Nathan Bransford, Author


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Open Thread!

233 queries in my inbox today, 233 queries in my inbooooooxxxxx, take one down, request a partial, 232 queries in my inbox today.

232 queries in in my inbox today, 232 queries in my inboooooxxxxxxxx, take one down, gah rhetorical question?, 231 queries in my inbox today.

231 queries in in my inbox today, 231 queries in my inboooooooooxxxxxx, take one down, aliens are you sure?, 230 queries in in my inbox today

And so on.

Open thread! I will be dipping in and out as I'm catching up.






199 comments:

Dawn said...

Open thread! Open thread! I have no idea what to say. How is everyone? What are you working on and what about it is giving you fits or making you cheer?

{word verification? morgo? WTF?)

Steph Damore said...

Good God man! Totally crazy!!!

just Joan said...

LOL

This is going to be fun to watch . . .

Anonymous said...

230 queries in the inbox today, 230 queries in the inbooooooxxxxx, take one down, egads,pink swirly font, 299 queries in the inbox today.

Steph Damore said...

What is giving me fits? Feeling ordinary.

What is making me cheer? Knowing I'm not.

anaquana said...

*waves*

Hi Dawn and Nathan (and anyone else who might post as I'm typing this)

I'm just coming down off of my NaNoWriMo high. Finished Sunday night with just over 50K. My first time winning, so I'm still kind of excited.

Letting my brain stew on things for a couple of days before I jump back into the fray. I need to figure out how a couple of scenes relate to the story as a whole.

Anonymous said...

Would you say, then, that querying over holidays is a bad idea?

Is there ever a lull?

Thanks, and good luck!

Melba

Nathan Bransford said...

melba-

That's in the FAQs.

Katie Dahl said...

LOL! Oh, that is too funny!

Josin L. McQuein said...

Have you ever wondered what life would be like if aliens landed and turned all of the email fonts into mustard?

No? Well you should.

Aliens? Check.
Rhetorical question? Check.
Requested partial? ...

Well, two out of three isn't bad.

:-P

T. Anne said...

Hey Nathan, dId you get my NaNo query? Gosh I hope so. It's really a holiday miracle it needed no revisions. Enjoy!

Ink said...

Did Nanofolk really write 50K in a month and then send it to you on the first of December? It seems a mighty coincidence...

Jean said...

Wow. That's a lot of queries. Best of luck to you! After your Be An Agent for a Day contest, I feel your pain. Good thing for Maker's Mark, huh?

Hmm...would drunk requesting/rejecting be like drunk dialing?

C.S. Gomez said...

Good lord, he's finally snapped. ;)

And I'm really, really close to finishing my first long writing project (not for NaNoWriMo). I can taste the finish line!

Jourdan Alexandra said...

Very clever Nathan. *applauds*

Since this is an open thread, I have a question for you. If an agent doesn't specify whether or not to send the first three chapters and synopsis along with the query, should you do it anyway? For instance, on Kristen Nelson's site she simply says, "E-queries only." So would it be permissible to send her the synopsis and first three chapters with the query, or would this be a terrible query faux pas?

Thanks Nathan!

Nathan Bransford said...

jordana-

I don't think an agent is going to object if you include a synopsis and sample pages in an e-query provided:

- you actually write a proper query instead of saying "here's my synopsis and sample pages kthx"
- you include them in the body of the e-mail - no attachments

Emily White said...

So what you're saying, Nathan, is that the day after NaNo, you seem to be receiving a few queries? How peculiar...

Nathan Bransford said...

Emily-

The queries are pouring in faster than I can answer them.

Coincidence??? You decide.

Jourdan Alexandra said...

Thank you so much!

And no worries, I have a real query at the ready--none of this, "Here read my chapters without having any idea what the novel is about."

:)

Deb Salisbury said...

I offer my deepest sympathies.

I do believe I'll take November off from querying. :-)

Emily White said...

I do have a serious question, though, and considering this is an open thread day, I'm going to ask it.

Nathan, I've read what you think regarding prologues and such, but it still seemed rather vague. I happen to have a prologue that I'm toying with the idea of keeping. I've had several people read my WIP, though some of them did not read the prologue. Those who did read it claim that the story is richer because of it. However (and this is my dilemma), if I were to send a query with sample pages, would you just say, "uh, no" if the sample pages included only the prologue even if the query was fantastic?

Aaaaaaaaannnd! Second question! Let's say I decide not to include the prologue in the submission process, hoping to land an agent and then convince him/her to consider its inclusion in the book. Is this a bad idea?

Thanks very much!

Nathan Bransford said...

emily-

1) If it works it works
2) Don't hide the prologue. If you think it belongs in there, start with it.

Samuel said...

Nathan, what's the best piece of publishing you've seen recently? What impressed you about it?

I thought Penguin (UK) did a beautiful job on Nabokov's The Original of Laura.

Nathan Bransford said...

samuel-

I'm really excited about the cover for THE SECRET YEAR by my client Jennifer Hubbard. Truthfully I don't see many paper books by nonclients though since I have switched over to e-books.

Steph Damore said...

Sorry a little slow - I forgot today was the first (no comments please).

And I thought all those Nano queries on Dec 1st were just a myth...

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Goodness! That's a lot!

Um... I had a word verification yesterday that startled me: "prolific afternoon". I said "yes, please" and clicked "submit".

Anonymous said...

Nathan,

This may be an odd question, but I'll ask it nonetheless: Should you have copyrighted your work before you start querying, or should one wait until an agent takes the project on and whatnot?

Thanks Nathan! Good luck with all those queries.

Nathan Bransford said...

anon-

That's in the FAQs as well.

Anonymous said...

oh F! I seriously sent out my FIRST ever, ever, ever query letter for a novel that's taken me years to write, and an additional 2 to revise and polish....

I don't believe I queried on the annual NaNo day...

C. N. Nevets said...

The good(?) news is that one of those e-mails in your inbox isn't a query, just a question from one of your blog-readers (me). Sorry to add to the pile. --wince--

Jade said...

I want to laugh but that would be cruel. I also want to mention how glorious the weather is here in Aus and how I have an empty inbox and a full day of writing ahead of me but I doubt you'd appreciate that either.

It honestly worries me that people would submit their NaNo stories straight away. If they just read a couple of industry blogs...just a couple...

Anonymous said...

