Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Kate Epstein looking for Young Adult fiction and nonfiction

The Epstein Literary Agency
Randolph, MA, USA

The Epstein Agency is a small single-person outfit founded by Kate Epstein 2005, after four years' acquisitions experience at Adams Media. Until recently Kate focused exclusively on nonfiction, but now she’s added Young Adult fiction and nonfiction of all kinds to her repertoire.

Concerning nonfiction, Kate says, “The most important thing to remember about a book proposal is that it is a sales piece. It should be professional – but also dynamic. It’s great to dot your i’s and make sure all the pieces are there, but you need to transmit a level of excitement about your project.

“A really common problem is a weak marketing plan. I do understand the challenges people face in this area. I believe that even if your efforts are unlikely to directly generate more than a few hundred sales, that you should still describe what you are going to do personally to push your book. An ambitious, even creative, plan for what you will bring to the effort tells a publisher that you will be an eager partner, and that any resources they do provide you will not be ill-spent.

“Practical nonfiction by credentialed authors is certainly the smallest stack in my pile, and I’d love to see more of that. I’ve placed a couple of craft books recently, and more of that is welcome. Uncredentialed authors that want to write practical nonfiction should, as a rule, team with someone more credentialed. If I were more on top of my slush pile right now, I could better answer this question, but thus far I’m getting the strong impression that a lot of YA authors have embraced hackneyed ideas about high school and social strata. Plot and character are to me the two most important things; I think most people that attempt YA realize how vital plot is, but to me character is just as important.

“When it comes to memoir, I’m always curious about peculiar jobs or unusual experiences, but I tend to see a lot more books about family life, which aren’t necessarily as interesting to me.”

Check that your project is something Kate might be interested in and then query by email with no attachments:

Complete guidelines here:

Note: Brian Henry has a few "How to Get Published" workshops coming up soon: in Uxbridge on May 8, in Hamilton on May 15, in Windsor on June 6 and in Waterloo on July 24.

For information about all of Brian's writing workshops and creative writing courses, see here.

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