Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Deal Announcement: Jo Zebedee's ABENDAU Trilogy

Big news for TBA client Jo Zebedee: her science fiction trilogy has sold to Tickety Boo Press, where editor Gary Compton will lavish it with the care it deserves! Jo is a terrific sf writer and I'm so pleased her work will soon have an audience. ABENDAU has the feel of classic sf, one of my favorite genres, and her ability to create a convincing world is second to none. Hurrah!

International rights: UK Fiction Jo Zebedee's ABENDAU Trilogy, beginning with ABENDAU'S CHILD, in which a young man is conceived to inherit his mother's empire, but when he chooses to oppose her, he unleashes horrific consequences on those he loves, to Gary Compton at Tickety Boo Press, for publication in Fall 2014, by Molly Ker Hawn at The Bent Agency (World English).

Congratulate Jo on Twitter at @joz1812!

Deal Announcement: Blogger Claire Gallam selected to develop the next "Everything" cookbook with Adams Media

Has everyone heard of the "Everything" series from F+W Media? Check out this link for their cookbook offerings and here for everything else. And then visit the blog The Realistic Nutritionist and fall in love. And then read this and maybe you'll be as happy as I am today:

Blogger behind The Realistic Nutritionist Claire Gallam, ed.'s THE EVERYTHING WEEKNIGHT GLUTEN-FREE COOKBOOK, as part of their Everything series, to Lisa Laing at Adams Media, in a nice deal, by Beth Phelan at The Bent Agency.

Claire Gallam, the blogger behind The Realistic Nutritionist and author of Eat Skinny, Be Skinny (Skyhorse, April 2014), has been tapped as the next author in their "Everything" series. She'll be developing a cookbook of easy-to-make gluten-free recipes that are perfect for the weeknights. 

Let's congratulate her! Find her on her blog, Twitter (@realnutritioncg), Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Deal Announcement: Ingrid Seymour's IGNITE THE SHADOWS to Harper Voyager!

This awesome book was discovered during Harper Voyager's open call for submissions. Ingrid Seymour is a seasoned indie author with some rad New Adult and YA titles out there (check them out here). And now Harper Voyager has acquired print and digital rights to her urban fantasy, plus the next two books in the series:

Ingrid Seymour's IGNITE THE SHADOWS, about a teen hacker who joins a resistance combatting sentient parasites that threaten to take over the population, hiding the fact that she has already been infected and is fighting her own private battle for control of her mind, to Natasha Bardon at Voyager, in a three-book deal, by Beth Phelan at The Bent Agency.

Please join me in congratulating Ingrid on this acquisition! You can find her on Twitter (@Ingrid_Seymour), Goodreads, Facebook and at

Monday, April 28, 2014

Kat Ellis, Donna Hosie and Heidi Schulz are in this week's PW!

Happy congratulations to three of our beloved authors who appeared in this week's Publishers Weekly!

In their BEA preview, PW has named BLACKFIN SKY by Kat Ellis (Running Press), THE DEVIL'S INTERN by Donna Hosie (Holiday House) and HOOK'S REVENGE by Heidi Schulz (Disney-Hyperion) as must-grab children's galleys! If you're attending BEA this year, be sure to swing by those booths.

Please join us in sending Kat (@el_kat), Donna (@donnahosie) and Heidi (@HeidiSchulz) many congrats -- and also a big thanks for giving us all so much to be excited about!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Deal announcement: Tricia Stirling's YA debut to Scholastic

Sometimes a manuscript works its way into your heart and sets up shop there, distracting you from everything else you're supposed to be doing and making your throat catch when you suddenly remember a perfect line, or a surprising description that makes you look at something mundane in a whole new way. Tricia Stirling's WHEN MY HEART WAS WICKED is that kind of novel. Her writing feels as arresting to me as Francesca Lia Block's, and as she's worked on the manuscript over many months, Tricia's shown she's not only gifted: she has the kind of tenacity that makes me believe she could move mountains if she wanted to.

This project inspired passionate responses from editors, but none more than Mallory Kass at Scholastic Press. Like Tricia's main character Lacy, Tricia, Mallory, and I are California girls, and we all know—as Lacy does—that magic exists in the everyday, a truth at the heart of this beautiful novel. I'm thrilled Lacy's found the perfect home at Scholastic, and even happier that readers will soon discover this beautiful, haunting book for themselves. Congratulations, Tricia!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Deal Announcement: Berkley acquires 3-book series from debut author Jennifer Duell

I'm so overjoyed about this acquisition. Jenn is mega-talented and this series is so rich, and so sexy, and so delicious. Talk about the kind of love (and sex) that makes you totally lose your mind.