Nathan - would you recommend querying an agent who reps something very similar to your manuscript? Wouldn't that just be letting the agent know what his client's competition is? And do you run the risk of having that agent use your ideas (however innocently) when he gives his client revision and sequel ideas?

Krista G. said...

Certainly, CERTAINLY, anyone who knows what NaNoWriMo is would also see the folly in querying a non-polished piece. Or am I just crazy...?

And Deb Salisbury, maybe you shouldn't take the month off from querying - the bar for a "good" query might be a little lower right now:)

Anonymous said...

What do you think about books set outwith the US that use local vernacular?

Nathan Bransford said...

anon-

It's fine if an agent reps something similar, but I would avoid agents who represent something TOO similar because they're not going to want two of their clients' books competing against each other.

I really wouldn't worry about idea stealing. It's all about execution anyway.

Nathan Bransford said...

anon re: vernacular-

Again, if it works it works.

Tori said...

Nathan- Hmmm, the real question is...are they crappier than usual? If they are it is very possible you have some Nano Novels on your hands. I participated in Nano. The difference is I am not insane. I am hiding the thing until I can figure out what to do with it. It scares me right now. Yup, revisions are on the way. And even then I don't think anyone will see this dreck. I love the main idea...but what is bad...is, well quite bad.

Larissa said...

Nathan, you do realize that writers are going to see this post and your tweets and think, "Oh, yeah! I should totally query Nathan Bransford!" don't you?

Good luck with the inbox. :)

Bane of Anubis said...

Speaking of queries -- r u gonna ever share any piece of yours w/ us?

Nathan Bransford said...

BofA-

Perhaps! Haven't decided just yet.

Anonymous said...

I was turned down by an American agent who said that represnting a UK author was too much like hard work. What are your thoughts?

Nathan Bransford said...

anon-

FAQs.

Kristi said...

I have a ms that's about ready to query - written before NaNo - but have decided to wait until the New Year as I didn't want to land in the same batch as the NaNo queries.

Dawn - what was giving me fits was the Cascade Effect that Nathan referred to yesterday. I was doing a final revision last week before sending it off to my critique group, and couldn't believe the magnitude of the cascade. What's making me cheer is that it's finished - for now. :)

Anonymous said...

Two questions to writers and /or Nathan?

Is there a difference between a preface and a prologue? I noticed that Stephanie Meyers went with a Preface.

What kind of software are writers here using that they would recommend
(word? storyist? etc.)and why?

Anita Saxena said...

To view the masters query...oh what an honor that would be. I'm now softly cackling and rubbing my hands together in expectation.

Dawn Maria said...

Open thread? let's be uber-serious then-

Star Trek or Star Wars- you must pick one.

Me- Star Wars, but I loved the reboot of Trek.

John Askins said...

There are a lot of writers out there who finished a novel thanks to NaNoWriMo but lack the confidence or drive to develop a query for that novel. That's why NaQueWriWe was instituted, with Nathan named honorary judge. Thanks so much, Nathan!

Scott said...

The last fifth of an MS edit actually reverses time. This is a fact and cannot be disputed.

WritingToFly said...

CTRL+A DEL

Whoops?

No, don't you dare. Better not make a precedence for when mine ends up in there...

Sarah Olutola said...

Nathan! What's the longest word count you've ever seen on an ms and what genre was it? :D

Also: Star Trek all the way. I hated the Star Wars Prequels except maybe the glorious Obiwan vs. Anikan fight at the end of III. But honestly? "From my point of view, the Jedi are evil!" *gags*

Scott said...

Oh, John brought to mind a question I've been wanting to ask:

What do NaNoWriMo authors do with their novels after they're finished? They're usually too short to query, aren't they?

Nathan do you get loads of queries for 50k word novels?

Kia said...

233!

I know it's been said many times before by nearly all of us here but we really, seriously do appreciate (and are awed by) the fact that you keep the blog updated even with your crazy workload. Thank you.

M.J. Nicholls said...

I always resist commenting on this blog because most of America responds within a few minutes of each post.

Regardless, I enjoy dipping in and out of your musings, strange overseas agent fellow.

Have a relaxing Wednesday.

Mira said...

Noooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!

Open thread!!!

Open thread!!!!!!

I LOVE open thread. I LIVE for open thread. And it's been so long....so very, very long....

and TODAY. ARRRGGGHHH.

I have my major paper due tomorrow and a major presentation due as well. There is no WAY I can do justice to an open thread.

I want to tell you all about my life, my trials and tribulations, my hopes and dreams, my ideas for all 77 of my potential novels (aka, my masterpieces), my frustrations that I can't hook my $%#$# printer up to my #$@#@ computer. I want to tell you all about my car problems and what I ate for Thanksgiving. But NO. NO. I have to WORK.

It's so unfair. So terribly, terribly unfair.

Life sucks.

Hmmm. Maybe I can fit that into my paper on the oppression of women.

I must return to my writing.

Hey! Maybe once I'm done with my paper I'll query Nathan with it. He loves queries so much, he's taking a break from his blog to give them all of his attention.

I'll be back.

anaquana said...

Scott, I'm going to expand my NaNo novel by another 30k or so words, polish it until it is blinding, then hope and pray that the first book in the series finds an agent and gets sold.

Marilyn Peake said...

Dawn,

What am I working on? I recently discovered that I won honorable mention in a writing contest hosted by Tracy Marchini, Literary Agents Assistant at Curtis Brown, Ltd., and I’m really psyched about that!

As far as novel-writing goes, I’m taking a break until after the new year. I’ve been working out on the treadmill, going to the movies and doing other fun stuff, catching up on doing laundry and other chores, and decorating my house for Christmas. I’ve also been reading quite a few books. I’m currently reading BONESHAKER by Cherie Priest, an awesome, incredibly well-written steampunk novel.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nathan,
I hear so much about how you respond in about 24 hours to queries, but what should someone do if they haven't heard anything, positive or negative? :S

Scott said...

Scott, I'm going to expand my NaNo novel by another 30k or so words, polish it until it is blinding, then hope and pray that the first book in the series finds an agent and gets sold.

Thanks for the response, anaquana. Sounds like you had a plan all along. I was getting the impression that many might be stuck with novellas that they couldn't hope to sell. Either that, or they were all writing YA, which could partially explain the proliferation of YA novels doing the rounds.

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terry said...

Wow, 233 queries in your inbox today! If it were 233 bottles of beer on the wall, I'm sure we'd all be happy to pitch in and take one down....

Just catching up with yesterday's post, too. Most helpful, especially the "be systematic" one, great one, even for my own changes.

