Query.Sign.Submit. with Erin Niumata


Erin represents commercial nonfiction, from prescriptive and practical to narrative and memoir, as well as a select list of fiction including romance, mysteries, psychological thrillers, and commercial women’s fiction.

Erin is currently open to submissions of women’s fiction and romance (no supernatural, no time travel, etc.) until the end of April. When closed, she does not accept unsolicited queries, so be sure to check. She responds to all queries when she’s open to submissions.

To connect with and learn more about Erin . . .

Folio Lit

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


What WOWs you in a query?

Unique and BIG storylines. When I read a query and leave wanting more – that’s huge. I really adore great dialogue and when I can feel the chemistry between two characters. If the story is well written and I can’t put the manuscript down – I’m in heaven.

What should writers NOT do in a query?

Tell me how much all of their friends/mother/husband/daughter love it. Of course they do! Just get to it, state the case and leave it to me.

Is there anything you see way too much of in the queries you receive?

Paranormal. I’m not big on paranormal but people love to send it anyway. I don’t dislike it but I get more paranormal than anything. I’m over vampires, werewolves, time travel and fantasy.

How do you tackle your inbox? Do you go in order or jump around?

In order – it’s the only way I can keep track of them!

Do you ever offer a Revise & Resubmit? When would you do so?

When I think something has potential but it’s not quite there I provide notes and the option to resubmit.


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

I prefer to help build a career. I’m not into one-hit-wonders. I prefer to keep my list with career writers.

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


How editorial are you?

I was an editor for 20 years so I’d say that makes me rather editorial.

How do you put together a list of editors to send to?

I’m thinking of which editors are right for the book right at the query stage. I go over my list carefully rereading notes I have on each editor (I update my list all the time). I make sure the editors I submit to are actively publishing that particular type of book.


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

I make calls, send the manuscript and update the writer. Once I hear feedback from editors I call or email the writer to let them know. I’m up front with everything.

Do you forward editor feedback to writers?

Always. On occasion I will edit the responses if I don’t like the tone or what they’ve said. But the gist of the message will always be clear.

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

Get busy on the next book!

Do you send weekly updates or update as responses come in?

I send updates when they come in or at least once a week.

Is it okay for a client to check in if there hasn’t been any news in a while?


Thanks so much, Erin!

See other Query. Sign. Submit. interviews
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Posted March 2014– Always check for current info and guidelines.

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