Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Why do literary agents reject your book?

Spalmorun (Karen Akhavein) explains the seven reasons literary agents reject your book. I had my experience with agents in the 1990s. 

First, “you don’t send books to publishers”.  That sounds like an oxymoron.  But you send books to literary agents.

It has to be the “right” agent, and you have to follow the agent’s website instruction on how to do the pitch or query.

It shouldn’t be a “hard sell” for the market at the time.

But point (5) is the most interesting:  your social media presence should present you as having authority to write the book (and it isn’t so much a numbers game – although YouTube’s and Facebook’s problems right now make all that iffy anyway.)  What she calls “authority” I call “personal branding”

Point (6) has to do with the need to grab the reader’s attention on the first page.  In the past, this hasn’t always been true.  Irwing Wallace wrote some spy novels about the Cold War and he used to take his time building back stories for each major character in the early chapters (particularly with “The Plot” that never became a movie). 

At the end of the video, she does discuss self-publishing. 

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