Marilyn Peake said...

Aliens? LOL. That's a huge part of my science fiction novel, GODS IN THE MACHINE, except they turn out to be genetically modified humans time-traveling back in time from the year 2501 AD to the year 2032 AD. And, of course, humans visited by the "aliens" split into two camps: those who want to kill the "aliens" (which in reality is the future of the human race) before the aliens have a chance to attack them, and those who want to step back and view the situation more rationally. I cannot wait to begin editing this manuscript with Alan Rinzler at the beginning of the new year!

Since this is an open thread, I thought I’d post a link to a rather depressing article on Salon.com, entitled The confessions of a semi-successful author. OK, it isn’t really rather depressing ... It’s more like very, very, very depressing. I printed it out in order to keep my hopes and dreams grounded. After reading it, I started to notice how many authors with successful, popular books by the large publishing houses are juggling regular day jobs and talking on Twitter about having difficulty buying rather inexpensive stuff. Anyone else have an opinion about this article?

Jamie said...

Good luck!

LucyD said...

I was sooooo proud to send in my query that i had worked soooo hard on. I thought i was soooo smart until.....NaNoWriMo.. Yes i am one of those idiots that sent out a query on the worst day of the year, that little thing called a calendar never reminded me.
Sorry Nathan, i don't mean to contribute to an overflowing mailbox.

Rachel Fenton said...

Open thread - what's next, loose thread?

Poetry of Flesh said...

Whenever someone has an open thread, I feel like starting a coup and overthrowing the monarchy of the blogger.

But it never seems to work out.

Perhaps if I find a conch shell and a pig head on a stick, I can inspire those around me.

Moira Young said...

*stares at the blank comment form, waiting for inspiration to strike*

Oh, I know! Nathan, I've always wondered at what point you stop reading comments (if you do). Do you receive a notification everytime someone comments, carefully filtered or do you just check each post from time to time?

And completely unrelated, but: I think NaNo can be useful, especially for breaking a dry spell or getting started on a new idea. The difference is recognizing that whatever you produce in that process will require serious reconstruction, probably at the cellular level.

Bron said...

Are all the queries today really the result of Nano, or do you think it's more that people have had the chance to polish and finalise them over the holiday weekend?

Marilyn Peake said...

I’ve never participated in NaNoWriMo, but I refuse to doubt that an author could complete a successful novel within that time frame. Cormac McCarthy wrote THE ROAD in three weeks, and several authors of YA books published by the big publishing houses wrote their novel in one week and edited it in another week. It can be done. Bad novels can also take ten years to write. As with anything else in writing, it just all depends on the final product. :)

Blogger is giving me fits today. First, it tells me one of my comments failed to post; then it posts it twice. Later, it doesn’t post my new comment, but the comment magically appears later. Perhaps aliens have taken over Blogger. BwaaaaaHaaaHaaa...

Dara said...

Also wondering if it's a surge of NaNo queries. If so, that's really sad...

Kalika said...

I did NaNo my own way this year: I edited 55 pages of a previous NaNo novel. So I'm now 60% done with the edits on that novel. Wee!

Open question: anyone can rec me good fantasy novels set in Japan or Japan-like lands? With mythical creatures and magic? I've got a draft like that and no clue where it'd even fit on the market.

Andrea Cremer said...

Wow, Nathan. May the force be with you.

Laurel said...

I have another theory for the proliferation of queries...holiday weekend! Everybody with a real job (you know, regular hours, gender specific clothing) spent the four day weekend running from their inlaws by finishing up query letters.

Diana said...

AMOK! AMOK! AMOK!

It could be worse, that could be 232 short stories from people who ignore the basic rules of grammar you need to edit... :)

Joseph said...

Having read your blog for as long as I have, I realize that our tastes are very different from one another (this is particularly telling in your contest winner selections). I queried Ginger who I hope has similar preferences to my own. This makes me sad only because I do not know which season of the Wire was her favorite and thus couldn't include my own opinion in my query letter. ;)

Rachel said...

Nathan,

Any really exciting queries from NaNoWriMo? It must be nice to sift through all of them as maybe, maybe not, not so much, not ever, and then find something really enticing.

Hope you enjoy the load today!

Alma said...

hey, you and betsy lerner have been thinking alike lately. yesterday you both wrote about authors (not) taking on editorial comments. And there was one other time, recently... tongues will wag.

Jude Hardin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cary said...

What if your nose decided to go on strike...would you picket?

Grimmster24 said...

As Dawn wondered this morning, I am slightly annoyed with the fact that I only have 3 days of college left before I can dive fully into my writing for the next 60 years or so. Why is that annoying? Because I know that those 3 days are going to feel like a month. BUT, sooner or later I will finish my novel and query agents (yes, most likely you, too, Nathan, haha), and be able to move on to the next stage of my life.

Dawn: My word verification: "obilican." Isn't that what's attached to a baby at birth?? haha.

Happy writing, thinking, dreaming, and querying, everyone!

I'm Erin said...

ha ha. Nice character voice, and personality, Nathan. Though, I can't say I'm sold on the song. I think there's a lack of concrete detail.

Moses said...

Eh, books schmooks.

Nathan, I'm hoping my Suns can eventually keep the Lakers from repeating, but LA looks tough right now. Who's your team?

Kristin Laughtin said...

Hey, at least the first one got a partial request!

I work full-time and went back to grad school (library science) this semester, and final papers/exams are killing my writing time for the last week and this one...but then in a few days I'll be free to resuuuuuuuuume!

Word verification: "pasts". Yay for when the WV is actually a word!

(goes back to work)

~Sia McKye~ said...

Whatever you're drinking, I want some, lol!

Except, now I've got that blasted tun stuck in my head, tyvm!

Only ONE request, sheesh.

Kay Theodoratus said...

Be Thankful (better late than never) that I didn't send you a query.

Calliopenjo said...

Hi Nathan,

First of all I enjoy your blogs very much. Thank you very much for the information you provide each day.

Congratulations on your book deal. I can imagine you doing the happy dance when you found out.

I have acquired the Sony eReader. I like it.

Is it better than the published novel that went through the presses at the expense of trees? To me it's a matter of the written word. Not the form it comes in.

I write some sci-fi stories and remember Star Trek when I do. I grew up with that show. I loved that show. Having something like that in my hands I get imagine myself in a world like that.

I wish you much success both in going through the emails and your authorship.

