Did you miss your opportunity to ask agents and editors your burning questions? Here’s a breakdown of what you missed.

 

Writers’ Morning Out did not meet in November as the date conflicted with the Nc Writers’ Network Fall Conference in Durham. If you did not go, and therefore missed the annual Brilliant at Breakfast Panel Discussion with Agents and Editors, many of the questions this year revolved around comparable titles—the titles of works you tell agents and editors are similar to your work. The main points:

  1. No work is unique. Or, if it truly is, agents and editors don’t want to know. What they want is work that is similar to works that have been sold
    1. “One of kind” scares agents and editors
    2. Comparisons demonstrate readers will want to read your work
  2. Comparisons can be made to themes, characters, writing style, etc
    1. Note how your work differs
    2. Can use non-fiction comparison to fiction if very relevant and successful
    3. Comparisons to television shows or movies are not useful
  3. Include three to five books
    1. Books should be recent publications as the publishing environment has changed in the last five years
    2. Agents may help develop the list for submission to editors

 

Other points raised include:

  1. Historical fiction is best when telling stories not generally known, in countries and regions not often written about, and that connect with issues we face today
  2. The best queries are one-page, well written, and indicate that you know something about the person to whom you are querying. An agent wants to fall in love with your work and feel you will be easy to work with.
  3. Platforms are not as necessary for fiction writers as they are for non-fiction writers.
  4. The biggest problem with new writers is that they query before their work is finished
    1. Submit your work to readers to get feedback *

 

* Note from carol ~ When I started out, I asked people I thought would be interested in what I was writing and simply asked,

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