by Carrie Shannon
I was online on Friday evening and happened to be present for a twitter online question session. The hash tag #askagent brought me to the attention of about 6-7 agents and publishers from NYC to the west coast.
Several of my questions were answered. One was totally ignored despite 4 attempts to get it answered.
Question: What is the most important attribute that you look for in a new writer? (obviously I only had 140 spaces so some of my original questions are expanded here).
Question: How does a new writer find an agent?
Answer 1: google is your friend (not all that helpful...but...)
Answer 2: read books you like and see who the author thanks. (actually this is helpful but if you prefer to read books written a half century ago, not very helpful to find someone actually still breathing...)
Question: What length of books are selling? (this was not one of my questions, but one I thought was interesting)
Answer: YA fiction from 50-70k. All other fiction no more than 85-90k. (this caught my attention because have one novel currently at 175k and another one topping at over 95k at the moment).
One publisher mentioned that any book over 90k was probably 'two stories in one'.
Not so for my opus, but I digress.
Final question: Does a writer have to get their work professionally edited before an agent will pay attention.
No answer to this question, despite asking it 4 times over the hour and in various ways. I still would like to know. Seems to me, that more and more is being put on the writer...
Hopefully this was helpful to someone. It was very cool to get real time answers from real live agents and publishers. I did not keep a record of this, should have, so this is all from memory.