Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My First Sale

As many of you know, Louise Fury has joined the team at camp L. Perkins Agency. I was regaling her with the torrid story of my first sale, and she said, "You must put that in your blog," so here it is for your entertainment pleasure.

As many of you know, I used to be journalist. I had left a rather slimy agent for training with someone I greatly admired, but was tough as nails. I had only made one sale in my first 5 months (cover story of US Magazine, so not too bad), but she was riding me hard to deliver.

I was riveted by a story on CNN about a family who was begging the Catholic Church to exorcise them of the entity that was molesting them nightly. I turned to my journalist-husband and said, "I really want to read that book when it comes out," and he said, "You're a journalist. Go get the book." And I did. I traveled by bus to Scranton, PA, met the family and the ghost busters and the local reporter covering the story (and saw my first velvet painting in a living room), and came back with the rights all signed up.

My boss was not a horror fan, so she didn't think the book would sell. She wouldn't let me send a messenger to the publishing companies with the proposal, so I walked it there myself in heels, my feet blistering by the end of the day.

A few days later, I had 7 publishers interested in the book. The auction started at $5000 and after two days of bidding, the book sold for $110,000.

The book went on to make number 15 on the NY Times best-seller list, and was made into a made-for-TV movie with Sally Kellerman, who was nominated for an Emmy.

And the point of that story for Louise, and all my agents in training, is that you must follow your instincts on a book, and go after it if you believe in it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Query Letter Update

Last week, Sandy went through another 150 query letters and is now up to Dec. 30th. So, If you sent us something dated before then, we are probably not interested in seeing your work. However, if you feel we might have missed you (and things do get lost in the traffic), feel free to requery.

However, Sandy will not be doing queries this week because of a death in the family.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Virtual Writer's Conference Tomorrow

Terry Kate, this whirlwind of blogger romance information and energy, has put together this amazing Virtual Writer's Conference that starts tomorrow and runs through the weekend. For $20, you can get an entire three days worth of info and chat with industry leaders without having to dye your hair or get your nails done.

I'll be there at 1:30 with the new head of Dorchester, Leah Hultenschmidt. We'll be talking about our editorial blogging lives.

But I'll be in and out all weekend, because I love sharing what I've learned.

This evening, I was on the Twitter #askagent chat for an hour and half, before I realized I'd never deliver my latest Threesomes anthology for RR, if I didn't get back to work. I signed off with "Night folks. I have to edit a Threesomes anthology for RR" and someone said it was the best exit line they'd heard all night.

Virtual Writer's Conference info below:

March 19

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Query Submission Update

Another day at the L. Perkins Agency, where Sandy Lu has spent the entire day sorting through e-queries and snail mail. She went through 200 e-queries and 50 snail mails, and she's only up to Dec. 8.

So, from here on, check this blog to see where we are date-wise. If you haven't heard from us, we are not interested. We are no longer going to be sending out rejections. Same goes for snail mail, so please remember to include your email address, in case we are interested.

As I have told people who re-query over and over again, we receive 30,000 query letters a year. It is physically impossible to get back to everyone in a timely manner.

Please don't double or triple query (meaning sending the same query to me, Sandy and Marisa). Take the time to read about our backgrounds, and choose who you would like to read your query. If you don't know, just send it to the agency email address.

Please don't take this personally. We are trying to streamline the process. We respect your time and hope that you can respect ours.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Liberty States Writers' Conference Next Week

Sandy, Marisa and I will be attending the Liberty States Writers' Conference in New Jersey on March 13, see details:


Sandy and Marisa will be taking pitches looking for new writers for representation. I will be there taking pitches as the Editorial Director of Ravenous Romance. Holly Schmidt, the publisher of Ravenous Romance, will also be there.

If you visit the ravenousromance.blgspot.com blog, you'll see we recently posted a call for F/F (lesbian) fiction, as well as a call for another big horror/romance anthology at Ravenousromance.com

Friday, March 5, 2010

Author Behaving Badly

I am posting this rather long author/agent correspondence to share what I feel is an example of an author behaving badly, but thinking he has been wronged.

What is wrong with this behavior, you may ask? He's being polite. But he's not. He's being entitled polite. He seems to have forgotten that he has asked the L. Perkins Agency (and Sandy Lu has agreed) to read and evaluate his manuscript in our free time. Sandy has repeatedly told him she is interested and that she is very busy, but he seems to feel that that will change if he is persistent enough. If this kind of correspondence took place with every submission, we would never get any work done.

Then the bad behavior really kicks in. When he doesn't get yet another assurance that she is still interested and is still very busy, he writes to her boss (me), hoping that I will go in and chastise her enough to jump his book to the top of the pile.

However, I do hear him, and respond to him right away. It's very late and after business hours, which, of course, is when agents do all their reading. I make it very clear to him that he is one of many, and needs to wait his turn like everyone else. His feathers are ruffled, and he pulls his book.

I can't imagine what he thought he had gained from that exchange.

Sandy Lu commented. "There are only two things I want to add. First of all, he only checked status with me once, which I responded to within a few days. I have no records of him every checking in with me again, so I was shocked when he contacted you claiming that I ignored his status check. Of course, he may have left a phone message instead the second time, which I just deleted without responding. I should address this issue too - that it is never okay to check status by phone. "

Lori and Sandy,

Please feel free to pull my ms from your pile, I simply requested a status update of which I feel two weeks is sufficient time to reply with "still very busy please continue to hold on."
I have been waiting for seven months if you check the dates.
I am very glad to see your true attitude before representation.
Please feel free not to contact me further.

