Thursday, December 9, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Location and application process will be disclosed on per case basis for the obvious reasons. Please e-mail me at email@example.com for information only if you live in the area, are available at least 10 hours per week, and are seriously interested in the publishing industry. Thanks!
All the best,
Monday, December 6, 2010
My policy is that I respond to ever single query, so if you have submitted months ago and have not heard a response from me, you will. Thought it may appear that my inbox is a black hole, there actually is some light escaping it. ;) (I know I'm a geek) I have brought in two wonderful Junior Agents, Brittany Booker and Jordy Albert, whom will be assisting me with responses and reviewing materials. Until we are caught up AND they have been properly trained to work with me, they will NOT be accepting their own queries. So please refrain from contacting them about submissions for now.
As soon as the Submission Acceptance process is back up and running, we will post an announcement and let you know how to submit. In the mean time, please be patient with me and use this time to enhance your creativity.
All the best,
Monday, October 18, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
HOW TO SUBMIT
E-mail entries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please paste everything. No attachments.
WHAT TO SUBMIT
The first 150-200 words of your unpublished, book-length work of urban fantasy or paranormal (adult fiction and/or YA fiction are both accepted; no "high fantasy" with dragons, elves or other planets please). You must include a contact e-mail address with your entry and use your real name. Also, submit the title of the work and a logline (one-sentence description of the work) with your entry.
Please note: To be eligible to submit, I ask that you do one of two things: 1) Mention and link to this contest twice through your social media—blogs, Twitter, Facebook; or 2) just mention this contest once and also add Guide to Literary Agents Blog (www.guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog) to your blogroll. Please provide link(s) so the judge and I can verify eligibility. Some previous entrants could not be considered because they skipped this step!
1. This contest will be live for approximately fourteen days—from Sept. 22 through the end of Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010, EST. Winners notified by e-mail within three weeks of end of contest. Winners announced on the blog thereafter.
2. To enter, submit the first 150-200 words of your book. Shorter or longer entries will not be considered. Keep it within word count range please.
3. This contest is solely for completed book-length works of urban fantasy and paranormal romance (both YA and adult novels are accepted).
4. You can submit as many times as you wish. You can submit even if you submitted to other contests in the past, but please note that past winners cannot win again.
5. The contest is open to everyone of all ages, save those employees, officers and directors of GLA's publisher, F+W Media.
6. By e-mailing your entry, you are submitting an entry for consideration in this contest and thereby agreeing to the terms written here as well as any terms possibly added by me in the "Comments" section of this blog post. (If you have questions or concerns, write me personally at email@example.com. The Gmail account above is for submissions, not questions.)
Top 3 winners all get: 1) A critique of the first 10 pages of your work, by your agent judge. 2) A free one-year subscription to WritersMarket.com.
For more details go to Chuck's blog at http://www.guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog/ and read the submission guidelines. Please don't submit directly to me. My in-box is already working overtime ;)
For those of you who know me, these are not the only genres that I represent, but please only submit the said cross genre romance work as requested. There will be other contests for the rest of you. :)
Happy writing... and in this case, happy submitting!
Friday, August 27, 2010
Interview with agent Marisa Iozzi Corvisiero
MICHAEL A. VENTRELLA: I am pleased to be interviewing Marisa Iozzi Corvisiero today.
Marisa is an attorney as well as an agent. She is the founder of The Corvisiero Law Practice, P.C., a boutique law firm in midtown New York City. She is actively building her client list and focusing on science fiction, fantasy, paranormal and romance, as well young adult and children’s literature. In non-fiction, she is interested in seeing proposals for memoirs, how-to (in any industry), guides and tales about the legal practice, parenting, self-help, and mainstream science. No text books please. She’s interested in reading your query and first fifteen pages (full book for children’s books – illustrations not necessary) to Marisa at firstname.lastname@example.org You can visit her agent blog at http://thoughtsfromaliteraryagent.blogspot.com and follow her on twitter @mcorvisiero.
