News, Perspectives, and Insights on Writing and Publishing

From the Staff of The Editorial Department

April 7, 2016

Query Do, Query Don’t
Ten tips literary agent Kate Johnson wants you to remember

I’ve recently worked through a post-holiday backlog of submissions, and stumbled on some recurring themes and – naturally – some recurring pet peeves. Agents are as diverse in their taste for query letters as they are in their tastes for reading material, so please know my advice comes […]
January 28, 2016
book stacks

A View From The Trenches
Literary Agent Lucas Hunt reflects on the state of the today traditional publishing market and what authors need to know to be successful

If you want to publish today, your work must be impeccable. Whether you have a novel manuscript that has been slaved over for years, or are an expert in your field with a non-fiction book proposal, the case is the same. Your writing must be in the best […]
November 10, 2015

A Writer’s Motivation: Who Are You Writing For?
Literary agent Adriann Ranta explores tough questions every writer should consider before attempting to publish

I’ve had some really interesting and unique life experiences, and my friends keep encouraging me to write about them. From a market standpoint, is it a better idea to write a memoir, or to use those experiences as inspiration for a novel/work of fiction? I wish I could […]
November 5, 2015

Query Questions

I’ve heard it’s pointless to query between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Are there other times of year that are better or worse for agent responses? It’s true that publishing slows way down over the holidays (we’re people with families too!) and during the summer doldrums (we love the […]
October 23, 2015

Mainstream Publishers and the Acquisition of Successful Self-Published Titles

How interested are mainstream publishers in buying successful self-published books? I don’t mean hugely successful titles (Hugh Howey’s stuff, say), but books that have racked up impressive sales. And how many sales does it take to get a traditional publisher’s attention? This is a hard question to answer […]
October 19, 2015

Which Publishing Path is Better for Debut Authors?

These days, it seems harder and harder to land an agent and a traditional publisher, while on the other hand, many of the growing number of self-published books on sites like Amazon have difficulty finding an audience.  What is your advice for unpublished novelists who are faced with […]