Video: What Goes In My Bio?

In anticipation of Pitch Wars giving me a whole new crop of query letters to leaf through, I decided to make this video about what authors should put in their query letter bios, with some tips about what to consider.

The takeaway:

  1. Be brief
  2. Be relevant
  3. Be humble
  4. Be recent
  5. Make it tailored

Video: Not-So-Frequently Asked Querying Questions

I’ve got a new video on querying literary agents . . . and this time, I’m addressing the not-so-frequently asked questions. If you’ve got the basics down but have some lingering concerns, check this out and ask your own!

In the video, I answer the following questions:

  • How many agents should I query at once?
  • How long is an average response time?
  • How do I respond if an agent wants to see part or all of my book?
  • Oh God, why am I so nervous? Why is this the hardest letter I’ve ever written?
  • What if all I’m getting are rejections?
  • What if I sent a partial or full manuscript a while ago but then I edited it and it’s better now? Should I send them my updated version?
  • How do I handle approaching remaining agents if one offers representation?
  • What if an agent wants me to make changes to my book and try again?
  • If I get a rejection from an agent, should I reply?
  • What if I get an offer from an agent I don’t want to represent me?
  • When can I list them as my agent on my blog and in my Twitter profile and stuff? I’m dying to tell everyone!
  • What if they seem interested but they refer me to an editor I have to pay for or promise representation for a reading fee?
  • What does it mean if the agent wants to call me?
  • Can I talk about my agent search online?
  • What’s your one piece of advice to an author newly querying agents?

New Video: Rejection

Now for a video on one of the most universal subjects for authors: REJECTION.

In this video I discuss my personal rejection experiences, share my first rejection letter and laugh over my most condescending one, and give you an idea of how and in what capacity I’ve been rejected over the years–from the perspective of a person who did eventually get to “yes.”

New video: On Book Proposals–and how I got my nonfiction agent

Here’s me discussing how I got my nonfiction agent, with some explanations of what went into my book proposal and how nonfiction is different from fiction in this regard!

I didn’t really want to go all out on making a “how to write book proposals” video because I don’t really feel like I’m qualified to do that. I understood fiction querying very well but I haven’t had much training (or time put in) on book proposals so what worked for me probably won’t transfer easily to anyone else’s project unless they just follow the outline really vaguely and build upon it.

Representation Settled: So You Think You’re Asexual

Today I accepted an offer for literary agency representation and signed a contract for my nonfiction book So You Think You’re Asexual.  I am officially a double-agented author.

Everyone, please meet my second agent, Andrea Somberg of Harvey Klinger.  She really knows her stuff, agrees with me that a book on asexuality is something that needs to exist, and even teaches a workshop on book proposals! I think I’m in really good hands here!

What this means: Nonfiction is sold through the proposal. With Andrea’s help, I will be fine-tuning a document that will be going to publishers. This is no big deal for me because the proposal (and the book) is already written, since I had to have a proposal in order to query nonfiction agents. Andrea said the proposal I sent her was in need of only minor changes, and I have a few things I want to add/change too. Once we have the proposal finalized, it will go out to the editors Andrea knows who might be interested in acquiring it. The book itself will probably not be requested by publishers until or unless someone decides to make an offer. (It feels so backwards from the way fiction is sold, since you have to have a polished manuscript BEFORE querying agents!)

We’ll be approaching publishers soonish.  I hope to be able to share good news when I have it.

New YouTube channel for writing videos

I’ve decided to start video-blogging about writing-related things. Sometimes I will post how-tos on things I know how to do in the writing world, and sometimes I will post personal perspectives. You can subscribe to my new YouTube channel at Channel JulieSondra.

Here is my video on writing query letters:

And here is my video on how I got my agent:

Feel free to let me know in the comments of this blog post or the comments of the YouTube videos whether you’d like me to do a video on any particular topic. It should be noted that optional captions are always installed in my videos for anyone who needs/wants them.

Representation Settled: Bad Fairy

Today I accepted an offer for literary agency representation and signed a contract for my novel Bad Fairy.  I am officially an agented author.

What this means: Once we get the contract finalized, we will develop some materials to introduce and present my book (and me) to publishers.  It’s a lot like authors querying agents to find representation, except that the agent is querying acquisitions editors at publishing houses based on what they’ve purchased in the last 12 months.  The goal is to find editors eager to buy books that are similar to those they’ve recently sold. If they like the idea, they’ll ask to see the book. If they like what they see, they’ll offer to buy the rights.  Negotiations begin.

We’ll be approaching publishers soonish.  I hope to be able to share good news when I have it.

In the meantime, please continue to tune in for blathering on any other projects I embark upon as well as news on this one.

Everyone, please meet my agent, Michelle Johnson.  We both like coffee and books and spend too much time on the computer.  I can’t wait to start working with her, and I’m so happy that she’s on my team.

Results of Querying: Bad Fairy 2012

I know 2012 isn’t over yet, but I have to stop querying agents for Bad Fairy

Happily, it isn’t a depressing reason, though (like it was the last time).  It’s because I’ve been offered representation.

I don’t want to go into detail because I still have some decisions to make before I sign with an agency, and I have a bit of a dilemma I don’t want to discuss publicly, but I will have specifics ready for you soon.

In any case I thought I’d show you this year’s track record so far, since it stops here.

Agents queried: 20.

Query rejections: 10.

The rest were not rejections.

One was a partial request that turned into a rejection after 100 pages.  That agent had puzzling feedback which I won’t share here.

There were also three full manuscript requests.  Ffffffffffff.

Once I actually sign a contract, I’ll share more . . . and I’ll be sure to keep everyone in the loop on what happens next. Which hopefully will involve a book deal.  (Yay.)

Whew!