Janet Savin

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Hi Heens, Don't apologize. As you say, the time has been crazy. I'm so glad that you found help here. Jericho is a wonderful community. If you ever feel that you want to query other agents, one good possibility might be Laura Williams. She did a Jericho webinar with one of her debut authors, and if you're a member of Jericho, I could give you the link. We were amazed at the ways she looked after the writer. I wrote to Anna Burtt about it with you in mind, because my memory of the agent's name was hazy. When Anna responded, she wrote, "I can confirm that Laura is a joy to work with". Laura is on Jericho Agent's Match. Here's the link to that and to her agency. Take care, Janet   https://jerichowriters.com/agentmatch/literary-agent/laura-williams/ http://greeneheaton.co.uk/agents/laura-williams/

Cat, that's wonderful. Congratulations! I'm working on an author bio right now with a marketing professional, and I would do as Danny and Emily suggest: first look at their site for clues and then ask for clarification. Do they want the emphasis on your connection with the book? Do they want a broader profile? Both in equal measure? If you decide to have a go anyway, as Danny suggests, you could mention that if the agent wants a different angle, to please let you know, and you'd be happy to send a revision. You could always post it here before you send it and ask for critiques. I hope all goes well for you.

Hi Rebecca,

Laure's advice should be very helpful to you; studying blurbs from your genre is crucial. You should also study models for submission letters. You need to write more to the agent about choosing that agent than a single sentence. A number work with erotical titles. "Why are you querying me?" is a logical question that any agent will ask. This means researching that particular agent's list, and even mentioning titles.

Here's a link to advice from an agent at Curtis-Brown, a very reputable agency, which I hope will help. You could consult advice from others as well. Good luck.


Thanks, Emily. I need a good marketing plan. I have a dense read in a non-trendy genre.

Strictly non-digital for me: coloured pencils and occasionally a n° 2 unipin fine line, especially useful in understanding an elusive minor character physically and also psychologically; sometimes useful for clothes too. T-squares, a good HB pencil and an eraser for drawing floor plans or helping me visualise rooms.

Thanks for the fun idea, Sarah.

Karmen! Bravo. Maybe this will be part of your marketing campaign ;-)

April, worked intensively on a hefty marketing brief which included book cover and sent it all off. For May, working with the marketing professional the entire month, refining the imports on my new w-site so it can go up and finishing at least one short story (hopefully 2) which will be in a reader magnet or a perma-fee collection on KDP.

Wow, Julie, that is exciting. Congratulations!

Me too, I'm so sorry about your losing your dog. Thinking of you both.

The difficulties which large publishing houses face are understandable. The internet has knocked them for a loop, and they were still reeling when Covid closed bookstores. The transfer of editing a ms from those houses to agents alone is evidence of the pressure they’re under, and that transfer weighs down agents in turn – even if they enjoy editing with certain authors. 

At the same time, large houses have not always handled their difficulties with grace and humanism. The bios of designers, editors, etc. who work through services like Reedsy show that many have left big publishing houses for the creative freedom and the autonomy they enjoy working directly with an author.

I’ve never run across a story like the literary-chick lit conversion, and it says volumes. Including that often large publishers grope in the dark. The two stories together show the coin’s two sides and are well worth remembering. Thanks for telling them.

I do not have a binary mind, and many genres are practically sacred to me (literary fiction, some fantasy, some children’s, history, biography, animal life, the plant world). For both reasons, the very thought of marketing was originally a tough challenge.

I have a mailing list to build and am beginning that eight to nine months prior to publication. It would be nice if it were more. If I can get a novella and a couple of short stories out of the drawer and revised in time, they’ll go on KDP as a collection, either for sale, as Harry advises, or as a perma-free with a link to my website. I’m comfortable speaking to audiences, so I’m going to do a simple on-line interview and a reading, with a savvy friend making and editing the video.

The approach that Anna Caig presented last week was something of a revelation, much more humanist and authentic than anything I’ve encountered so far. I’m going to make it mine, and since it starts within me rather than coming more or less from outside, it will take time, as she herself said. So a number of other things will be added between now and publication. Besides that, I’m sure that the SFOW will offer more ideas. Already looking forward to it.


Yes, I remember that session. There's probably more good stuff coming along this summer.

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Janet Savin
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