Query.Sign.Submit. with Kasie West

Kasie_West

Kasie is the author of The Distance Between Us and Pivot Point, the newly released Split Second, and the soon-to-be-released On the Fence (Summer 2014). She is represented by Michelle Wolfson of the Wolfson Literary Agency.

 

 

Split Second 
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literary agent and author Now for Kasie’s insight on querying, signing with an agent, and going on submission!

QUERY

What advice would you give to querying writers?

Don’t send a hundred queries at once. Send a handful at a time and wait for feedback. If you’re not getting the desired response, tweak the query or the sample pages and send out another handful. When you start getting a good response, then send out a hundred. ;)

What resources and websites did you use when querying?

My favorite site was querytracker.net. I used that a lot. But in addition to that I made sure I researched each and every agent I was sending a query to for things like: requirements, preferences, response time, who they represented, etc.

If querying was a long time ago for you, what do you remember most?

The heartache and anxiety of it all. It was such an emotional time. There were so many heart wrenching moments. But also some pretty high highs. I felt like I was on an emotional rollercoaster.

Had you queried other books before the one that got you your agent?

Yes, I had queried two other books before Pivot Point. But while I queried, I kept moving forward, kept writing and didn’t put all my hopes and dreams in one book.

SIGN

Did you sign as a client of a career agent or on a book-by-book basis?

Michelle is stuck with me. For life. Just kidding, there are obviously ways for both of us to dissolve the contract if we ever felt we wanted to, but we’re in this together for all my books. She’s one of my biggest supporters.

Once a writer has signed with an agent, what’s the next step?

The next step is generally to do a round or two (or more) of edits with you agent. They usually have suggestions to make your book better and you actually should know their suggestions before you ever sign because if their suggestions for your book don’t feel right to you that should be a deal breaker. Then once you’ve made your book the best it can be, it’s submission time. Your agent sends it off to editors.

At what point do you share new story ideas with your agent?

For me, it’s once I’ve written them. I think I’m weird though. A lot of people share the idea to make sure it’s something their agent can sell. For me, personally, once I say an idea I feel kind of an insane amount of pressure to write it and I don’t work well with someone looking over my shoulder. So I write what I enjoy and then if it turns into a good book, I give it to my agent.

SUBMIT

What is a typical first round like once a writer goes on submission?

Well, for me it’s different now that I’ve sold a couple books. The very first time though, is similar to querying. You don’t throw it out to everyone at once. Your agent carefully selects a handful of editors she feels are looking for the book you’ve written and she contacts them to gauge their interest. If they’re interested, she sends it to them. And you wait….on pins and needles.

What is the next step if an editor shows interest?

It depends on what kind of interest. If they want a revision then they ask for one. If they don’t, they have to get in house support. So they send it to colleagues who read it. Then the editor takes it to an acquisitions meeting where they basically have to sell your book and their passion for it to the house. If they succeed, they make you an offer.

What do you suggest a writer does while out on submission?

Write another book. That’s always my suggestion. While waiting on anything (and there is a lot of waiting in this industry), write.

How much contact do you have with your agent when you are out on submission?

I have lots of contact with my agent, whether on submission or not. I feel comfortable emailing her often.

Once you have a book published, how does submission change for an author?

Well, now, my editor gets “first dibs” on my books. She gets to read them first and decide whether or not she’s going to make an offer. Which is a good thing because, like with an agent, it’s nice to have a career relationship with your editor as well.

Thank you, Kasie!

See other Query. Sign. Submit. interviews
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Find out about agent-judged contests

Posted February 2014

5 comments:

  1. Great interview Kasie and Dee! Thanks so much!!

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  2. Great interview, with Kasie. I interviewed her when Pivot Point came out, which I loved. It's been awesome following her career. Just got my copy of Split Second that I won. Can't wait to read it!

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  3. Just finished and loved The Distance Between Us. Great interview!

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  4. Thanks for another great interview! I absolutely LOVED Pivot Point, and I look forward to Split Second.

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