Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Welcome back! And Just Welcome.

I'm extremely pleased to announce that Owl Goingback, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Crota and three other horror novels, has returned to the firm as a client and I'm currently shopping the outline and chapters for his new novel.

Clients coming and going is a bit the nature of the beast in publishing.  I was sorry when Owl left, because he was one of my first clients and simply a super-nice guy.  Now that he's back, I'm looking forward to helping him write the next chapter in his career!

I'm also happy to welcome Susan Standen to the firm as a client.  Susan has been on the frontlines of the battle against autism for ten years.  She started out as a aide, then a tutor, and is now working toward a Masters in Education.  Her proposed book, about her early years tutoring children with autism, promises to be an emotionally powerful and inspirational work.  I'm currently shopping the proposal.

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Yesterday I sent out emails to a dozen or so authors to whom I had sent requests for more material and never received it.  Here's our practice:  If we request a sample chapter, proposal, or manuscript from you and don't receive it inside of thirty or so days, we'll usually send you a follow-up email asking if you got our request.  If we don't get a response to that, we toss the original query.  If you get representation elsewhere, no matter what stage you are at with us—even just the query—we'd appreciate your letting us know so that we don't waste any time following up.  You can always use the FAQ form on our website to let us know but, please don't send us a query or anything using that form.  We can't accept email queries.

For those who are just now working on your query letters, allow me to provide some advice:
  1. Put your name, address, phone number, and email address at the top of page 1.
  2. Date your letter.
  3. If you can keep your letter to one page, that's best.
  4. Use a 12-point font.  Bigger is ugly; smaller is too hard to read.
  5. Don't use a lot of bold-face or italics.
  6. The KISS principle applies:  Keep It Simple, Stupid.
Z

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