I’m going to continue recounting things from NJRW, rather than do a different Teaching Tuesday post.

10. Nadia Cornier of Firebrands agency is not only smart, but funny as well (though I had introduced myself to her earlier and discoverd this then).

9. Miriam Kriss of the Irene Goodman agency is also incredibly smart. And she doesn’t bite and she’s only ever made one person cry (I’m cheating because she told me that when I introduced myself to her earlier in the day). So she’s not that scary. Really.

8. Yes, you do have to tell “who done it” in the synopsis. Even if it’s a mystery (Nadia wrote a Romancing the Blog column about this).

7. Nadia Cornier doesn’t read the synopsis.

6. And Miriam Kriss says you’re more likely to capture her with the first page or so of your manuscript than the synopsis.

5. But you should still write a synopsis and write a good one. There are many, many reasons for a good synopsis–the agent can use it to sell to an editor, the editor can use it to sell to her team, and the publisher can use it to give the marketing department something to use. They synopsis? It is important and is a skill that should be honed.

4. Important point: A synopsis is not a blurb or a chapter summary (**insert my own note: PLEASE learn this. I cannot tell you how many “synopsis” we get with submissions that don’t even resemble synopsis.) and should be around 5 pages long for the agent/editor purposes.

3. It’s important for authors (aspiring or otherwise) to keep up with the industry by reading, reading, reading. Read other author’s work, read Publishers Marketplace, read RT and other publications.

2. Agents are looking for authors who are motivated and hands on, who are interested in branding themselves as a name, not just an author who thinks their work is done once they’ve turned in a manuscript.

1. By and large, all thought it was important to have an agent, to act as a go-between between editor and author, to help you understand contracts, to be your cheering section. Maybe your agent hasn’t sold your first book, but they might sell your second and then sell your first. Agents are someone who are always in your corner and who are working for you.

Next up: Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer speak about your “team”

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