Querying & Agent Tips of the Week (3 Tips on Young-Adult Books)

Hey guys, it’s Day 4. That means today we’re covering querying and agent tips. Today I will be listing some interesting tips I found concerning the publishing and querying of young-adult books.

Picture Source: serc.carleton.edu

(All of the below are from the 2011 Guide to Literary Agents that I’ve been reading)

From “Agents Tell All–FAQ: On Queries and Pitches”

1. Is anything “taboo” in young adult books?

– Nothing is taboo if it’s done well. “Taboo” subjects need to have a purpose in the novel, as well as be well written. Taboo topics do affect whether schools and/or libraries will pick up the book, which may affect whether a publisher feels it can sell enough copies.

* The above tips are from Jessica Regel, literary agent.


2. What are some reasons you stop reading a YA manuscript?

– Unoriginal or derivative plot, narration that reads like a text message from a grandmother, bad writing, weak voice, inappropriate for the age group, not a good fit for the agency. Many writers have also tried to force their manuscripts into genres that do not fit. “Write what you love, don’t write what you think will sell.”

* The above tips are from Jessica Sinsheimer, literary agent.


3. Are there any subjects you feel are untapped and would be a refreshing change from the typical YA story?

– Send me some modern immigration stories, multi-generational stuff, modern issues concerning race.

* The above tip is from Joe Monti, literary agent.


That’s all for today. I hope you find it helpful!



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