22
Jul
I'm looking for some good books to use as comps for the YA Fantasy I'm writing. My book isn't urban fantasy and has no "real" world references. I've read tons of adult fantasy. And I've read tons of YA. But the YA stuff has been dysutopian or urban fantasy. Is it okay to compare my book to those? Or to adult fantasy? If not, could you please tell me about some successful YA Fantasy books I can read to see if they are good comps for mine? (Thank you!)
— Anonymous

Yes. My favorites are (these are all first books in a series)

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M Lee (out 8/5!)

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (out 2/2015)

Also Epic Reads put together a great list of YA Fantasies. I haven’t read all of these of course, but they’re working checking out: http://www.epicreads.com/blog/25-ya-books-for-game-of-thrones-fans/

22
Jul
Do New Adult manuscripts require a heavy romance subplot? Are they always set in the real world (contemporary fiction)? Everything I've read in that genre says YES, but others have said NO because the genre is growing.
— Anonymous

I would love to see NA expand, but in terms of sales, the NA books doing the best are contemporary with a heavy (sexy) romance subplot. 

22
Jul
I'm a querying writer in the U.S. Does it complicate things if I sign with an agent outside the U.S.? I'm wondering what would happen if the agent sold my book to a U.S. publisher. Does that count as a foreign rights deal and therefore mean the agent's commission is higher?
— Anonymous

It really depends on that agency’s contract and their process in terms of submitting to the US. If they work with a co-agent, yes the commission will be higher. If they sell direct, probably not.

22
Jul
I hear 'sick-lit' is out, and I get that (there's quite a bit of it out there recently)! What if a character has a medical condition that isn't life threatening but the surgery to remove it is, and that isn't the entire story?
— Anonymous

Query away—that sounds a little different!

22
Jul
If you could represent any author in the world, who would it be?
— Anonymous

I already represent my dream clients :)

I don’t know this is a fair question. I can tell you what books I love by other authors but I don’t really know anything about them or their working relationship and I do think that in the end that’s just as important as a good book. 

Here are some of my favorite authors that I don’t represent:

Melina Marchetta

Anne Bishop

George RR Martin

Kelly Armstrong

Kim Harrison

Meg Rosoff

Gillian Flynn

Tana French

Lisa Kleypas

Courtney Milan

Charlaine Harris

I’m also a little obsessed with this blog: http://www.thelondoner.me/ She’s not an author of books (yet?) but she’s definitely a favorite.

22
Jul
What is your opinion about pitch conferences? I'm editing the novel I want to pitch but the hundreds of dollars it costs to go to the conference is hard for me to manage. IS it worth it?
— Anonymous

I sort of hate pitches. I request everything because just because someone can pitch doesn’t mean they can write and vice versa. So I request that they query me. (I know, I’m lame). 

I think the one on one time can be valuable and I’ve converted pitch appointments to 10 min query workshops where I make notes on queries. I think that is invaluable.

Conferences can be really inspiring and informative. I do think they’re valuable and wonderful. The Chicago North RWA conference I went to this spring did a great workshop session at night. I sat in and I feel like I learned something. I just don’t believe a pitch is going to necessarily find you an agent any easier than a query.

22
Jul
I've gone through beta readers but I want to run through one last professional edit before I query. Any recommendations?
— Anonymous

I adored working with Danielle Poiesz when she was at S&S. She now does freelance editing: http://doublevisioneditorial.com/

And I’ve heard good things about Girl Friday Productions (http://www.girlfridayproductions.com/). 

You should probably ask some other writers though if you want more references. I don’t do a lot of working with freelance editors.

22
Jul
Have you guys ever read stories about humans who could shape shift into dragons or am I just imagining that's a thing? Is that a thing that needs to be written? lol
— Anonymous

Sophie Jordan Firelight https://www.goodreads.com/series/50238-firelight

It’s already a thing.

22
Jul
If you are writing in Scrivener and have the ability to compile into mobi format, should you mention this in your query? I don't know if agents ever read the manuscripts on kindle, but it seems it would be pretty convenient.
— Anonymous

I don’t know what this means.

I think you might be thinking a little too hard about this. Most agents ask for the ms in .doc format which is pretty easy to load on any e-reader.

22
Jul
I've given up on the idea of a "dream" agent. The "dream agent" for me is someone I think I can work with, who will believe in my work, and someone I will trust and respect. That said, can you give general advice on when you see an agent who is looking for the same kind of thing you've written--but not in all projects? What happens then in a client/agent relationship?
— Anonymous

I hate the idea of the “dream” agent because you’re absolutely right! A “dream agent” is someone who loves your work and shares your vision for your career and that you work well with. (yay!)

It doesn’t hurt to query them. If they’re interested and considering offering representation, you can tell them about some other ideas you have and gauge their interest. 

If one of my clients wrote a business book, I would work with them on it. I’d pull in the lovely Mackenzie Brady to help me since nonfiction isn’t really my thing, but we’d work it out. 

22
Jul
Is a 400 word query too long for a 98,000 word YA? Thanks so much for answering I am sending you a digital orange soda!
— Anonymous

Probably a little long, but I’m not going to word count.

22
Jul
I know Suzie is sick of YA sci-fi, but I have a WIP that is YA sci-fi/fantasy. Would it be okay to still query you? You're my #1 agent pick. Thanks!
— Anonymous

Yes, query away. What’s the worst that can happen?

And it’s easy to say “oh I’m sick of this” but I’m very willing to also point out exceptions.