--- On Fri, 3/5/10, L Perkins wrote:

She obviously hasn't read it yet.

You do realize that all ms. reading is done after hours and that it takes 6 hours to read a 300 page ms.?

That she has probably requested about 100 300 page ms.? That we get 30,000 queries a year?

You are welcome to pull your ms. from the pile or wait your turn.

Lori Perkins,
TO GETTING AN AGENT (Writer Digest Books)
L. Perkins Agency
(718) 543-5344
visit ravenousromance.com


--- On Thu, 3/4/10, P wrote:

Dear Ms. Perkins,

I am curious as to the status of consideration of my work CXXXX of the Fxxxxx. I originally contact you on July 23, 2009, and you referred the work to Ms. Lu. I have received one update since at my request. My latest attempt has gone un-answered though, and I am now seeking your assistance. Your help in this matter is greatly appreciated. For your convenience I have put all correspondence in line from oldest to newest.

Thank you for your time,



Query Thursday, July 23, 2009 2:30 AM


Dear Ms. Perkins,

Begins with 3 paragraph description of a dark fantasy novel.....

This is my fantasy novel, "CXXXX of the FXXX," containing 85873 words and based in both Greek mythology and in the Judao-Christian belief system. In keeping a potentially more religious audience in mind during the writing process, I have kept the book relatively free of objectionable material and language. Some may argue with some of my Biblical interpretations, such as portraying God equally as both female and male. I feel that this work would stand alone on the store shelves, as to my knowledge there is no other author that has used my unique take on mythology or on fallen angels.

As for myself, I have been a life long reader, to the point of reading Tolstoy and Tolkien at a rather young age. I have taken the required college level English and composition classes, as well as public speaking, drama, and Shakespeare. I have been told that my literary voice is very much like Charlaine Harris, and in some work reminiscent of Anne Rice. Some of my favorite authors are J. R. R. Tolkien, J. K. Rowling, Douglas Adams, Agatha Christie, and Anne Rice. I am open to all forms of publication from traditional to electronic.

If you are interested, please drop me a line. I can be reached at:


I look forward to working with you on this project and am anxiously awaiting your response.

Yours truly,


Fw: Query Thursday, August 13, 2009 6:26 PM
From:"Sandy Lu"

Dear P:

Thank you for sending us a query letter describing your novel. My name is Sandy Lu, and I am an associate agent at L Perkins Agency. I would like to take a look at sample chapters (the first 50 pages) of your manuscript.

Please email your submission as a Word document attachment, including your bio and a two-page synopsis (all in one document). Please make sure your file name contains your manuscript title and not simply “requested material” or “sample chapters”, so I can locate your manuscript easily among all the other submissions I receive every day. Put “Requested Material” in the subject headline, as well as your full name and the title of your book. Make sure your manuscript is in Times New Roman font size 12, double space, with 1” margin all around, add page I.D. (your last name and title of your novel) on the upper-left corner and page number on the upper-right corner of each page (both in font size 10).

Kindly allow me at least 10 weeks for a reply before contacting me to inquire about your manuscript's status (although I will try to respond sooner).

I look forward to receiving your submission.


Sandy Lu
Associate Agent
L. Perkins Agency

--- On Sun, 8/9/09, L Perkins wrote:

From: L Perkins
Subject: Fw: Query
To: "Sandy Lu"
Date: Sunday, August 9, 2009, 4:02 PM

Lori Perkins,
TO GETTING AN AGENT (Writer Digest Books)
L. Perkins Agency
(718) 543-5344
visit ravenousromance.com


Requested Material-P Friday, August 14, 2009 2:41 AM
Message contains attachments
1 File (150KB)

Dear Ms. Lu,

Thank you for taking an interest in my work. Attached are the materials you requested; however, being new to this I was not sure if you wanted the first 50 pages as I wrote them in single space or the first 50 as double space. I chose the later, if this is insufficient for your needs please let me know, and I will gladly send more. On that pretext, if you desire a more complete synopsis, again please let me know. It was very difficult to paraphrase the story down after spending two years researching through Bulfinch, Edith Hamilton, Dante and the Bible.

Again, I would like to thank you for your consideration of my work, and I hope to be working with you in the near future.


Status: Cxxxxx of the Fxxxx Tuesday, November 3, 2009 3:14 PM
To:"Sandy Lu"

Dear Ms. Lu,
I am curious as to the status of your work with my book CXXXX of the Fxxxxx. By my calculations it has been eleven weeks and I am sure you know how anticipation is, I can also understand how work can pile up around ones self, so if you or an assistant could just drop me a line I would appreciate it.


Re: Status: Cxxx of the Fxxx Thursday, November 12, 2009 8:01 PM
From:"Sandy Lu"

I am behind in my submission review and won't get to anything sent in August until late December. Thank you for your patience.

Sandy Lu
Associate Agent
L. Perkins Agency
5800 Arlington Avenue
Riverdale, NY 10471
Tel: (718)710-3662
E-mail: sandy@lperkinsagency.com


Status: Cxxxxx of the Fxxxx Tuesday, February 16, 2010 2:55 AM

Dear Ms. Lu,

I am once again checking in for a status update about my book Cxxxx of the Fxxxx. On November the twelfth, you had stated you were behind in your submission work and would not be getting to your August submissions until late December. So, I am now wondering how you are doing?

Again, I can understand how things can pile up, and I am sure you can understand how I can get antsy with anticipation as I await your reply. If you or an assistant could please drop me a line I would greatly appreciate the effort.

Thank you for all your time and trouble,