Anonymous said...

I've noted for the last several decades that when a motif like vampires or dragons or samurai-like mythical warrior-scholars become trite and overworn and widely proclaimed as such by publishers, editors, agents, writers, and readers is when a breakout novel comes along in that motif and disproves the consequent.

The new vampire was, is, will always be the old vampire in a new light and right.

Word verificate: shentsho, a vampire dragon warrior scholar with paranormal clairvoyance striving to end the criminal craziness of misguided violent insurgent rebellions in a mundane realm through metaphysical application.

Susan Quinn said...

Oh my. Sorry about the inbox crush. I promise mine isn't in there.

Did you beat last year's post-Turkey-Day onslaught?

:)

Eleanor said...

Nathan - I've been stewing over the subject of paragraphs since your contest.

You mentioned that some of the entries were obviously several paras cobbled together. This is actually how I view most people's paragraphs, but I'm pretty sure that's just a consequence of years of editing short news stories for a living!

How do you decide what makes a paragraph?

Thanks

Elaine 'still writing' Smith said...

I wrote with NaNo this year.

I decided to write MG because 50,000 words is a good length.
My class of ten-year-olds have been cold reading, and proof reading, all month. (This project has elevated me to "Best Teacher in the... Universe" status - ask Jess!)
I thought of it as experience working to deadlines - the class thought it was all about their learning :)

Also, Star Trek is vastly superior, in any of it regenerations, to Star Wars!

Elaine 'still writing' Smith said...

Nathan,
You got some... no messages can be received when reading queries at faster-than-light warp speed type-thing happening?

}:( harbinger in the works?

Beth said...

Wow! Did it snow queries in California over the weekend? Good luck digging your way out.

Melanie Avila said...

This post made me smile. Not at you or anything, just in general.

Ink said...

Moses,

Nathan is a Sacramento Kings fan. Lord only knows why.


:)

Anonymous said...

Mr. Bransford,
I am amazed at your patience and at how many questions you answered here! I hope your own book sells big when it comes out and that karma kisses you with wonderful deals for all your clients. You're doing your job, I know, but that many queries plus taking the time for us? Thanks.

Bane of Anubis said...

Another Lakers hater, eh? That's alright, Bane'll represent!

anne said...

i rarely have fewer than 300 emails when i hit work in the morning, but on the other hand many are for viagra and none are queries, although some take 2-3 pgs to do an adequate response. you'd love working in academic medicine! on the third hand, i get to photograph a lot of surgery ;-)

wendy said...

Well, Dawn, actually, and thank you for asking, I'm working on an art calendar which I'm currently designing, online, at Zazzle.com This is a fun site where you can upload (orignal) art or photos and add them to any product you fancy - e.g. clothing, cards, calendars, mouse pads, mugs, stamps, etc. You can order for yourself, or for gifts or for online sale at the Zazzle shop.

Sorry this isns't writing related, but art is my current obsession. *g*

Tina Lynn said...

I am crying on the inside for you.

Anonymous said...

Nathan,

I have a prologue question. When you get a request for a 3 chapter partial, do you count the prologue as a separate chapter or as part of Ch. 1?

Courtney Price said...

Oh my gosh. NaNoWriMo? Did they read your FAQs?

Anonymous said...

Yes, I'm lazy and not logging in.

In honor of say what's on our mind day...

BACK UP YOUR WORK!!!


I spent 2 days writing some excellent stuff in my current WIP only to boot up the old computer the next morn and find it all oddly missing...

8000 words gone in a flash. My last back up was a week old.


DOH!!!

Wickerman - loser in more than one sense..

Laurie said...

Good Gosh that's alot of queries! You can do it!!! Read on Rock Star...:)~

Anonymous said...

ANon,

you prolly don'ty need a prologue. Just call it CH 1 instead and rest easy. Keep it simple. Most newblogues (= prologues in newb novels, newb = unpublished), aren't needed, or indicate that the story is starting in the wrong place.

Jen P said...

Sad for the staff and customers of Borders UK. News in BookBrunch

Lots of good discussion surrounds the news, including future of publishing. And..."a vibrant and more interesting trade is taking place in smaller shops. People who want to buy serious books can still find them; people who want to write are not without hope of finding a publisher."

So, for the love of bookshops, which books do people have on their Christmas lists, or are you buying for others?

Nathan Bransford said...

Sarah-

I've seen word counts in queries of 400,000+. I don't remember the genres though.

Scott-

I do see lots of books with word counts around 50k, but that goes for non NaNo times as well. I think overall the query surge is a combination of the holidays and NaNo. It comes at a really tough time though because I've been out of the office and things are always hectic around the holidays.

anon@1:39-

I'm about a week behind on my queries, but if you queried before then and didn't hear back 1) check your spam filter, and 2) requery, but be sure and include your original query so I know when you sent it.

moira-

I receive e-mail alerts whenever someone comments and I read every single one.

Moses-

As Bryan/Ink points out, I'm a Kings fan, which is my cross to bear. Although they've been pretty good this year!

anon@4:21-

FAQs. There's a post on all things prologues.

Anna L. Walls said...

Oh My God!!! I'm so sorry that I contributed to that not so long ago. Thanks for answering me. Do you need a bigger shovel?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone still use email? what with the social net msgs and G-Wave and Skype and all that, I haven't even checked my email in over a year. Not sure I ever willa gain, but it seems like, as usual, publishing is in the dark ages and still uses email. Will this last or will they convert like the rest of the working world?

Nick said...

"BACK UP YOUR WORK!!!"

Aye, always do. I have a copy here on this laptop, on three separate flash drives, and on a data CD, just in case. I keep it most up to date on the black flash drive and here on this computer, but every week or two I'll make a copy to the other spots, just to be sure.

Had a scare the one night. Thought my computer was going to crash just as I finished writing the third chapter and had hit save, but it was just running a bit on the slow side, thankfully.

Sad to say my story's moving a bit slow right now. Tonight's the first time I've touched it since Wednesday last, and I barely did anything then. But I was off with friends Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Thursday, naturally, I was with family and the missus. And Sunday was the Merseyside Derby and no way in hell will I ever miss a Liverpool game so long as I draw breath, especially not one as big as the derby. And then yesterday I wasn't feeling well, so I took a nap for the first time in my life (seriously, even as a baby I refused) and then was all out of whack today because my brain was trying to tell me 1am was more like 10am and so yeah. Surprised I got anything done today actually.

