Archive for the ‘Literary agent’ Category

Welcome, Carly, is the seat ok? If it is, I will start the interview. Oooops, forgot to pour you a glass of champagne. Here you are…

Thank you for joining us today; I know how busy you are.

Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself and how, and why, you become a literary Carlyagent.

I’m a literary agent with the P.S. Literary Agency. I’ve been with them since 2010 and I have worked in publishing for five years. I started in publishing by doing my Masters in Publishing Studies at City University London and simultaneously worked for the Darley Anderson Agency as an agency assistant. The moment I found out what an agent was, I was hooked. To me, it seemed like all the best parts of business combined! Rights, editing, marketing & more. I love my job.

How many proposals do you get a week?

How do you choose which one to read first?

Do you read them all or do you have readers who do that for you?

I get approximately 200 queries per week from people that have finished their book and are looking for representation and a publisher.

I read them chronologically, as they come in.

I read every single query myself.

How many manuscripts do you get a week?

How do you choose which one to read first?

Do you read them all or do you have readers who do that for you?

I request about 10 manuscripts a month.

When I choose to request material I read them in alphabetical order on my iPad.

Sometimes I have readers help me read the manuscripts, but I look at everything even if I don’t read it fully.

Do you have a certain amount of manuscripts and proposals you will accept per day or week?

It’s unlimited. But if a certain month brings in lots of quality material it will take me longer than the usual 4-6 weeks to get back to people.

Writers are advised to only send the required literature, i.e. letter, CV, first few chapters and synopsis. Do you read all of this or are there one or two specific things you read?

I like a one-page synopsis to jog my memory and the first three chapters. Sometimes people make the mistake of sending any three chapters, but you should always send the first three (consecutive) chapters.

Do writers put gifts in with the proposals?  Does it sway you to reading their work? What is the best gift you have received and what is the worst?

They do and it never sways me. It makes me leery. Why do you need a gimmick? You should believe in the words on the page.

Now, I only accept e-queries at query@psliterary.com, but I used to accept paper queries and we’d see some strange things. It’s great to make a beautiful package, but we have to rip it all apart anyway—and it’s not worth the extra postage.

What criteria do you use to decide if you are going to take a writer on?

I have to LOVE the manuscript. It has to make me feel something: cry, laugh, anger, swoon—something. I have to get along with the writer too. I will have a phone call before I represent someone. It’s a personal business and I want to represent people that I get along with.

Do you take on authors who self-publish?

I do, but under the pretense that I will submit their new work first before they self publish. Or they write in a genre I don’t work on and will self publish there, but write traditionally for me. I don’t look down on anything that was self published, but I don’t take on self published books in the hopes that a traditional publisher will pick them up. I’m interested in sub rights (film, tv, audio) for them. And if someone queries with a new book and has self published before I don’t look down on that either. It’s irrelevant.

Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?

If you are a talented writer that works on women’s fiction, book club books, YA, literary thrillers, commercial fiction or upmarket fiction query me! I’m actively looking for new writers at query@psliterary.com.

Find me on Twitter @carlywatters, online at www.carlywatters.com, and on Amazon where I wrote an ebook to help querying writers called ‘Getting Published in the 21st Century’ http://amzn.to/1iPuBId. It’s only $2.99 and full of great information to set your query apart from the pack.Carly's book cover

 Thank you for coming today Carly, I have really enjoyed meeting you.


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