10
Apr
If an agent has rejected a partial but you do a later rewrite, should you approach the agent again and ask if they're interested in seeing a rewritten version?
— Anonymous

You can. Remind them what it is and let them know what you’ve changed.

10
Apr
Hi, When working with an agent, what is a reasonable expectation for how long it should take before they response to a ms revision. I know everyone works differently and I'm not a published author, yet, but sometimes correspondence spans months. For example it took four months to get my initial edits/suggestions when I was told they would come in six weeks. Now that I've submitted my revisions what is a reasonable turnaround? Thanks you:-)
— Anonymous

Nope. No specific turn around time. Unfortunately we’re always hoping we’re going to hit that six week mark, but sometimes it just takes longer.

If you’re wondering about timeline, ask your agent what you should expect. 

10
Apr
Is there a sort of average/approx number of books an author who hits the YA NYT list is generally selling first thing out of the gate? I know it has more to do with selling in a short defined period of time but as I have zero perception of quantity and am bad with figures I'm not sure if NYT list means sold 100 books in 1st week or 1,000,000.
— Anonymous

So there is no approximate number but I would say that books hitting the YA NYT list are selling between 6000-10000 books.

10
Apr
Are any of you lovely ladies interested in steampunk?
— Anonymous

Suzie!

10
Apr
Formatting plays a meaningful role in my MS. I know many agents read MSs as .pdfs on e-readers, where formatting is kind of screwy. Any advice on how to handle that?
— Anonymous

Um, not really… Unfortunately I think this might be something that I can’t really help you with. My best advice is to send the pdf or word doc to your own e-reader or a friend’s e-reader and check the formatting before submitting to agents.

10
Apr
Hey Joanna, in your submission guidelines it states you are looking for " all genres (Picture Book) art-focused, 200-500 words." How does this differ from text-only picture books - as you don't want those? Thanks
— Anonymous

Joanna is look for only author/illustrators for picture books. She is not working with text only picture books at this time.

10
Apr
First I just want to say you guys are saints for answering the same questions over and over and over for us nervous hoping to be authors. Second, would New Leaf ever think of hosting some sort of critique partner connection for interested followers? It just seems like this Tumblr is stalked by a lot of people who presumably have the same taste and needs given that we are here for loving New Leaf books and looking for some support for writerly goals. Thanks!
— Anonymous

Thanks. :)

This is a really cool suggestion. I will pose it to the lovely Team at our next meeting. 

10
Apr
If an agent has read a submission of yours and liked your writing, but couldn't connect with the story and passed on that particular submission, but requested that you send them anything else you have in the future, should you: 1. Query again through the general guidelines and mention your previous encounter, or 2. Query the new work through your original email chain with the agent?
kaylapocalypse

#1!

10
Apr
How many words should a standalone contemporary YA novel be? I'm aiming for 65k, is that too short?
— Anonymous

Nope that sounds perfect.

10
Apr
To Joanna and Suzie: What sways you from "I like this project" to "I want to represent this project"? What are the key criteria?
— Anonymous

So I don’t know if there’s really a set criteria. We don’t have a checklist or anything. 

I can tell you though that it never starts with ”I like this project.” 

It starts with “I LOVE THIS PROJECT!!” (see more thoughts here: http://confessionsofawanderingheart.blogspot.com/2014/03/ask-me-anything-if-ms-needs-revision.html)

For instance, recently I signed Matt Stern for his amazing novel THE LIAR’S CHAIR. I started reading it one night at home and I was GLUED to my computer. I loved it so much. When I went into the office the next day, I could not stop talking about it. Then I emailed Matt to tell him I liked his book. I tried to play it cool and ask what his ideas were for other projects and could we get on the phone and talk. 

AND THEN I GOT A BOUNCE BACK. He was out of the country!

I checked my email obsessively until I heard back. I worried that what if someone else had already read the manuscript and gotten back to him first. 

By the time we actually spoke on the phone I KNEW I HAD TO WORK ON HIS BOOK!

The truth is that while this is a business it also has a lot to do with personal taste. I work on fiction because I love fiction. The genres I represent are the ones that I read widely. So when I read a book and I love it and I can’t stop thinking about it, that’s how I know I want to represent it. 

10
Apr
In regards to describing my book, I've seen some agents say they like to see TITLE meets TITLE or "this would appeal to fans of ..." and some who don't like comp titles at all. When I think of my MS, immediately two things come to mind, a book and a TV show. What do you think of using both to show that I know who my book would appeal to? Or would using a TV show be a big no-no?
— Anonymous

Yes, these are comparable titles. And a book and a TV is great.

Cora Carmack’s upcoming novel ALL LINED UP was pitched as a new adult Friday Night Lights. (It’s so good!)

10
Apr
Good day! I have a question sort of related to your previous post on word count. How long should chapters be? How long is too long or too short? I am currently in the process of writing a YA fantasy novel and I like to write in a relatively fast paced style. I often find while writing a chapter that quite a lot has happened in my story and there is a logical break for a chapter but if looking at the actual amount of words, it seems too short. What would you advise?
— Anonymous

There isn’t a set limit. I’d say that you want to end a chapter on a great cliff hanger-type line that encourages someone to turn the page. Suzanne Collins is a master at this. So is Veronica Roth.

But I’ve read chapters that are less than a page before. You don’t want a whole book of chapters that are only a page (because that’d be annoying) but you can have short chapters.

10
Apr
Do think critique partners are important? I'm looking for a critique partner and am at the stage where we are going to share a few chapters. Should I be scared they'll steal my idea. It's not like its the next Harry Potter, but still... : ) It's a sci-fi idea that I think is original and a lot of set-up is at the beginning.
— Anonymous

Yes, they’re very important.

No, don’t be scared they’ll steal your idea. 

You want a critique partner who’s also a writer. They’ll be sending you their pages. You’re not going to steal their idea, are you? Obviously there’s a level of trust here, but try not to worry. 

10
Apr
Another contest perhaps? : D
— Anonymous

Hmmm, what kind of contest are you hoping for?

10
Apr
I've written a YA Adventure novel, and I'm curious if the genre is (currently) intriguing, as well as something New Leaf/Ms. Townsend is currently looking for?
— Anonymous

Yes, query her!