Still, I'm happy with what I got done. Story's actually moving again, comparatively to the last couple times I worked on it. Almost done the fourth chapter now, and once chapter five begins the protagonist comes back into the story after disappearing at the end of chapter 2 and then things really get moving, what with the protagonist being the actual detective and therefore capable of doing real detecting whereas the narrator is trying his best for the past two chapters, but bless him he just doesn't quite have the skill for it.

But I'm rambling again.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:21:

While email these days is mostly used by spammers and MLMers, you can bet that publishing will be using it for another decade or so, even if the rest of us have moved on. So put that email acct login info in a safe place and be ready to bust it out when you query.

Some agencies, however, are now using the online form format, so perhaps email will go away in publishing, too.

For now, the living fossil of email still walks among us.

Ink said...

Nathan,

Though it kills me to say it, your Kings have actually been better this year than my Raptors. Though our brutal schedule might have a bit to do with that, and the introduction of 37 new players to the roster. But I've never known a team to have quite so allergic reaction to playing defense. Lots of phlegm on the court up here...

And your boy Evans looks pretty good. But that kid Jennings might steal the ROY from him. He's like a little Iverson who remembers to pass occasionally.

Nick said...

Oh, Nathan, just remembered a question. Does it matter how long a synopsis of a work in a query is? Personally I think I'm most effective when I do the teaser-y sort of summary one expects to find on the back of a book, but I've seen sample queries (which have been marked as accepted) which take things further. Is one a bit more likely to hold ground with agents, or is like everything else and it varies from person to person, or does it just genuinely not matter?

Anonymous said...

Nick,

You should realize that all those backup media you mention have 1 glaring weakness: they're all in the same place, i.e. your house or wherever you live. So if your house burns down, WHAMMO there goes all your files, backuops and all.

For something irreplaceable, such as your novels, your family photos, etc., you should keep an external rive in a safe deposit box or somewhere off-site of your home in case of fire, flood, etc.

Also, if you have a gmail account you can back up 2 GB online, which is enough for all of your novels, so there's never any excuse to lose those. Plus, then you can access them from anywhere with an i-net connect.

Anonymous said...

Nick2,

Most agencies post guidelines about what they want, inlcuding the length of the synopsis. Whatever they ask for--give them. If they dont' specify but just say "snyopsis), then the length is up to you.

You will p;orbably need to have at least 2 versions: a 1-pager and a 3-pager. Sometimes a 5-pager. That way you have short medium and long, and can give them whichever is closest to what they ask for with little extra work.

Anonymous said...

nathan,

How about a post on novel publicity for new authors?

Nick said...

re: 530
True, but I always keep the black one on my person. If the house catches on fire, I will hopefully be able to make it out with that unharmed. At the moment I also have a copy saved to my email (which, I know, can be lost) from when I had to move it from another computer to this one and didn't want to use my flash as the other computer was infected and wasn't sure just how far the virus had spread, though I knew it had gone pretty far.

And re:532
Thanks for the info. Haven't looked too much into the specific guidelines of everyone yet, as right now I'm just collecting links to people who are said to represent my genre, and then when the story's finished I'll start looking at guidelines and saying "Okay, do this and that, etc." I just look at the occasional sample query at places just to sort of see differences in what different agents like and try to see general trends across agents. I intend to write all of my queries from scratch, make each one personal, but it's helpful if I don't need to make them too wildly different. I admit I can be a lazy SOB when it comes to things like that.

Anonymous said...

Am I ready to bring my novel to the world withthe following:

1) one-liner logline style descrption
2) 1 paragraph summary
3) 1 page synopsis
4) 3 page synopsis
4) 5 page outline
5) 1 minute book trailer
6) ?

Anyhting I missed?

Mira said...

Okay, time to check in. I'm almost done but I'm 9 pages over.

I need to do a review of all the literature on this topic. That's challenging because I haven't read any literature on this topic.

Can someone do a review of all the literature on the oppression of women in the U.S. and e-mail it to me in about 30 minutes?

Thanks. You're the best.

Oh. I suppose I should say something on topic.

Um, Go Kings! Yea, Kings! Best team in the world! Whoo-hoo, Kings!

Yeah!

There.

jamesbent said...

That's pretty freaky - I was just walking around at lunch thinking "I wonder what an agent's inbox looks like" and I came on here to ask if you could post a screenshot of your inbox (blanking out the names of course), but the numbers are pretty convincing.

jamesbent.com/blog/ - 1000+ word offbeat fiction shorts

Susan Rati said...

Nathan,

So, there's been this question burning in the back of my mind about the evil rhetorical question.

All rants I've read have been about questions of this form: "Have you ever wondered if there were aliens in your underwear drawer?"

I'm thinking more this form: "Little Freddy found aliens in his underwear drawer. Should he follow them to their spacecraft? Mommy thinks his homework is more important. The voices in his head tell him to kill them all. Blah blah."

Does this sort of rhetorical question make an agent want to put out his eyes?

Anonymous said...

Mira,

I will do that for $100. Rightnow.

Shall I email you my paypal address?

lotusgirl said...

Whoa. Dude. That's what you get for taking Vacation.

Elisa said...

Someone way back posted a question about what becomes of a NaNoWriMo project once the month is up.

I just published a novel that began as a NanoWriMo project in '06. Made it to the 50K mark, and it took me two and a half years to revise it. The worst part was cleaning up all the wordy, passive prose that came at the hands of trying to make my word count at the time.

I don't know if I'll ever do NaNoWriMo again because of that, but I'm damn proud of the way the novel turned out.

Nathan Bransford said...

susan-

I don't have a problem with all rhetorical questions in a query, it's just usually inadvisable to begin with one.

Laura Martone said...

I'm with Jade... while I heartily congratulate everyone who completed the NaNoWriMo challenge, I honestly hope that they're not querying the day AFTER completing their hastily written novels.

Am I crazy, or have we learned nothing about the necessity of revision? Sometimes, it pays to be impulsive. Querying agents is not one of those times.

Vacuum Queen said...

I bought 2 books for Christmas gifts today....the third book in the Mysterious Benedict Society (yay!), and This Book is Bad for You (or something like that...I couldn't find the first in that series, but I found that one). I hope I have happy recipients. I don't usually buy hardback, but figured I would right now.

What books are you guys buying right now? Just curious. My verification word is "payers" because that's what we all are this month.

Moses said...