I am always surprised to find so many fellow attorneys involved in the publishing industry, although usually I am interviewing fellow authors. I’m curious as to your start as an entertainment attorney and how that led to your becoming an agent – or did the agent thing happen independently?
MARISA IOZZI CORVISIERO: Becoming an agent sort of fell on my lap. It started with a favor for a talented fellow writer. I was writing a cross genre science fiction novel at the time, and started connecting with other authors, going to conferences, joined a critique group and so forth. Eventually, one thing led to another and I found my self sending in submissions for other writers through my law firm and really enjoying representing them.
Then one day, that one talented fellow writer said that he had rekindled a connection with a friend from grammar school, and just found out that she is now a literary agent. Not missing a beat, I asked him to introduce me to this Lori Perkins person, who sounded so fabulous. So he did, and after one conversation with Ms. Perkins, we both knew that we were meant to work together. She offered to mentor me, and to share her 23 years of experience and contacts in the industry with me. She said that after six months with her it would be like having a masters. Of course I agreed, and took on this opportunity of a life time. The six months came and went, and I’m still with the L. Perkins Agency, learning from the best.
VENTRELLA: Do you think having a legal background gives you an advantage over other agents?
CORVISIERO: I think that any additional skills or knowledge that one brings to the table gives one an advantage. Lawyers are trained to spot and solve issues, analyze, strategize, negotiate and draft legal contracts. These are very important skills for an agent, but I think that one doesn’t have to be a lawyer to posses these abilities. Most good agents out there have these skills. So I suppose that being a lawyer helps me be a good agent.
VENTRELLA: A query letter is very important for an author wishing to make an impression, but it seems that the skills necessary to write one are completely different from the skills needed to write a novel. How do you overlook a poor query letter to inspect the manuscript – or do you? (By “poor query letter” I do not mean one that contains misspellings or other obvious errors, but instead one that just does not grab your attention as it should.)
CORVISIERO: Query letters are very important. They not only showcase the author’s work, but also the author as a professional. If a query is sub-par, it is an indication of many things such as lack of attention, professionalism, skills, respect etc. I’ve written an entire blog entry on titled “Don’t Screw Up Your Query: You only get one change to make a good first impression”.
Let’s suppose for a moment that the query looks good, that there are no errors, it briefly describes the novel, says something about the author, provides genre and word count as well as a brief description of the target market and why this novel would appeal to them. If all of this works and the story line does not grab my attention I will consider not reading the work. At this point I ask my self if the storyline is interesting and unique. If not, I go back to the e-mail and type up a short decline letter and tell the author why I’m declining it. If it is interesting and unique, I go on to read a few pages. After that, if I like what I read, I ask for the full synopsis and/or the full manuscript.
VENTRELLA: How important is it for you to love the work in order to represent the client?
CORVISIERO: Very important. I only represent things that I love. My time is very limited and precious. I will not waste it on something that I don’t believe in. Even if it is selling.
VENTRELLA: Do you ever accept work that you believe has potential but needs major editing?
CORVISIERO: The short answer is yes. I have taken on a few diamonds in the rough and it usually pays off in the end. I can’t do this often due to time restraints, but if I see the potential in the work and the writer, I will go out of my way to help them.
VENTRELLA: Is there any story or plotline that you are sick of? Is there anything you wish you’d get more of?
CORVISIERO: I wouldn’t say that I’m sick of them, but I’m very conservative when it comes to vampire novels. One would think that the market is oversaturated with them, but they are still selling. So when considering a vampire story, it will need to be very unique or traditional with a unique plot. I mean seriously, enough with the clumsy but smart teen that falls in love with a vampire who simply can’t resist her. Been there, done that … let’s get creative people!
Which is a good segue into what I do want to see more of. I want good science fiction and urban fantasy. Throw in a good romance or attraction between the characters and I’m even happier. I want someone to send me a well written, fresh story with compelling characters, that will blow my mind. Give me the next Matrix, Harry Potter, Avatar, Mission to Mars, Abyss, Contact. See the pattern?
VENTRELLA: Do you think the vampire trend will end soon? (I hope not, given the manuscript I’m working on now.) Do you see anything new on the horizon?
