book on its own?

2) I decided that I needed some motivation to sit down and start writing the thing after a year of mulling it over. So I made what will probably turn out to be something of a silly career move...I'm blogging the first draft. The genre of the story (an action-adventure piece set in the 1930s) lends itself well to serialization, so every two weekends another installment goes up. Even if I'm planning to revise the draft once it's finished, is doing this sort of thing poison to any future publication of the novel?

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

wendy said...

Blow! The two genres I write in, Children (MG) and Category Romance are the two you're not interested in repping.
I only checked now, despite being a friend of the blog for a while, because well I - oh long story.

Enjoy your time in N.Y. and look forward to reading your next post. Hope you never abandon blogging.

Serendipity said...

I know you posted this a long time ago, but I thought I'd ask just in case you happen to answer.

I've written a book and it is being published in 2010 by a well-respected publishing company, but I do not have an agent. Should I get one or should I attempt to keep writing and hope the company treats me well?
Thanks for any advice.

Nathan Bransford said...

Serendipity-

You can try, though I don't know that an agent will be able to do a whole lot for you until it comes time to sell your next project (unless you have unsold rights they could work on placing like translation).

Dave said...

Hi Nathan,

I know the publishing world is even more selective than it has been in the past, but how long should a writer should leave his work with an agent if nothing is happening? A year? Two years?

Dave

Nathan Bransford said...

dave-

Not sure where your work is in the process, but that would be a great question for the forums!

Vix said...

Hey Nathan!

Just wanted to say I'm enjoying your blog. You provide lots of helpful information and I feel I have a better understanding of the book industry after reading your How-To pages.

Thank you for putting this all together, your sincere effort is clearly visible.

Vix

DrawnToArt said...

One more question, sir.

On the Curtis Brown website, it reads...

Please send all book queries to:

Curtis Brown, Ltd.
Attn: Query Department
Ten Astor Place
New York, NY 10003

If I want to address a specific agent, is that also acceptable? Thanks so much.

DrawnToArt said...

P.S. Would you be at all interested in a thriller?

Nathan Bransford said...

drawn to art-

Please check the FAQs.

Noah said...

Hi Nathan,

I got your name from my cousin Jeff Abbott. I have finished a children's book manuscript along with illustrations and have assembled a dummy book. I was wondering if I should write a query letter to accompany the dummy book??? If you do not know yourself, could you direct me to a possible source that would?

Thanks

N

Noah said...

Hi Nathan!

I found the answer for my question! Thanks for having and maintaining such a great website! I've really enjoyed reading your tips and advise!

Best,
Noah

Anonymous said...

What about a apocalyptic book? That's what I've been working on.

Emi-Lynn said...

Mr. Bransford,

Since you said - I don't recall the exact quote - that if an agent has a MySpace or Facebook it means they want to be friends, I just added you on Facebook. I stumbled upon your site today (procrastinating as I polish my manuscript), and I am impressed at how personable you are. I look forward to sending you a query letter as soon as I finish polishing (and, of course, researching you until I have found the perfect personal tidbit to add)!

Emily

Anonymous said...

Hi Nathan,
What is your idea on past and present...
-I lift my sleaves up think about it
VS
-I lifted my sleaves up and thought about it
I'm confused on what is better--what sounds better?

Help?

Banka said...

I write in Australia. If I submitted to Curtis B here,would I have the same ball-park as I would with C.B. in US?

Anonymous said...

Hello Nathan,

What are your thoughts about authors that re-query you. Is it acceptable or is it a big annoyance? If an author decides to extensively revise, edit, and rewrite a previous work can he send you another query?

D said...

Just wanted to say thanks for responding within 24 hours. Maybe something else, sometime later?

copperqueenmir said...

Hello Nathan. My father has written a book that he 'published' himself on lulu or one of those sites. He would love to see it actually published and promoted, but is shy in doing the leg work himself. I am considering sending queries out for him. What do you think of this?

Nathan Bransford said...

copperqueenmir-

No, I would want to hear from the author directly.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Bransford.

I am currently drafting a query letter for the proposal of my memoir. I am having trouble deciding if it should be in the first person, third or both. Is it acceptable to write the summary in third person and then switch to first for the bio and/or the personal note to the agent?

All the best,

A fan.

MJ Smith said...

Dear Mr. Nathan Bransford,

What if your Shadow, wasn’t just a Shadow?

What if it was, alive?

A young woman becomes aware that her Shadow is alive, with her haunting from this macabre force, she and her sister battle against its all, consuming evil that threatens to implement their demise. They pray for freedom, but prepare for the worst.

In a world filled with Shadows, how do you separate the false figures, from the thriving ones?

You may never know the answer, but in the meantime…
NEVER CLOSE YOUR EYES!

SHADOW FROM WITHIN is a 90,750 word, high-concept horror/suspense with a strong character based plot line, an extraordinary array of multi-dimensional supporting characters, and a series of disturbing surprises that culminate into a mind-blowing shocker of an ending. It is also a story of love, courage, redemption, and the fine line that separates good from evil.
I am a business graduate, and have had the distinctive honor of winning several writing awards. I continue to read and watch the masters of horror, and I believe SHADOW FROM WITHIN, is the original type of horror/suspense that fans of this genre, and all types, desire most. This novel will keep you gasping for the sequel, WHEN PAGE TURNED.

If you are interested in reading the synopsis, you can reach me at:
mjsmith3004@gmail.com

Thank you for your time and attention, and I look forward to an auspicious future.

Kindest regards,
MJ Smith

Karla said...

Dear Nathan,

How are you? I just wanted to ask you if you know whether or not I can send a query to a literary agent in the US for my novel, even though I'm from and live in South America (my novel is written in English, of course.)

Thanks!!

