Old Ask Nathan Thread

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Anobile1
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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by Anobile1 » June 14th, 2010, 1:00 am

Nathan Bransford wrote: Whoa - the best thing to do is to just summarize the story and not mention the different points of view. I'm pretty confused by the above, and you don't want the agent confused.
Haha, sorry about that. Yeah, I kind of expected that answer. Just wanted to make sure.
Nathan Bransford wrote:Yeah, I read the first one and really enjoyed it. Such a cool mix of history and fantasy.
Yay! I'm glad I'm not the only one who's heard of them.

Thank you for giving your time to answer questions and write such informative blog posts. It makes this whole querying process much less intimidating.
My Blog: http://amorenanobile.blogspot.com/ (Most recent post: Inspiration Patterns and an Old Friend)

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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by Username » June 15th, 2010, 4:10 pm

Has anybody already asked this?

When your novel gets published will you be sending a copy to LeVar Burton with an attached letter communicating how much Reading Rainbow meant to you, and how it influenced your life?

I'm guessing LeVar would be thrilled to receive one such package in the mail.

If I ever get a novel published I'll be sending a copy to the novelist H.R.F Keating. He wrote a series of mystery novels, which I adored. One in particular, 'Under A Monsoon Cloud', got me through a very, very difficult night in 1986. I 'needed' to escape the world, and for six hours I huddled underneath a blanket and read the novel from cover to cover using a flashlight. That book got me through the worst night of my entire life.

My favorite author, E.M. Forster, once said that one of the reasons he wrote was to gain the respect of those he respected. I wonder if anybody has ever gotten a first novel published and NOT sent it out! It would be sad if true. We're supposed to influence and be influenced by each other!

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by Nathan Bransford » June 15th, 2010, 11:55 pm

Username wrote:Has anybody already asked this?

When your novel gets published will you be sending a copy to LeVar Burton with an attached letter communicating how much Reading Rainbow meant to you, and how it influenced your life?

I'm guessing LeVar would be thrilled to receive one such package in the mail.

If I ever get a novel published I'll be sending a copy to the novelist H.R.F Keating. He wrote a series of mystery novels, which I adored. One in particular, 'Under A Monsoon Cloud', got me through a very, very difficult night in 1986. I 'needed' to escape the world, and for six hours I huddled underneath a blanket and read the novel from cover to cover using a flashlight. That book got me through the worst night of my entire life.

My favorite author, E.M. Forster, once said that one of the reasons he wrote was to gain the respect of those he respected. I wonder if anybody has ever gotten a first novel published and NOT sent it out! It would be sad if true. We're supposed to influence and be influenced by each other!
Great idea! I think it's an awesome idea to send your book out to the people who influenced you.

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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by Username » June 16th, 2010, 12:08 am

LeVar Burton would LOVE to receive a copy of your novel. You have to send it to him. Tell him how much Reading Rainbow meant to you - I'm sure it would mean a lot to him.

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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by izanobu » June 18th, 2010, 4:32 am

Hey Nathan,

I'm curious about your listing on Publisher's Marketplace. I was doing agent and editor research and found only 5 deals listed for you in the last 5 years. Do you have clients and deals that don't get reported to PM? I'm guessing yes, since 15% of five deals can't be enough to keep anyone in business, right? :) If that's the case, why do some deals get reported to PM and others don't? Is there another similar resource for checking out who is buying/representing what? Thanks!

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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by BlancheKing » June 19th, 2010, 3:48 am

Hi Nathan,

I was just wondering: how many partial/full rejections is too many for a publishable book? Is there a rough number of request rejections that, once hit, gives a signal to quit?

Thank you again.

Blanche
One manuscript, One dream, One stack of stamps that needs to be bought...
Writing Process: http://blancheking.blogspot.com/

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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by CafeCliche » June 19th, 2010, 3:12 pm

Hi Nathan! I'm back with more.

I was wondering - when it comes to submissions, does a 'maybe' ever turn into a 'yes' for you, or do you always know immediately whether you want to represent it or not?

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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by Username » June 21st, 2010, 6:57 pm

I posted a query letter in the appropriate sub-section of your forum, and have been revising the letter based on the suggestions made by other forum members (a few of whom I appear to have pissed off). Some of the suggestions were wonderful, and strengthened my letter (I think), but I explained that I can't possibly listen to every person who posts! If I were to implement every single change suggested then I'd become a basket case (and surely my letter would suffer for it).

The problem is, I'm more confused now than I was when I posted my query letter for critique. It's impossible for me to tell if people hate the story itself, the query letter, or both - but in any case I seem to have failed in generating a letter that people liked.

So the question is: Have you posted your own query letter for JACOB WONDERBAR AND THE COSMIC SPACE KAPOW?