Jennifer Duell's debut BRANDED, the first in the Riley O'Brien & Co. series, in which a small-town fashion designer falls for the CEO of the family-owned denim company she was secretly hired to overthrow, who gets caught between love and deception, to Leis Pederson at Berkley, in a nice deal, in a three-book deal, by Beth Phelan at The Bent Agency (World English).

Please join us in congratulating Jenn under her pen name on Twitter (@jsuttonauthor) and make sure you stay tuned for more news about our fabulous authors!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Deal Announcement: Greenwillow Books pre-empts Heidi Heilig's debut

What a month this has been! Heidi Heilig's debut, THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE, was the talk of the Bologna Book Fair, and we've wrapped up a fantastic three-book deal for North American rights with Martha Mihalick of Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins. Martha is the ideal editor for this book; her enthusiasm and vision are a terrific match for Heidi's sweeping, inventive YA fantasy. This book has it all: compelling, surprising characters, sparkling dialogue, a totally fresh take on time-travel, and a love interest I've been daydreaming about since I read the very first draft Heidi sent me. THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE is going places, I'm telling you.

Go congratulate Heidi on Twitter, won't you? She's @heidiheilig

Monday, April 21, 2014

Deal Announcement: Simon & Schuster acquires debut middle grade novel by Sarah Lariviere, The Bad Kid

I’m so pleased to announce that Kristin Ostby at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers has acquired Sarah Lariviere’s debut novel, THE BAD KID, in a pre-empt!  The Bad Kid is a mystery-comedy, set in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, starring Claudeline LeBernardin, who reads like a modern-day Harriet the Spy.  I love this book for its original voice, screwball humor, and for its salty with a heart-of-gold main character, Claude, and am so happy that it found a home with Kristin at S&S!

April 18, 2014

Middle grade 

Sarah Lariviere's debut THE BAD KID, set in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, in which an eleven-year-old hopes to take over the "family business" previously run by her mobster grandfather, who has recently passed away -- all while trying to uncover a local scam artist and salvage her friendship with her BFF, to Kristin Ostby at Simon & Schuster Children's, in a pre-empt, for publication in summer 2016, by Susan Hawk at The Bent Agency (World English).

Please join me in congratulating Sarah!  You can learn more about Sarah and The Bad Kid on her site, here:

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Deal Announcement: Holiday House acquires second book by hybrid author, Donna Hosie, The Devil's Dreamcatcher!

I'm VERY excited to announce that Holiday House will be publishing the second book in Donna Hosie's new YA series, a follow-up to THE DEVIL'S INTERN, called THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER.

I love this book, and this series, and this author. Check out the announcement on Publisher's Marketplace...

Young Adult 
Donna Hosie's THE DEVIL'S DREAMCATCHER, the sequel to THE DEVIL'S INTERN, in which a sixteen-year-old girl attempts to retrieve a stolen piece of property belonging to The Devil, uncovers a sinister plot in the process, and ultimately comes to terms with her own past, to Kelly Loughman at Holiday House, by Beth Phelan at The Bent Agency (NA).

... and make sure you get on Twitter to congratulate Donna at @donnahosie! You can also find her on her blog. Keep an eye out for book 1, THE DEVIL'S INTERN, coming in October 2014 -- mark it on Goodreads so you don't miss out!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Deal Announcement: Exhibit A Books acquires Nik Korpon's literary noir novel FAIT AVE!

I'm thrilled to announce that Exhibit A Books (an imprint of Angry Robot) has acquired FAIT AVE by crime author Nik Korpon! Check out what Publisher's Marketplace has to say about it:

International rights: UK Fiction
Nik Korpon's FAIT AVE, in which a morally upright thief attempting to protect his family ends up in the middle of a drug turf war, pitched as crossing the moral journey of Breaking Bad with the neighborhood intrigues of Tana French's Faithful Place, to Bryon Quertermous at Exhibit A, by Brooks Sherman at The Bent Agency (World).