Karla

Anonymous said...

Name is David,

Im writing my first manuscript, dont know if its gonna turn out to be a novel or a novella. I understand that the two are judged by word count instead of page count. Ive been told a novella is 15,000 to 40,000 words and a novel is 50,000 and up. I saw where you answered one query saying that the ratio of a manuscript page and a novel page is 1:1 when written in Times at 12 font size.

Mine right now is at 29 pages, but it says 16,844 words. That just seems way off to me. Am I missing something major here? Its double spaced between each line, one inch margins, even has a header on each page. The advice I was given was to not pay attention to it, just write until Im done then go through the process of getting it redone and polished up for an agent and let them figure it out. But Id rather be as professional as possible with describing my manuscript to an agent.

Anonymous said...

I ENJOY READING YOUR BLOG. One day I just start writing, it ended up being a story. Everyone is telling me to publish it, but after reading your blog I am afriad to do anything with it. I feel as though it is a good message story.

Gabrielle D'Ayr said...

Apologies if I've missed our blog post on this, can you please let me know if there is a different format/formula used for screenplay query letter?

I know you don't do films, but I trust your advice.

Best wishes,

Gabrielle

Anonymous said...

In your blog,you've been mostly talking about authors seeking representative agents. What about cases in which a literary agent acts as "talent scouts", i.e. he goes to the authors uninvited, so to speak?
Wouldn' that work somewhat differently?

Anonymous said...

In your blog,you've been mostly talking about authors seeking representative agents. What about cases in which a literary agent acts as "talent scouts", i.e. he goes to the authors uninvited, so to speak?
Wouldn't that work somewhat differently? I guess the talent- scout mode would be more frequently encountered in the case of buying foreign rights...

Michael Parry said...

Hi Nathan

Above you say you usually get back within 24 hours...

How long should someone wait to send a followup email to check the query email had made it's way successfully to your inbox if they haven't heard anything back?

Cheers

Krista said...

As much as everyone complains about the query process I can't wait to begin. I have written as a hobby since I was a teenager but, never a full length novel. I am pushing towards the finish line and have begun to research the publishing process and found you through readers digest...You are first on my list to query. :)

saswat said...

Hi Mr Bransford,
I had written(finished) a fantasy novel.my hero,Tom Ruller is a wizard teen.but my novel has nothing to do with Harry Potter like witchcraft.plus my vilain is a vampire.yet he's not so kind as Edward Cullen.and in my fictional land you can find all sorts of magical creatures but science is treated as a baser knowledge than black magic.
so my question is:do you think my novel will work although market is saturated with wizards & vampires

saswat said...

Hi Mr Bransford,
I had written(finished) a fantasy novel.my hero,Tom Ruller is a wizard teen.but my novel has nothing to do with Harry Potter like witchcraft.plus my vilain is a vampire.yet he's not so kind as Edward Cullen.and in my fictional land you can find all sorts of magical creatures but science is treated as a baser knowledge than black magic.
so my question is:do you think my novel will work although market is saturated with wizards & vampires

saswat said...

Hi Mr Bransford,
I had written(finished) a fantasy novel.my hero,Tom Ruller is a wizard teen.but my novel has nothing to do with Harry Potter like witchcraft.plus my vilain is a vampire.yet he's not so kind as Edward Cullen.and in my fictional land you can find all sorts of magical creatures but science is treated as a baser knowledge than black magic.
so my question is:do you think my novel will work although market is saturated with wizards & vampires

saswat said...

Hi Mr Bransford,
I had written(finished) a fantasy novel.my hero,Tom Ruller is a wizard teen.but my novel has nothing to do with Harry Potter like witchcraft.plus my vilain is a vampire.yet he's not so kind as Edward Cullen.and in my fictional land you can find all sorts of magical creatures but science is treated as a baser knowledge than black magic.
so my question is:do you think my novel will work although market is saturated with wizards & vampires

saswat said...

sorry i'm a first timer here. so unknowingly asked 1 question times

Anonymous said...

Hi Nathan,

What is your opinion re: writing in the first person vs. third person?

Also, do you represent paranormal romance at all? I queried you a while back for a YA book I wrote, but this new one is adult paranormal romance.

You rejected my YA book query, but were so kind about it... Anyway, that made a good impression on me & thought I'd send another query your way once the MS is ready...

Thanks!

(I really dig your blog!) :-)

GN said...

Dear Nathan,

I emailed you on the day you took your well-deserved holidays (great timing) and waited with bated breath until you returned. At the announcement of 471 hollering 'Hello, READ ME!' queries, I thought patience to be the better part of valour and calculated that, at an approximate through-put of 15 queries a day, you might just have now come across mine.

I've not heard anything from you and was wondering whether my finger-in-the-wind guesswork is completely skewed, or is it rather the fault of my prose?

Thanks for having read this far, and I hope to receive either one your famously polite let-downs, or at least a 'keep waiting, I'm still wading through.'

Thanks for a delightful blog.

shelldolb said...

How do I go about sending you my query letter? I tried your contact me button but it doesn't bring up anything for me to email you the letter.

Mark Anthony Given a/k/a The King of Montana said...

LOG LINE 1
I need an agent please?
Brought together under the Big Sky of Montana by lust, wanderlust and suicide, after a first night out bar hopping DEBBIE tells MARK that she has came to Montana with her 12 year old daughter BRITNI to kill herself and her daughter on her 40th birthday. "Paradise Montana" is “memory play” akin to Tennessee William’s “Glass Menagerie,” and character and dialog of Elmore Leonard loosely described as “Lolita meets On the Road.” You will question whether MARK should be Knighted or jailed at the end of the film.
http://paradisemontana.blogspot.com
http://paradisemontanathemovie@yahoo.com

Related Posts with Thumbnails