Ah, the Kings. Now I understand the Lakers thing. The Kings got hosed by some of that "bad" officiating that Donaghy talked about in game 6 vs the Lakers in 2002.

I understand the cross bearing, though. Other than the Suns, my teams are all from Atlanta. The one year the Braves won the Series I was having so much fun in college (at UGA, no less) that I wasn't even paying attention. Seriously, the ONE year of my life they win the Series I wasn't paying attention.

Woe is me.

Moses said...

Not to scare anyone too badly (though I guess it should), but I have a friend with a gmail account and recently her entire inbox disappeared. That's right, GONE. Poof. Be careful.

Mira said...

Anon 5:57

Darn it. I wish I'd read that first. I would have taken you up on it.

But since no complete and thoughtful review of the entire body of literarture on the oppression of women showed up in my mail box, I just made something up.

I said the literature sucked, and needed to be completely revised and was obviously written by men.

That ought to cover it.

Okay, I'm done. I'm 11 pages over. I need editorial notes. STAT.

Btw, in terms of the oppression of women, now that I've done my paper, I just want to announce that I'm leaning toward: "yes, women are oppressed."

It's a close call, but I think factors are in favor of the oppression thingy.

Now, I have to figure out just who is oppressing them.....?

Hmmmm.

Sandra G. said...

Most excellent post - thanks for the smile.

CaitieCatherwood1314 said...

Nathan, what do you think the chances of a book similar to the style of Anne of Green Gables doing well is?

Kristi said...

I would also like to point out that Nathan is the #1 most queried agent according to Querytracker so I'm guessing he doesn't get much down-time as far as queries go, even when it's not the day after NaNo.

Blane A. Harrington said...

And my little query is poised, like an invading surfer about to drop in a local's break. Not that I surf. Nathan, here is why you should request more of my manuscript: you'll be doing something that has never been done before in the history of the universe.

Ink said...

Mira,

The publishers, of course.

Tricia said...

Ouch! good luck with that.
I also queried another agent with my NaNo novel today. Oops! Good thing it was my novel from 2007 and not the one from 2009.

Nathan Oser said...

Nathan,
I live in Japan in the countryside where it's hard to find books in English and have been buying heaps of books through Amazon. The shipping is killer. I decided to check out the Kindle after reading your post on e-reader myths. Turns out they just released an English-compatible version over here. I'm thinking it might make a nice X-mas present for myself and maybe take some pressure off my wallet.
But what I wanted to ask, since I've been out of the American culture loop for a while, is just how 'everyday' are these things getting. Is it like the land-line to cellphone or tape to CD transitions? Are most of the people you know in the industry using them?

Thanks,
Nathan

Nathan Bransford said...

nathan-

Yeah, just about everyone in the industry now has an e-reader of some form or another.

Anonymous said...

Nathan, you had me laughing so hard I almost peed my pants. I'm glad to see I'm not the only crazy one!

Cam Snow said...

230+ queries in a day? If it's like this for all agents then there's no wonder I keep getting form rejections (it can't be that my writing stinks, right?)!

How many seconds does it take to realize something is a "Form rejection" on average?

Mira said...

Ink

Oh yeah. I forgot about them. Those darn publishers, always running around oppressing everyone.

Glad you've finally decided to see the light. I knew I could convince you; my arguments are irresistible.

Nathan, now that I'm done with my paper, I can pay attention to more important things.

For example, I couldn't help noticing that you're not actually my agent yet. I know, weird, huh?

But I was thinking - wouldn't it be refreshing to NOT have to read my query letter?

That's what I offer you. Query letter freedom. Yes. I will be your client, WITHOUT a query letter. You will never, ever, ever have to read a query letter written by me.

Speaking of irresitible offers, well, there you go. Special offer, just for Nathan, who had 233 queries letters in one day. Sheesh.

Okey dokey. Time for all hard workers to go to sleep.

That includes you Nathan. You're a hard worker, too.

You, too, Bryan.

Um, and everyone else.

Rest time.

Polenth said...

I got a new snail.

Wanda du Plooy said...

Okay, after going online to research NaNo novels, I am with one of the persons who said she will have to wait for January to query!!! I have been writing since july and just waiting for my critics to finish reading then the last edit and I wanted to query before christmas holidays!!!! I will just have to wait Sigh...

Wanda du Plooy

Amanda Acton said...

I just finished my NaNo Novel. I should totally send it off to your inbox. There's a weird little planet and a mad professor that plans to build a steampunk cow and fly to the moon. It's a sure winner. Hekekekekeke.... :P

I just had someone crit a piece and get confused because I mentioned summer and December together. The Southern Hemisphere is not a myth dear friends....

Rena Rossner said...

I did Nano too. My plans for December? 50,000 more words. My plan for January? more if I'm not finished. And only then will I re-read the entire thing and start the revision process. It's really hard for me to understand how anyone could have finished a novel in one month, but you never know. Novels are getting shorter or so it seems and there is genius out there. Maybe Nathan will discover some today in his inbox. I'm sure reading the blog posts here is a good diversion!
I know I'm probably behind the times because books take a long time to get to Israel but I'm reading "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" and really enjoying it. What did you think of it Nathan?

- Rena

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

I didn't sent you one. Promise. I suppose you won't get a chance to read this either. Mine is the 146th comment. Good luck.

Charlee Vale said...

I hope I'm not too late to get in on the open thread...

I have a question that I really can't seem to find the answer to anywhere!

Nathan, what is the protocol for querying when you intend to use a Pen name? Do you query as your real name and discuss it with the agent later? Do you actually mention it in the query?

This might be useful knowledge in the future...

Steve said...

Nathan,

Everything I've seen on this question has been pretty vague.

What is the impact of making some or all of a work in progress available online as regards eventual prospects for traditional publishing.

I am in the early stages of a YA novel, and although I expect to explore traditional publishing, I may also ultimately self-pubish or even present the novel as blog fiction.

My main goal is audience, although I'm not adverse to money.

It seems like putting the WIP online would be effective in getting feedback from potential readers, and exploring the size and shape of my potential audience. But would this represent a "kiss of death" to a traditional publisher at a later point?

-Steve

Annie Reynolds said...

Hi Nathan
I have loved the open thread day, reading all the questions and finding answers. So I have one of my own, when you are asked for 2 sample chapters do they have to come from page 1 so to speak, or can they come from deeper into the novel where the characters are already set up and the plot is more advanced?
Thanks

GhostFolk.com said...

Hi, Scott.

