The power of the writing community 💪
Welcome to the first edition of Chapter Break, a newsletter with writing and publishing insights put together by me, your friendly neighborhood book editor! If you haven’t subscribed yet, join our amazing community of 1,500+ storytellers and story lovers by subscribing here:
Writing itself is a solo act, but no one should have to go it alone…
I truly believe in the power of knowledge-sharing and mutual support among members of the literary community. After all, that’s why I created my YouTube channel, where many of you know me from, and where I’ve been giving my personal tips and insights on book writing and publishing for nearly two years now.
But when it comes to the complex and ever-changing world of writing and publishing, there’s always more to learn.
I realized the conversations I’ve been having with authors, literary agents, and other book folks behind the scenes could be incredibly valuable to the wider community. So, I decided to create this newsletter, which I’m so excited to finally share with you.
Here’s what you can expect: I’ll send you exclusive interviews with published authors and publishing industry professionals to give you helpful perspectives on the book writing and publishing process, and hopefully a little bit of reassurance and inspiration, too.
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed putting it together. Please forward this newsletter to anyone who might find it interesting!
OUR SPECIAL GUEST TODAY IS…
Literary Agent, Jane Rotrosen Agency
Seeking literary and upmarket fiction, book club fiction, horror, psychological thrillers, domestic suspense, and mystery/crime.
Query her here.
What do you look for in a potential client? What factors in a query package are most important to you?
I’m a very collaborative agent, so one thing I look for in a potential client is an openness to feedback. I always leave final changes up to the author’s discretion, but if they are willing to roll up their sleeves with me to get their manuscript in the best possible shape, I take that as a very good sign. Another thing I look for is an online presence. This is not necessarily a mandate, and I’m definitely not looking for a huge amount of followers. But Twitter and other social platforms can be a fantastic place to interact with others in the writing community—a community which is wonderful and supportive—so I always encourage emerging writers to consider it.
My ideal query letter is succinct yet informative, hitting all the key plot points without delving too much into the themes and tones of the manuscript. Comp titles are welcome, and don’t forget to include your bio and writing background!
What current trends in the book publishing industry should emerging authors be aware of?
Horror is having its moment, which I’m happy about. I would love to add a literary horror novel to my list!
Read my take on trending genres
What is one thing you wish emerging authors knew about the publishing industry or the traditional publishing process?
The traditional publishing process can be incredibly slow. You can work for months on manuscript revisions, and when it finally comes time to submit the work to publishers, it can sometimes take months, years, or even several manuscripts before your work gains traction. I completely understand how this can seem daunting or frustrating. I always like to think it only takes one “yes”, though this one “yes” might take time. Even if a manuscript sells quickly, it usually takes at least 18 months for the published novel to land on the shelves. It’s important to remain patient with the process, with your agent, your editor and publishing team, and yourself!
What is one piece of advice you would give to a writer who aspires to be published?
Have patience, and get to know others in the writing community—on Twitter, in writing groups, or elsewhere!
What’s a book that you have recently read and loved, and what did you like so much about it?
I recently read Blood Sugar by Sascha Rothchild and absolutely loved it. I am always a sucker for a likable antiheroine, and the protagonist Ruby is exactly that. 10/10 recommend.
Thanks so much for reading!
If you found this interview interesting, forward it to a friend!
Who should I talk to next?
Let me know your thoughts and any ideas for future interviews by replying to this email. I’d love to hear from you!
Don’t forget to check out my latest tips on YouTube!