CORVISIERO: The trend itself, or “frenzie” if you will, will most certainly end. Everyone is riding the coat tails of Stephanie and Charlene. But even after the demand for creatures of the night, or sparkling creatures of the day ends, there will still be market for vampires. I can’t think of a time longer than a couple of years, when a book or movie about vampires wasn’t released. I think its almost like a cycle. Every few years a hot vampire story emerges. Remember Anne Rice, Bram Stoker, Blade, Buffy, The Lost Boys, on and on through the years all the way back to Nosferatu in the 1920’s. People love vampires. And so I think that there will always be a market for them.
The problem is that vampires have been too glamorized. Made to seem almost human but for the need to drink blood, some even eat food and can go into the sunlight with an application of a special lotion (The Gates). Not to mention all the super powers. When I was reading Breaking Dawn (Stephanie Mayer’s 4th book) I kept thinking this is like vampires meets the X-men. So I think the key to a good new vampire story may be to bring it back to basics.
As for trends, we have gone from aliens, to vampires, to werewolves, to zombies, to fallen angels. Now there are talks about super heroes. I have personally seen some keen interest in mermaids. I’ve received at least two really good queries already. I may be the first to say it but I think that there is something there.
VENTRELLA: What do you love to read? Who are your favorite authors, and why?
CORVISIERO: Other than my fabulous clients, I would say that my favorite authors are Nora Roberts and Nicholas Sparks. Now, as you may imagine I read quite a bit and I love many, many authors, but I have to say that when it comes to Nora and Nick I enjoy them above all others. When I pick up one of their books, I know what I’m getting. I trust them. For instance, I know that any novel by Nicholas Sparks will probably make me weep and laugh, and it will provoke thoughts and promote some sort of emotional learning within me. He is fantastic at reaching the reader.
Nora Roberts is a whole different story. I call Nora “My good old reliable”. I know that I can buy any one of her books without even reading the jacket and I will like it. She is a pro at creating believable and intricate characters whom you want to follow through their journey to the end. I usually sprinkle one of her novels into my reading schedule after reading a number of manuscripts and other books. Once in a while “I need a dose of Nora”. When I saw Nora Roberts at RWA this past July I told her this, and I told her that she is one of the few writers that I trust explicitly with my time. She seemed very flattered, even though I’m sure she hears this all the time. And that makes me like her even more.
VENTRELLA: Some people advise authors to attend writer’s conferences specifically for the chance to meet agents and make pitches. Others say such a thing is useless unless the manuscript is finished. What is your opinion on writer’s conferences?
CORVISIERO: Conferences are wonderful, and writers should take every advantage of the resources and opportunities that they offer. If you can attend one or two a year, they should, even if the manuscript is not finished. Attending a conference gives authors the wonderful opportunity to meet other authors, agents, and editors. There is always something to be learned at the workshops. They are invaluable. I would however advice not to pitch a manuscript until it is finished. Also, to get more out of a conference choose one that suits the genre of your work.
VENTRELLA: How will the rise of e-publishing affect your business?
CORVISIERO: E-publishing is changing the industry to a point where sooner rather than later all books will be available as an electronic version. I’m not sure how long it will take until we stop cutting down trees to print books, but that’s something to ponder. This doesn’t affect my business significantly. Other than learning about the new e-publishers popping up everywhere, and how they like to be reached. If we sell a book only as an e-book, the advance will be lower than an advance from a traditional publisher would pay, but the royalties are still at the same percentage, and even if e-books are cheaper there is still the possibility that they will sell just as much or even better than they would as a paper book, so the profit margin remains the fairly constant.
VENTRELLA: And finally, what general advice do you wish to give to aspiring authors that they may not have heard before?
CORVISIERO: I’m sure that this is not new advice, but I think that it’s good advice none the less. Writers should write what they know about, or what they are passionate about. Don’t write just to sell books, or to please people. Write to tell a good story, one that you’ve conceived. Enjoy the process, even if it means never selling your work. I know that it sounds ridiculous, but most of the great works were created by those with passion for the craft and not for money. The point is to reach the reader and whisk them into your imaginary world, where they will grow with the characters, suffer their pain, and experience their joy in the end when the conflict is resolved.