The last fifth of an MS edit actually reverses time. This is a fact and cannot be disputed.

The first fifth of an Ms edit is called Johnnie Walker at my house.

Geoff Stokker said...

Nathan

I live in South Africa and am sending out queries to agents regarding my completed manuscript. I've been doing my research and have grafted hard on trying to get the perfect query letter for my work.

But the thing that bothers me is the question whether my being outside of the US and on the other side of the world counts against me with my queries.

Would it count against me?

stacy said...

Apologies if this was already suggested for backing up files, but DropBox works wonderfully for that. You can store up to 2 GB online for free. I use it all the time to transfer files to and from school.

K.L. Brady said...

Just sent out an email blast to the 600 people in my writer's association that you, dear Nathan, were experiencing a shortage of queries and are desperately seeking new submissions from first-time novelists who have just completed NANO.

**evil laugh** hahahahaha! hahahahaha!

KIDDING! You can pick your heart up from the floor now.

I'll wait and hit the send button on that one tomorrow. :)

Cam Snow said...

I think Nanowrimo should have 3 months:
(1) November - write novel
(2) December - edit novel
(3) Januay - query novel

But that would take waaaay too much time - i mean, why bother editing, that is what editors are for, right? :)

Josh said...

Sooo, I take it you haven't gotten to mine yet... ((sigh))

Nathan Bransford said...

Charlee-

Query as yourself.

Nathan Bransford said...

steve-

I actually talk about that in the post on author websites.

Nathan Bransford said...

Annie-

Page 1.

Nathan Bransford said...

Geoff-

FAQs.

Rachelle said...

Dear God, thank you that I'm not as popular as Nathan. Amen.

Toya said...

I can only dream of having 160 comments total on everything I have ever posted on my blog lol.

I discovered your blog in a vain Google Alert search of my own pseudonym "Literary Nobody" and I enjoy readng your posts very much. Thank you for sharing your expertise and wit with us.

Wanda B. Ontheshelves said...

"Consider yourself intervened."

Since this is an open thread, and the holiday season is upon us...and someone-who-shall-remain-namless DID drink the whiskey I was saving to use on my fruitcake (yes, I love fruitcake!) - you know, there are those "white knuckle flyers," who sit there with a drink in their hand the whole time they're flying, 'cause they're so scared...do the holidays have to be like that?

And although one of the writer stereotypes is of being a drinker, maybe the truth for some of us writers is, we have drinkers and pill-poppers around us, and we grew up with them, and writing is (in part) an island of sanity and clarity and sobriety in the midst of the family madness? And why does my relative have to drink the whiskey I was saving for my fruitcake? I know I can get more, but a part of me feels like, is nothing sacred?

And then relative B, who likes fancy beer, and microbrewery beer, must you fly off the handle every single holiday? And aren't we all tired of it? Do you think if you drank less you might not be so...volatile?

Anyway, I wanted to write this as support to any other writers out there who have to deal with this, you know, you can "intervene," speak up, and advocate for a dry holiday...there are probably other people in the family who feel the same way. Join forces!

Note: I really like hazelnut liqueur! Ice wine! Aren't 'spirits' a wonderful gift to humanity? Well, they are...until they aren't.

Happy Holidays to those writers among us with heavy drinkin' pill-poppin' relatives!

Violet Ingram said...

OMG! I just got my first request for a partial from an agent. Wow. Now I'm nauseous. Must get back to editing.

Uncle Gus said...

Mr. Bransford,

I just wanted to take a minute and express my appreciation for such a wonderful blog.

I came across it this morning after following a link from WD, and it wasn't long before I was hooked. I find your easygoing style, keen savvy, and nimble wit (combined with a remarkable treasure trove of information) to be quite inspiring.

I'm not sure if my particular flavor of narrative is something you'd be interested in, but once my current project is completed I plan on sending you a query anyway. If for no other reason than to be able to stand up at my next cocktail party and state in a low, yet triumphal tone, "I submitted my manuscript query to Nathan Bransford," then look about the room as eyebrows rise in reverence.

So Thank You, Sir, and please keep up the excellent work.

J.W. Gustin

howdidyougetthere said...

You sang 233 query letters in your e-mail to the tune (at least in my head) of 99 bottles of beer on the wall and got 165+ comments!!!

Man, that's gotta feel good.

Seamus Welsh said...

Nathan,

I wonder how you make it through such volume? Do you have a team of eager staffers or do you slog through them yourself? (I'm probably three or four from the bottom of your pile.)

Seamus Welsh

Nathan Bransford said...

seamus-

I'm a one man team.

LCS249 said...

I've often wondered, if a query from a young, intense author (who happened to be named Ernest Hemingway) was in that in-box, what would happen?

Rhonda said...

Hmm. Not sure if this is open enough for this but: My 10 year old has started a book review blog. He found out yesterday that someone made a Christmas purchase based on it. He was very excited about that. What he would love would be to read and review a book even before it's published. If any of you want a 10 year old to review your work, let him know. His blog is at http://savagereads.blogspot.com/. His inspiration to start it can be traced back to Nathan's blog actually.

Mira said...

Nathan,

Regarding the one-man team.

My offer to pay you to allow me to work for you continues to be open.

I can't pay you in money, I don't have any of that stuff, but I can pay you in enthusiasm and a continual supply of advice. I can also bring cookies.

Let me know. I'm ready.

Literary Cowgirl said...

Nathan, I send my deepest sympathies and hope you find a diamond amid the dung. I do have to say that I feel very encouraged by it all, though. I know when I sub that there are a lot of other writers I am going up against, but knowing that so many of them are the type that would query a novel written in a month does ease my mind. Any other tortoises feeling way more confident knowing you're up against hares? Heck, the last short story I subbed took me 270 days (off and on) to get it where I wanted it.

Moses said...

Nathan, roughly how long does it take you to go through 230 of those puppies? *thunderous applause*

Nathan Bransford said...

moses-

Several hours at least.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with aliens?

Nathan Bransford said...

Ah - I meant real aliens. Nothing against the fictional kind.

LCS249 said...

Aren't aliens always anonymous?

Anonymous said...

This is probably too late to get a look, but on the competition question, if a book is in a different category (say MG v YA or YA v adult) as one of the agent's client's books, would they still be in competition if they were similar?

Missy said...

