BookEnds Literary Agency Welcome to BookEnds, Steven Salvatore!
BookEnds Literary Agency Further Defining #OwnVoices
BookEnds Literary Agency Welcome to BookEnds, Michaela Schuett!
BookEnds Literary Agency The Anatomy of a Book Deal: The Pitch
BookEnds Literary Agency Defining #OwnVoices

Questions for the Blog?

I have a short list of questions that I’ve received as comments that I will be answering as blog posts, but if you have a question you’d like to have answered on the blog or something you’d like me to talk more about do not hesitate to leave a comment here or email us at

Thank you for reading. I look forward to hearing from you.

Category: Blog


  1. What do you do when a novel is is written outside of a specific genre, but you love it anyway? Do you pass on it, advise the author to change it, or try to sell it that way? Thanks.

  2. Hi Jessica. Thanks for this opportunity. My question is this: “How often does a connection via a conference lead to representation.”
    I am weighing my options – more conferences, classes, etc and how to optimize my chances at obtain an agent.

  3. If one who has been a published children’s book illustrator forever-and is working towards Illustrator/author-would you recommend approaching a literary agent first, or try their luck at submitting to publishers? (and hoping you can find a literary agency that is looking for a team player) Sometimes its frustrating- who do you ask these questions to- I need a direction to focus on.

  4. My main questions are about illustration notes and grammar. I’ve read many conflicting ideas about illustration notes, some which say even if it’s integral to the story, don’t include an illustration note, what do you think? Also, if there are a few grammar mistakes, will an agent pass on a project just for that?

    Thank you so much!

  5. I have a question for you! Is it okay t make your YA protagonist 14 years old? I’ve been given conflicting answers to this question. One agent said I should age my protagonist up to 15 because it’s really hard to sell a 14 y.o. YA protag. Another agent told me that I should write what I want to write and not listen to the first agent! I’d love some guidance here. Thank you!

  6. If I submit a new manuscript to an agent who previously requested (and rejected) a full from me, should I mention this to them when querying the new book?

  7. I’m going to RWA this summer and there is a discussion in my local chapter on what to expect. How do you approach a conference?

      1. Just popping in to say – don’t be terrified of SCBWI! Authors and illustrators at all points in their publishing journey will be there, and so the only thing you need to do is be ready to listen, learn, and connect with your peers. I know some people fear that they have to walk into a conference and be ready to hand over finished work to editors and agents – but that’s not at all the case! I usually leave conferences feeling grateful to have spent the day with so many other creative people that are dedicated to children’s lit, and inspired to work on my own WIP! You’re going to have a great time!

  8. For an illustrator-author, how extensive should an online portfolio be? And are certain kinds of sites preferred over others (i.e. Instagram vs. personal website)?
    Thank you!

  9. I have a few #askagent questions, all regarding the use of comps in queries.

    This first one is like the opposite of comparing manuscripts to NYT bestsellers…
    Can a comp be “too indie”? Should I worry that an agent might not be familiar with the comp or should I stick with an indie comp to increase chances of finding an agent with interests like mine? Do indie comps make the manuscript seem too niche?

    What are your thoughts on comps that are more than 2 years old? (I saw a blog post that said only comp books published within last 2 years and my brain melted.)

    What about not using comps at all in a query?

  10. When I first started writing I used Word and quickly found myself getting lost if I wanted to make even the slightest change.

    A few author friends suggested writing programs and now I type away happily with all my character profiles, scenes and chapters separated and easily jumped between.

    What do you think of using writing programmes from a professional point of view? Do they help or just move problems to later in the publishing process?
    Would you ever consider accepting a manuscript in the format of a program like scrivener?

  11. If an author has a previous traditionally published book (not self-pubbed) that is not directly related to the query book, do you give much weight to how well it has sold or whether it was published by a smaller or larger house?

  12. Do many of you have more than one version of a form rejection? In other words:
    Version A: Heck no, you didn’t even follow our guidelines
    Version B: Thank you, but no thanks/I could never sell this
    Version C: Great writing, tons of potential but no room on my list
    I ask because I’m starting to see more following the form of Version C, but they still seem like form rejections (which I am grateful for: any response is better than no response)!

  13. Is there a market for spoonie and survivor lit that has a plot that deals with, but isn’t entirely centered around, living with illness? It seems like most books (especially about cancer) deal with terminal cases when that isn’t what illness looks like for many. Are agents and publishers interested in these stories and, if so, does this fall under own voices or is it something to be shared as relevant experience in a query only?

  14. I have a question regarding diverse voices. I heard that a deaf protagonist is considered a DV, but would a mute MC who communicates through sign language also be considered a Diverse Voice?

  15. I want to pop in and thank everyone for the terrific questions. The entire team has been busy writing posts and answers. Please keep an eye on the blog over the next few weeks (and potentially months) as we give you our answers.

    Thank you again. And please don’t hesitate to keep the questions coming.

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