We are usually best at what we enjoy doing the most. So if you don’t enjoy writing, find a different hobby. Publishing is a tough industry. It is difficult to make good money. When you do, it’s wonderful. But don’t expect your writing to be an overnight best seller and bring you millions (it doesn’t happen that often). Don’t expect to sell your book and get an advance large enough to support you until you sell your next book. The odds are not in your favor. So don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. I had to say that because it’s always good to include a dose of reality. However, good things can happen, and they do. Just be prepared for the rejections and be persistent.
If this is really what you want to do, keep at it. Let every sentence be better than the previous one. Remember that success is a process and not a destination, so enjoy it and learn your lessons along the way. I urge you to never ever give up. If writing is your passion, and you enjoy it, don’t let anything anyone says discourage you from fulfilling your creative dream. Think big, shoot for the stars and when you look back you’ll do so to re-live your journey and not to dwell on missed opportunities!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Upon review you may be asked for a full synopsis (electronically) or your complete manuscript (hard copy mailed to my NYC office). Please only submit your best and most carefully edited work. Do not pitch or submit unfinished manuscripts. As much as I love helping authors, I just don't have the time to stop reading to edit the work.
Also, please note that if you have sent a query, you DO NOT need to resubmit anything to satisfy these new guidelines. I am quite behind on my query review and response time. For this, I apologize to you all. I know that the waiting can be torture! But know that I answer every single query, which is probably part of why I'm so behind (other than the volume). If you have not heard from me, it simply means that I did not get to yours yet. When I do, you will get a response.
I have recently discovered that my spam box was accumulating some queries. I don't know how they were filtered in there, but I have some queries in there from as far back as February 26! These will be given priority and will be answered as soon as possible. After those, solicited manuscripts get second priority. All queries will be answered, and all will get the same careful attention and consideration.
I appreciate everyone's patience and hope to get caught up as soon as possible. Please note that the average review time is 6 to 8 weeks. So please don't send me follow up inquiries before that, if you must send them at all. Thanks!
Marisa A. Corvisiero, esq.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Please keep in mind that a middle-grade manuscript should be at 50,000 word count. Please submit only if your work is complete... and proofread, proofread, proofread. It must be impeccable and ready to be seen by the publishers.
I look forward to reading your work.
Thanks for reading!
best selling category of iPad apps is, by far, children's books! As an author, you need to be part of this. You need to be creating content for the iPad and you need to make your current books, not only available on audio, but iPad-compatible.
My client Debra Gersh Hernandez, author of "Sneaky Snackers" (art by Eric McDicken...soon to be in book stores near everyone), has been saying this all along. And I agree. I think that he iPad and similar technologies are not just a fad. They are the new modus operandai. I other words, they are here to stay. This technology will continue to develop and envelop us to a point of no return.
I already see it with my three year old twins. They love my iPhone. In fact, don't be surprised if you call me and one of them answers! My boys not only play with it, but know how to answer the phone, take pictures and flip the screen to find other applications of interest such as the "Light Saver". They team up, one with my iPhone and the other one with Louis' and they have pretend battles with the Star Wars music playing for effect as they swish and clonk each other and fall to the floor in mock agony. Yes, they are little terrors... but technologically inclined non the less.
They are not alone, however. Children now a days are subjected to all of this technology at an early age, and so it becomes like second nature to them. A friend that has a teenage son asked her why they still make kids use paper and pen to write with in school when clearly it is a skill that he will never use! She was so flabbergasted that she posted this on twitter.
The point is that as writers and members of the publishing industry we need to be aware of the medium in which we will be offering our work. This isn't a job solely for the publisher any longer. The high demand for the availability of our books in multimedia mediums has trickled down to us.
So be ready... and get iPadding!
...All this talk about the iPad and technology makes one wonder where will it all lead. With the iPad, applications, e-books, MP3s and audio books, what will happen to our good old fashion books? Will we still use paper 50 years from now? Or will books become obsolete?... I will leave that thought with you to ponder further.
