Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Self Publishing is NOT the "Easy" route.

Ok.  Time for some real talk.  For some reason this topic is still under debate, and the reason why is because of unicorns.  Not the majestic creatures that I totally wish were real, no the unicorns I am referring to are the self published authors who land on the NYT's Bestseller List, who sell 100,000 copies of their books, and become all around urban legends.  They exist, they are out there, and yes some have gone the way of traditional publishing.  But, here's where I am going to be the bad guy: the self pub market is no longer what it once was, and those unicorns are extremely rare these days.


Say it once, say it again, say it multiple times if you think self publishing your book is going to land you a huge book deal with a major house. Because odds are, it's not going to happen.

I promise, I'm not a worst case scenario, doom and gloom person (a lot of people can attest to this).  Here, I'm being realistic. Ultimately what happens when you publish that book yourself, if maybe you will sell a few hundred copies, then realize, "wow this is quite a bit of work" and THEN decide, I should be able to get an agent now with my sales and have my book be their problem to sell.  Nope. Not happening.  

When I get a book that's already been self published and it's good, I'm immediately bummed.  I can't sell something that has already been for sale, especially with not very strong sales.  So if I'm interested, then I will ask for the next book they have that hasn't been released yet.  Agents and publishers want something they can work with you on, and something that hasn't been read by a few hundred people already.

Sorry for the doom and gloom post guys, but they will have to happen occasionally.  I'm just getting this one out of the way early.

As always, ask some questions if you have any!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Oh yay... another agent started a blog.

Guys, I know I am so original here, BUT, Tumblr is too hard for me to manage, and I like talking to people (read mostly myself) online.  So viola!  My new agenting blog with an entirely unoriginal name! This blog will serve purely to update my MSWL, give you query tips, real publishing talk, and of course, give you insight into my overloaded brain.

If you don't know who I am, well let me tell you.  My name is Jessica Watterson and I am an associate agent at The Sandra Dijkstra and Associates Literary Agency (so fancy, I know!). I mainly represent romance, women's fiction, all genres of YA, and just recently picture books that are author illustrated.  To get a feel for what kind of fiction I love, I'm listing it here for you (also because I get asked this question A LOT).

If you see something that strikes your fancy, and you think your writing resembles it, please do send me your queries! (My email is jessica@dijkstraagency.com and our submission guidelines can be found HERE.

For picture books my two top favorites of all time are: BALLOON FARM and I LOVE YOU STINKY FACE.  My mom would read those to me with voices when I was younger, and that is still one of my favorite childhood memories.

For YA books, I love a lot.  SCRIBBLER OF DREAMS by Mary E. Pearson, FEVER by Laurie Halse Anderson, HOPE WAS HERE by Joan Bauer, and THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater.  (To name a few, I could go on).

For Women's Fiction I really love HER FEARFUL SYMMETRY by Audrey Niffenager, THE HELP by Katherine Stockett(I know this crosses over to literary fiction), and ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes.

For romance I love literally anything by Kristen Ashley (I'm a total fangirl of hers), THE BLUE CASTLE by L.M. Montgomery, and THE LAST SUMMER (OF YOU AND ME) by Ann Brashares.

For the most part I love happy endings.  Obviously not all of the books on this list have happy endings, but I will say a good chunk of them do.  So keep that in mind if I am on your sublist!

So with all of that now out in the universe, feel free to agree with me on my favorites, or get your torches and pitchforks ready, I have thick skin.  And please feel free to ask me questions in the comments!  I will try my best to answer all of them in my next post.

If you stuck through all the way with me, thank you!