Pub Life #1: Query Advice from a Literary Assistant

On Queries: by Christine Herman (more great stuff)

Writer's Block Party

When I was still in school, I set myself the goal of having a career centered around books in as many ways as possible. Which means that now, as an adult, I wear two hats within the publishing industry. There’s writer-me, who signed with an agent in January, who participated in Pitch Wars, who writes from 6-11pm on every weeknight she can manage and every weekend she’s at home. And then there’s literary-assistant-me, who spends business hours working for the literary agent Matt Bialer of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. What my job entails is flexible depending on the day, but some of my daily tasks as Matt’s assistant include evaluating manuscripts, mailing contracts, tracking submissions, and, of course, reading a whole lot of queries.

My experiences on both sides of the query inbox have left me with a lot of accumulated knowledge about the process of finding an agent —…

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