Thanks for reading!
Monday, May 3, 2010
Yet, in spite of the importance of saying and including the right information to portray oneself in the best possible light, many authors fall pitifully short of meeting the basic requirements for a successful query. I personally think that there is no reason whatsoever for this to be the case. Or should I say...there is no excuse for it.
When it comes to queries, no author should get it wrong. There are simply too many resources out there and, as one would suspect, there is never a shortage of information on the internet. Any blog, article, interview, report, posting by an agent will usually provide enough information on what should be included in a query and how it should be organized and drafted. Many of their pages, even published authors' Webpages include samples. (Go to Nicolas Spark's Website. His website is probably one of the best. He includes all sorts of advice and resources. In fact I often tell my authors to set up their pages in a similar way. Mr. Sparks has some terrific samples of his own queries on the site. I think that they are some of the best that I've seen.) There are also, of course, a number of very helpful books as well. See Lori Perkins' "The Insider's Guide to Getting A Literary Agent" and "Guide to Query Letters" by Burt Thomas.
What do I look for in a query? Its simple. Your letter should tell me about your novel. It should give a brief summary of the plot, the genre, and the word count. You should tell me why the novel is so special that your target market will want to purchase it. If your novel resembles another novel, or a mixture of novels or movies, let me know. Then you should tell me about yourself. Include any information that is relevant to selling your book such as your training, awards, other works you've written, and anything that you've published.
Also, just as important as the substance, is the format of your letter. Your letter should not only be well written, but it should be neat and easy to read. Use one font, no italics, no bolding. Use a typical letter format. That includes a header, paragraphs and your signature (you'd be surprised at how many people exclude their e-signature). Don't cut and paste things from other sources because that often makes the letter choppy and difficult to read. No literary agent has the time to spend twice the amount of time on a letter trying to figure out what you're saying...and most wont.
One of my major peeves is when a letter starts by talking about a character as if we were in the middle of a conversation. No letter should start by saying, "She was hot, it was a balmy southern summer day...." Some sample letters out there actually condone this. Please don't do it.
The letter is just that, a letter, and so it should flow as such. Don't miss your chance to show a prospective agent that you can write, organize, promote, and be a good professional.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
There are several things to be reported on the home front. First and foremost, I would like to thank all of those wonderful writers out there that have queried me thus far. There are so many of you talented authors that I can barely keep up. If you have not heard back from me, please be patient. I will get to your query and I will respond one way or another. It takes a while but I carefully review each and everyone of them. If I requested your manuscript, you will get a confirmation letter of receipt within a week or so and again, please give me plenty of time to read it. I will write to you, or call you and tell you exactly what I think...good or bad. Just hang in there.
If you have not sent me your query yet, please feel free to send it. Sooner or later I will get to everyone's and if you're the next best seller, I want to represent you! All agents are busy. Some of us have more experience than others, but there are benefits and drawbacks to both. I'm not going to spell those out here...perhaps in another post. But don't dismiss anyone who you think may be a good fit for you in personality and interest. If they like and get your work give them a shot.
Go to my Facebook page or follow me on twitter for events, up dates, and conferences.
Yes, my friends, it is happening again. This time, as the hosts for the month of May, we (Louise Fury and Lori Perkins of the L. Perkins Literary Agency) are moving the party north…all the way up to W108th Street. But don’t fret; we will make your trip to the nosebleed section of Manhattan worth your while.
We have used our negotiating skills to score a cab tab. Yep, that’s right! If you take a cab to this event (the proof is in the receipt), the bartender will match your proven cab fare in the form of a bar tab. No more excuses not to travel uptown.
But that’s not all… (An agent’s job is never done). If you get there on time, that’s 6:30 p.m., happy hour will be in full swing until 7 p.m. That means 30 minutes of 2 for 1 margaritas, Absolut cocktails, Pyrat Rum and cokes or Cruzan Mojitos.
