Tag Archive - Book Submissions

5 Literary Agents Reveal the 9 Pitching Mistakes Authors Make

Today’s guest post is by Bushra Rahmani.

I kid you not: In late 2016, I sent query letters to twenty-seven literary agents; 84% of them never replied, and the remaining 16% said they were not interested.

Here’s what I had done:

  • I collected the emails addresses of literary agents near me and added their names in a spreadsheet.
  • Next, I copied a cover letter template from the web, pasted it in the email body, and attached my sample chapters.
  • Then, I pasted the email addresses from the spreadsheet into the cc column, added my signature, and hit the send button.

The whole process barely took thirty minutes. But the outcome of this blazing-fast submission method? Rejections. The image below should tell you more: Continue Reading…

Why Did I Get a “No”? – The Dos and Don’ts of Query Letter Writing

Today’s guest post is by Trident Media Group literary agent Mark Gottlieb.

As a literary agent in major trade publishing at the Trident Media Group literary agency, I often have to explain the elements of a good query letter to new clients. This post is intended as a description of what goes into a good query letter, for new authors unfamiliar with what literary agents and editors are looking for in a query letter intended the book-publishing world.

For a writer who might be currently querying literary agents, or even contemplating that process, this might be helpful reading. Considering the high rejection rate in the book-publishing industry for writers trying to become debut authors, this article will, hopefully, be enlightening for the countless writers who are experiencing rejection due to a poorly constructed query letter.

A lot of authors dread writing query letters. I know many authors who can write a novel in a matter of months but who could endlessly spend years toiling over writing a query letter. My advice to authors along the querying process is to really nail the writing of that query letter.

A query letter that reads well is usually a good indication to the literary agent that the manuscript will similarly read well, inclining the literary agent to request a manuscript. Often the query letter can go on to become the publisher’s jacket copy, were the publisher to acquire the manuscript via the literary agent. Continue Reading…

The Long Journey to the Perfect Short Story

Today’s guest post is by Jen Scott, associate editor at Firewords Quarterly:

One of the most rewarding parts of my job is that it affords me the opportunity to discover tremendous writers. On a personal level, showcasing their imagination and skill provides endless satisfaction. Some have been writing for years while, for others, I am the first editor to accept their work. Age is of no consequence: often a person’s first publishing success comes later in life, yet I have also eagerly published those who are still at high school. Moreover, some writers provide a long list of previous credits in esteemed magazines but are ultimately rejected, while others include a short, unassuming line of introduction and totally blow me away.

While there is no hard-and-fast formula for making a successful submission, time and time again I see writers with great potential falling into the same traps which lead to rejection. Here is some advice on how to avoid these common pitfalls.

Continue Reading…