Could you provide a link to the blog for this? I was unable to find it here at your website.

If you haven't posted your own query letter, then what's preventing you from doing so? Some of us are lost, confused, dispirited, spent, tired, pretty fed up, and would certainly be educated by reading the query letter of an actual agent. Also, I want to critique it in public... oh I kid the literary agent, I kid...

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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by Nathan Bransford » June 22nd, 2010, 12:34 am

izanobu wrote:Hey Nathan,

I'm curious about your listing on Publisher's Marketplace. I was doing agent and editor research and found only 5 deals listed for you in the last 5 years. Do you have clients and deals that don't get reported to PM? I'm guessing yes, since 15% of five deals can't be enough to keep anyone in business, right? :) If that's the case, why do some deals get reported to PM and others don't? Is there another similar resource for checking out who is buying/representing what? Thanks!
I do hold some things back yes, and while PM is definitely the most exhaustive resource that I know of, I'm afraid there's no complete resource. Sometimes it's just not necessary to report, sometimes it's a decision reached with the author. I also sell some subrights for other agents at Curtis Brown (which I don't really blog about), so I also earn my keep that way, which allows me to be very choosy about what new projects I take on.

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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by Nathan Bransford » June 22nd, 2010, 12:35 am

BlancheKing wrote:Hi Nathan,

I was just wondering: how many partial/full rejections is too many for a publishable book? Is there a rough number of request rejections that, once hit, gives a signal to quit?

Thank you again.

Blanche
Nope - there's no magic number. I'd say the end point is when you can't think of more people to query or when you stop enjoying the process.

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by Nathan Bransford » June 22nd, 2010, 12:36 am

CafeCliche wrote:Hi Nathan! I'm back with more.

I was wondering - when it comes to submissions, does a 'maybe' ever turn into a 'yes' for you, or do you always know immediately whether you want to represent it or not?
The only way a maybe turns into a yes for me is through revisions - otherwise my basic feeling is that if you have to talk yourself into something it's not ready to go. When it's ready you just know.

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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by Nathan Bransford » June 22nd, 2010, 12:37 am

Username wrote:I posted a query letter in the appropriate sub-section of your forum, and have been revising the letter based on the suggestions made by other forum members (a few of whom I appear to have pissed off). Some of the suggestions were wonderful, and strengthened my letter (I think), but I explained that I can't possibly listen to every person who posts! If I were to implement every single change suggested then I'd become a basket case (and surely my letter would suffer for it).

The problem is, I'm more confused now than I was when I posted my query letter for critique. It's impossible for me to tell if people hate the story itself, the query letter, or both - but in any case I seem to have failed in generating a letter that people liked.

So the question is: Have you posted your own query letter for JACOB WONDERBAR AND THE COSMIC SPACE KAPOW?

Could you provide a link to the blog for this? I was unable to find it here at your website.

If you haven't posted your own query letter, then what's preventing you from doing so? Some of us are lost, confused, dispirited, spent, tired, pretty fed up, and would certainly be educated by reading the query letter of an actual agent. Also, I want to critique it in public... oh I kid the literary agent, I kid...
I haven't yet, but I will at some point, promise!

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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by Username » June 22nd, 2010, 4:42 am

Thanks.

You've blogged about query letters before, obviously - but if I were to read your own query letter I believe it would give me a much better insight as to what you're looking for as an agent.

Also, completely off topic, but somebody said to me that San Francisco is fast becoming America's secondary publishing hub (New York obviously being the chief hub). Is this true? I would've thought that LA would've become the secondary hub? I wonder if people, for whatever reasons, are maybe just a little more cultured in San Francisco? I noticed a few years ago that when Jean Luc Naret, the editor-in-chief of The Michelin Guides, decided to publish a second US Guide, he chose not LA or Chicago, but rather San Francisco (he extended the zone down to Los Gatos because he wanted to include the restaurant Manresa).

That guy is really on the ball, and I suspect that he was probably tapping into something.

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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by isaiahjc » June 23rd, 2010, 3:30 pm

Hey, Nathan!

What do you think about authors serializing their book via podcast before they seek agent representation? Is it a bad idea, or will that catch an agents attention as a viable marketing strategy?

Thanks!

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Re: Ask Nathan

Post by bcomet » June 23rd, 2010, 4:35 pm

Hi Nathan,
What should be in the "subject line" of an email containing a request for more pages?

I recently found out (six weeks later as I was trying to be polite and not bug the agent) that ones relabeled as "Requested Materials" or "Requested Partial" didn't/might not go through.

Should you just hit the resend button or make sure the word "query" is still in the subject line?

Thanks!

bcomet

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