But what happens at 7 p.m.? Well, there’s a Facebook special with half- price appetizers from 7 p.m. onward. $3 Bud light drafts and $3 Bud Light Draft + shot. You can become a Facebook Fan at the venue that evening. And finally, for those that want some cheese factor—I know of at least one of you—I hear there is even karaoke.
Now, email this invitation to everyone (only the fun ones) in the publishing industry in NYC and tell them why they have to be there.
Go to http://nxny.eventbrite.com/ to register for the event and then spread the word by sharing clicking the social networking buttons.
What is #NXNY? A group of dynamic publishing professionals living and/or working in New York City and surrounding areas, who get together to share war stories and drink cocktails (preferably with umbrellas in them.) (The cocktails, not the publishing people.)
Sunday, February 28, 2010
This being my first entry to this blog, I’m excited to start by introducing my-self, not just because I’m being egocentric, but because by getting my name and thoughts out there, I’m hoping to be able to help writers find representation, learn about the industry and its emerging trends. In order to accomplish that, all a reader has to do is follow my blog. Who knows, a little quid pro quo can go a long way.
The short version of me is that I am an attorney, an author, and a literary agent, who not surprisingly loves to read and write. My reading tastes however are not limited to lengthy tomes of legal jargon. In fact, I am an avid reader of almost anything. If the content is useful, or there’s a good story, or if it is interesting in the way that it is written, then I do not discriminate. I know that’s a lot of qualifiers, but it’s true. An example of something I would never say I enjoy reading about is colonoscopies. Yes, you read that correctly. I’m talking about the art of conducting this intrusive test, to put it mildly, for the purpose of determining the health of one’s rectum and internal digestive organs, primarily the colon. However, I have recently read Dave Barry’s Column on the subject, and it was so well and cleverly written that in spite of the subject matter, I found my-self chuckling, agreeing, and reading it to the end. Kuddos to Dave Barry! And that is exactly what I’m talking about. Even though his was a column and not a book or novel, it’s still the perfect example. The prose and the point of view often trump the subject matter, albeit, not always.
I suppose that this may be a good time to tell everyone the type of submissions that I am currently accepting. In fiction, my passions are romance and cross genre romance; fantasy and non grotesque horror (good plot and well developed characters are the key, you will not woo me with blood and guts). I love everything vampires, especially sexy ones (who doesn’t, right?), supernatural, science fiction (hard science is awesome, but if you're a brilliant physicist make sure that there is more than a good scientific breakthrough or idea.) I also want thrillers, suspense, and quality chick lit. For anyone who is wondering what is my definition of ‘quality’... lets just say that I don't enjoy books written by wannabe socialites, or socialite has-beens, who ramble like mad people and expect to hold the reader's interest simply because they wrote the book, or because the book had a clever name. The second word in 'chick lit' stands for literature, and I expect just that. For non-fiction I like well done, helpful, and beautifully illustrated or photographed how-to books from wedding planning to bathroom remodeling. I am probably one of the few that will say that I'll consider almost anything about the legal practice and being a lawyer, from how to guides to tales about the practice; and I love a great memoir, if the journey is worth telling. I don’t think that I need to spell that one out.
Other things about me. I am easy going and formalities are inconsequential, but I do expect people to follow the basic rules and not waste my time. I work hard, and I take my job seriously. Therefore, I also expect writers to do the same. I am critical and at times may be too honest with my clients. I say it the way I see it, but I do also tell clients what they are doing right. I appreciate talent, and I’m never short on compliments. I’m sort of a hybrid between Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul. The good thing about this is that my clients always know how I really feel about their work, and it’s potential. I will not offer to represent anyone who I don’t think is marketable and has a marketable product. And if people think I’m tough, so be it. At least they will be happy when I offer to represent them.
If I haven’t scared you off yet, and you would like to submit your work for review, send me your query at email@example.com with the first two chapters of your novel. Do not send me queries without a sample of your work. It will just cause more of a delay. Please include your name and the title of your book in the subject line.
Follow me on Twitter at @mcorvisiero
Join my LinkedIn network
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If you seek legal advice contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit CorvisieroLaw. This blog is not intended to serve as legal advice of any kind, nor may it be construed to form a client relationship with the readers.