The Exhibit A team is is pretty excited too! They issued a press release to celebrate Nik's addition to their "Posse of Literary Thugs":

Please join us in congratulating Nik on Twitter at @NikKorpon! You can also visit his website here.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Making a good impression with your query letter--a post by Gemma

Having just been away at the Bologna and London Book Fairs, my queries have got a bit backed up, so I’ve just read quite a few and have noticed some similar mistakes cropping up.  Molly and I analysed a lot of queries on our regular Ask Agent column last year (here, here, here, here and here) so for today’s blog post, I thought I’d talk about things outside of the meat of the actual pitch.

You all know to avoid the basic errors like cc’ing multiple agents, not personalising to the agent’s name, comparing your book to Harry Potter or The Hunger Games, etc. (check out this post for a more detailed list of these). 

But there are other things that you can avoid to ensure you make the best impression with your submission letter: 

  • Don’t apologise for taking up an agent’s time. If they are open to submissions then they are happy to hear from you. Reading submissions is an important part of our job. 
  • Don’t put down your own work or your writing skill. If you are negative, it’s going to rub off on the agent and they will look at your work already expecting it to be bad. 
  • Don’t be too over-familiar – commenting on photos agents post on social media may seem like a compliment, but it can come across creepy.
  • Not attaching massive files seems obvious. But don’t add in smiley faces and other small images, either. These often look like they are embedded in the email when you send, but come though as an attachment, so your email will be deleted or get stuck in spam. (And also, don’t use smiley faces – this is a business email).
  • In an email, there is no need to put the agency address at the top. It’s an email, not a letter. You can put your own address under your name. We shouldn’t have to scroll through a page of addresses to get to the actual query. Speed is everything, so help us get to the best bit quickly!
  • Make sure you title your email – not just ‘A book,’ ‘Query’ etc. That isn’t very descriptive. If I see a query come in while I’m at my desk and it has a really snappy title, I’ll be more likely to take a look at the pages sooner. ‘My book’ says nothing to me, but  ‘YA romance/REALLY AWESOME TITLE/Author Name’ will get me excited without even reading a word.
  • Don’t ignore submission details – we all get a lot of queries with the words, ‘I know your submission requirements are pasting the first 10 pages, but instead I have...DONE SOMETHING ELSE.’  We have to have a system, and it will immediately get an agent’s back up if you can’t follow our first simple rule. 
  • Don’t give extensive details of your availability to talk on the phone, with all your holiday dates and hospital plans (yes, that has happened). Just give your contact details and we’ll get in touch. It’s very rare we wouldn’t email you first to arrange a call as we want you to be prepared with questions.
I always say that people over think query letters. Keep it simple is my best advice.

Dear [Agent’s Name],

I am seeking representation for my [age - MG/YA etc.] [genre] manuscript [title] complete at [word count rounded to nearest 1000 words].

[Insert Pitch - 1 or 2 paragraphs explaining your plot. Introduce your main character. What does she want? What’s preventing her from achieving those goals? And what are the stakes if she doesn’t achieve them?]

According to your submission guidelines I have [consult the specific guidelines for the agency, posted on its website. For the Bent Agency, you’d say, ‘pasted the first ten pages of the manuscript below.’]

I am a member of [any writing organisations] and have won [any relevant writing prizes]. [Then add anything relevant to your role as the best person to write this book.] Thank you for your time.

All best,

[your name]

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Deal Announcement: Subsidiary Rights Sales

At the Bent Agency, we really pride ourselves on our strong focus on foreign rights.  With that in mind, congrats to the following TBA clients on their new translation deals!

Becky Albertali's SIMON AND THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA sold in Italy to Mondadori and in Israel to Matar Publishing.

Jen McLaughlin's OUT OF LINE, OUT OF TIME and OUT OF MIND sold at auction in Italy to Newton Compton, in a three book deal.

Lynsay Sands had the following deals:  THE LOVING DAYLIGHTS sold to Cora in Germany, and VAMPIRE MOST WANTED sold to Audax in Holland and to Lyx in Germany.

Victoria Van Tiem's LOVE LIKE THE MOVIES sold to Mlada Fronta in the Czech Republic and Fortuna Libri in the Slovak Republic.

Adventures at the Bologna Book Fair--link to post by Gemma

I was asked by the lovely folks at The Golden Egg Academy to write a blog post about my trip to Bologna Book Fair - click here for the link