Editors Blog

Chuck Sambuchino’s Guide to Literary Agents Blog

Chuck Sambuchino is an editor and published author who runs the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, one of the biggest blogs in publishing. His site has instruction and information on literary agents, literary agencies, query letters, submissions, publishing, author platform, book marketing, and more.


You Must Edit Before You Submit to Literary Agents

One question I get a lot during conference seminars is “How do I know when my work is done and ready to send out?”  Obviously, there is no magic answer for this, but the question itself touches on something very important: self-editing.  Writers know they have to write the book, and they know they...

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How I Got My Agent: Lisa Janice Cohen

"How I Got My Agent" is a recurring feature on the GLA blog. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. If you have a literary agent and would be interested in writing a short guest column for this GLA blog, e-mail me at...

Is a Quick or Slow Response Time a Sign?

Q. I submitted a query to an agent (with the exact info she requested from the WM site). I expected a response in 3 weeks.  I got a very detailed and polite rejection e-mail 7 hours later.  Should I take this as some sort of negative sign?  7 hours? A: I’d say no because...

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New Agent Alert: Chasya Milgrom of Dystel & Goderich

Reminder: Newer agents are golden opportunities for new writers because they’re likely building their client list; however, always make sure your work is as perfect as it can be before submitting, and only query agencies that are a great fit for your work. Otherwise, you’re just wasting time and postage. Areas of interest: literary fiction,...

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How I Got My Agent: Chuck Sambuchino

"How I Got My Agent" is a recurring feature on the GLA blog. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. If you have a literary agent and would be interested in writing a short guest column for this GLA blog, e-mail me at...

Will Agents Try to Scam You With Small Costs?

Q. Any red flags to look for regarding cost reimbursements (mailings, etc.) in case they try to make money that way? A: As a refresher for everyone, you never want to pay agents money upfront to represent you.  The only money you should every pay an agent are small amounts so that they can...

Why Do Agents Have to Love a Book to Take It On?

Q. Why do agents need to “love” a book?  Can’t they simply recognize commercial viability without loving it, and take on a project on that basis alone?        – Anonymous A: Absolutely. With nonfiction and commercial (genre) fiction, they can often size something up to be “easily salable” and take it on for...

Agents and the Slushpile: 10 Reasons They Stop Reading

My friend Kerrie Flanagan, who runs the Northern Colorado Writers’ Conference (in Fort Collins) recently pointed me to a guest blog column on her site.  The guest column examined a session at a recent writers’ conference where four literary agents listened to a few pages from a slush pile submission.  The agents would listen...

Are There Any Guys in SCBWI?

I’ve done a lot of nonfiction writing, but I am a newbie to the children’s writing world and am trying to get involved and learn things and make friends, etc.  All this lead me to my first regional SCBWI meeting.  There were 18 people, and only one dude – me. Are there any guys...

Should You Mention Your Age in a Book Query?

Q. How old do you need to be in order to publish a book? Is there a specific age limit?         – Stacia A. There is no age limit, Stacia.  Didn’t S.E. Hinton write The Outsiders when she was just 15?       The bigger question here is whether you should mention your young...

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New Agency Alert: Kirsten Neuhaus Literary

Kirsten Neuhaus, who has worked at a few agencies in recent years, has recently broke out on her own. She is seeking: Nonfiction, particularly current events, international affairs, pop cultural studies, and narratives with strong female voices, as well as up-market, commercial fiction.

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Agent Advice: Jim McCarthy of Dystel & Goderich

This installment features Jim McCarthy of Dystel & Goderich. Jim interned for DGLM while studying urban design at New York University. Seeking: "literary and commercial works. He is particularly interested in literary women’s fiction, underrepresented voices, mysteries, romance, paranormal fiction, and anything unusual or unexpected. In addition to fiction he is also interested in narrative...

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Agent Advice: Kate McKean of Howard Morhaim Literary Agency, Inc.

This installment features Kate McKean of Howard Morhaim Literary Agency, Inc. A native Southerner, Kate earned her Master's degree in Fiction Writing from the University of Southern Mississippi before starting her career as a literary agent. She is seeking: Her interests lie in literary fiction, contemporary women's fiction, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, mystery, young adult...