Well it seems as if I'm a little late to the game here, but I will try anyway.
Nathan, I've recently finished my first novel and I'm hoping to query in the coming months. The problem, you ask? Well...it's about vampires. That's right, I said it. Vampires.
I knew nothing about publishing when I began writing and I certainly didn't know that the market was so overly saturated with these stories. Of course, I should have known, but that hindsight sure can be a tricky thing.
Do you think it would be wise to hold off on querying for a couple of years until the feeding-frenzy dies down a bit? If I am to get rejected, I want it to be because the book isn't quite up to par, or whatever other valid reason there may be. I don't want to be rejected simply because agents writhe in pain every time they see a query letter for another vampire book.
Thanks for any advice you may offer, and I hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday!

Raynbow said...

Nathan, since you're having a MG book published, are you now open to MG queries? Or, are you still only considering those if they come from an existing client of yours?

Thanks!

Anica Lewis said...

Nick - Backups are definitely of vital importance. You might, however, also consider e-mailing your work to yourself. In a recent radio interview with an author of some success, he told the story of a burglary in which his computer, his backup discs, and his hard copy backups (stored in a locked suitcase) were all stolen, and he lost a huge amount of work. He now favors the e-mailing-to-self method in addition to more conventional backups. Gmail, for one, has vast amounts of storage, and you can send yourself dozens of novels/short stories/what-have-you as attachments without even coming close to the limit.

Polenth - May all fare well with your snail.

Violet - Congratulations on the partial request, and good luck!

Sara Price said...

Since this is an open thread, I was hoping to ask a query related question.

I have a first person thriller written in the vein of Dexter. I'm struggling to decide just how to pitch it. A lot of people recommend writing the query in the voice of the character, but when I tried a first person query I was told it was too cutesy/gimicky and had a high chance of failure because first person queries are frowned upon.

In your personal opinion, would a unique first person query written by the MC spark your interest or turn you off?

Anahita said...

Was it because they were aliens? You know, some of my characters were a bit concerned :)

Madison L. Edgar said...

Nathan,

Can you give us an update on the query count? I sent you one and I really want to know how many people I'm up against :-)

Nathan Bransford said...

sara-

Queries written in the voice of the protagonist don't generally work for me. I'm sure there will be an exception someday, but it feels a bit gimmicky to me.

madison-

I'm all caught up as of yesterday at 4:00. Anything after that I still need to get to.

LCS249 said...

"I'm all caught up as of yesterday at 4:00. Anything after that I still need to get to."

That's depressing. Not meaning to direct this at you, personally, Nathan. It's just an obvious comment on the industry. Each query gets about 1-3 minutes of attention?

Side-note: I once went to a doctor who whizzed through patients, spending a max of three minutes. (I had to bring typed notes with questions.) I asked him how he could do that and still be effective. He said the insurance companies were forcing him to work that way. (I got another doctor.)

StrugglingToMakeIt said...

I don't know if you're still taking open thread questions or not, but I was wondering if you had an opinion on McFadden's recent statements on book-seg-gation and about the 10th anniversary edition of Sugar.

I find this issue fascinating myself. I've always wondered why bookstores do this. Is it really a viable marketing strategy to separate out black books? I would think you'd get a wider audience if you marketed a book to everyone who might be interested in a particular author's genre.

Here's a link to the article I'm referencing above: http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/trends/segbookgation_in_publishing_144019.asp

Nathan Bransford said...

lcs-

I give every query as much time as I need to make a decision. After working 12 hour+ days every week I'm not super-receptive to suggestions that I'm not spending enough time on queries.

Nathan Bransford said...

I meant every day this week.

Madison L. Edgar said...

Nathan,

12+ hour days? Do you enjoy what you do that much?

LCS249 said...

Nathan,

Seriously meant "state of the industry," not your lacking in any way. (We all know how sincere and dedicated you are.) You likely meant your post to be an eye-opener and it was.

L.

Nathan Bransford said...

lcs-

Sorry, shouldn't have been snippy. I think what I'm getting at though is that the problem isn't really that we're not spending enough time with the queries. When we receive more queries it's not that we spend less time on each individual query - we just have to spend more time answering queries overall.

If it takes me an hour to answer 25 queries it takes me two hours to answer 50 and three hours to answer 75 etc. etc. I don't speed up just because there are more.

Nathan Bransford said...

madison-

It's just part of a publishing job. So yes, ultimately I think it's worth the tradeoff, but looks like I'm cranky today about it! I'd better go hide under the desk for a while.

Vero Awesome said...

Nathan,

What's your stance on "cheeky" query letters? You know, ones that follow the traditional [madlib] format but that also inject a little of the writer's personality?

Vero

LCS249 said...

Gotcha. And I wasn't at all upset - my question could certainly be read as challenging and it wasn't meant to be. Just reflecting on the population explosion in writers and the over-worked, under-staffed lit agent world...

best,
LCS

G. Jackson said...

Nathan, I have a question for the open thread. In your experience, have you seen any obvious differences/trends in the writing from MFA holders or candidates and those without?

thanks!

Nathan Bransford said...

g. jackson-

I haven't seen a major difference across the board in the writing, but MFA grads tend to write queries of lower quality than the general population. Still trying to figure out why that is.

Mark Cotton said...

I just wanted to thank you for your blog and the knowledge you share here. I was going to e-mail my thanks, but didn't want to add to your e-mail statistics. I'm saving that for a couple of months from now when I hope to be ready to send a query for my almost-complete mystery/detective novel. I know, polish, polish, polish, wait a while and polish some more before sending. :-)

Lia Mack said...

you are so silly...love it

Jaime said...

Hi Nathan! Hopefully you're still answering on this thread!

My MS is making me sad. I have cut 30K words from it, but this still leaves it at 144K. I am reluctant to cut more, but realise that I'll have to in order to avoid a form rejection from most agents!

Would the fact that I'll be pitching it as a possible series make agents more receptive to a larger word count for the first novel?

Oooh, and will The Secret Year be released here in Australia next year?

Nathan Bransford said...

jaime-

That's a tough length for a debut. I don't know that it would necessarily help to pitch it as a series. The plot has to stand alone. Just keep doing what you can, and if it needs to be long it needs to be long.

TSY won't be out in Aus. just yet, but hopefully you'll snag a copy somehow! It's seriously incredible.

Jaime said...

Nathan, thank you for the speedy reply - and on a Sunday night for you, too!

I'll give this novel a fighting chance by hacking away the word count with my little machete fingers!

Hmm, as for The Secret Year . . . it really does sound great. It may be time to call on a favour from my Colorado-dwelling brother!

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