I love reading blogs by agents. It’s like peeping into a nest of baby birds…lots of chattering going on and they’re so cute! No, seriously, you can really learn from these blogs…it does give insight…and possibly give you a chance to interact with your own query (be prepared to be slaughtered, but then, pick yourself up and try all over again), or even writing tips on the first page of that great book you’ve been writing for sometime now.
Let me share TWO of my favorites in this category of honest blogging.
The first is a popular one called: Query Shark
The Query Shark. aka, Janet Reid, selects fiction queries to critique on her blog. Yep, she will be brutally honest with you and the rest of the world about your query, and from what I’ve read, she’s spot on many times. I’ve learned much from her blog on writing queries. Of course, she may not select YOUR particular entry, but then again, if she does than you can swim with the shark, just make sure to be a strong swimmer.
You do up your chances for a query critique on her blog if you don’t make the same mistakes she has already pointed out so many times on other people’s queries, So it’s important to follow the direction and first dig deep into the archives of previous critiques. What’s even greater is that you also have a chance to revise a critiqued query, and possibly obtain another critique. Plus…drumroll here please, she has a section on the right that indicates which queries hit her green button (Queries that got to Yes)
From her FAQ, here is an interesting tidbit:
For the queries that end with “I’d request pages” from the Shark, do you request pages off the QS submission, or do you wait for the person to query you officially at your J.Reid email?
I don’t request pages from QS postings. I’m glad when those authors do query since they have projects that sound interesting. I’ve read ten or so full manuscripts that I originally met here at QS.
The second blog is Confessions from Suite 500
This one had me with the quote by Saul Bellow put under the title…I won’t spoil it by repeating it here. Check it out for yourself.
This blog has two authors, Suzie (from Nancy Coffey Literary Agency) and Joanna (from FinePrint Literary Management). They look young, but their comments are fresh and honest.
It’s really a good interactive blog, with contests and prizes sometimes (check out 5/9/2011 contest with the Original Sin Winner). There is also the First Page Shooter (where you submit your first page of 250 words for a possible critique). Note I said possible…according to an April 19th update, they got over 700 emails for the First Page Shooter). It’s quite interesting to get inside of an agent’s mind and have them comment on your “baby”. Even if it’s not YOUR baby…you can still learn from them. If you do submit anything to the blog be sure to read the directions.
If you would like to share your own favorite blogs by agents, be sure to mention it in a reply to this post!