An Evening at The Boulder Bookstore with Agents Sara Megibow & Shannon Hassan

boulder bookWhat a pleasure to listen as Sara Megibow (Nelson Literary) and Shannon Hassan (Marsal Lyon Literary) answered questions about book publishing last night. I hope you find their comments as helpful as I did.

  • 50% of our queries get rejected because they are in genres that we don’t represent.
  • Have one genre. Bookstores don’t shelf books in multiple places.
  • Steps to getting an agent: 1. Book is finished. 2.Know your genre (Read at least 3 books in that genre to make sure you are in the right one). 3.Find a list of agents representing that genre (agentquery.com; Send to first five which allows you to redo the query or manuscript if rejected); 4. Study agency web sites and follow submission guidelines.
  • I read 200 queries each day in 20 minutes. Last year I asked for 98 full manuscripts; 7 were signed; six got deals.
  • In my genres I want more diversity, more people of color, more people of diverse religious backgrounds… There is more discussion in this world than is currently represented on the bookshelf.
  • Shockingly, middle class kid aren’t the only ones who visits bookstores.
  • It takes 2-3 years to write and get published.
  • It’s important to write multiple books in one brand before you move on. You start with several Middle Grade Realistic Fiction books; Years later you move into YA fantasy.
  • Should you resubmit to the same agent with an extensive rewrite? Yes, but don’t discuss the past. It’s not needed, I won’t remember the first one.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...writing middle grade novels.
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2 Responses to An Evening at The Boulder Bookstore with Agents Sara Megibow & Shannon Hassan

  1. Excellent points. I’d have liked to have seen Sara and Shannon. I’m amazed that agents still say that people submit books whose genres the agency just doesn’t represent. This is the easiest part of the process!

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