Writing Books/query


One thing is bugging me, a bit, so I thought I'd write for confirmation. Writers Market and LMP lists an agent and I mailed a question. I received a reply from a person not an agent but said to send query to "literary assistant" I thought I should send it directly to the agent that handles the material. Is this wrong?

Hi, Demetrius!

A lot of agents have literary assistants. They act as both clerical staff and are often agents in training. After all, you have to learn how to become an agent SOMEHOW, so the agents give the trainees a lot of duties like reading submissions to help them get a "feel" for what to look for in a story that can be sold. Then, the trainee/assistant meets with the agent and gives them their opinion. The agent will ask a lot of questions designed to force the assistant to actually THINK about the story's potential. Sometimes, the agent will make the decision to pass on the book based on the assistant's suggestion, or sometimes they want to look at it personally to see if the assistant's "eye" is good.

It's nothing personal, nor any sort of reflection on you or your book. It's just part of the business.  Remember to be very nice to the assistant, because they'll likely be an agent someday, and it's good to have lots of friends in this biz. :)

Hope that helps, and good luck!


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Cathy Clamp


I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.


I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

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