Writers are the core of bookmaking, and not one is replaceable. Because I am an agent and because I am a passionate reader, I am grateful to you and for all that you do.
When I provide information here, I am conscious of two kinds of readers of this page: the aspiring author who is considering whether to approach me for representation, and the aspiring author who has been denied representation, and wishes to know why.* I'd like to be of service to both.
Specific advice by specialty
* I hope and believe that most writers, upon receiving my form rejection, shrug their shoulders. Writers need a thick skin. Certainly it must be vanishingly rare for my rejection alone to cause a writer to want to investigate, but perhaps a large stack prompts a reading of a handful of agents' websites, or when you receive my rejection you remember your time reading this when you deciding whether to approach me, and try to recall what I said. If you give my rejection a second thought, you probably felt something good about this website or other information about me, and I'm flattered. Let me say this: I have hated very successful books of every stripe; there are areas where the bar is simply higher for me because of my personal tics and interests; there are a few projects that offend me and I decline them solely for that reason; likewise I may have a book that I've taken on that is not yet sold that I consider to be too similar, and you'd have no way to know.
More Advice in Other Places
- For advice and commentary 140 characters at a time, follow EpsteinLiterary on twitter.com. Most of my tweets are shaped by my unsolicited submissions and events related to my books; I also make general remarks about the business of books at times.
- October 9, 2010, on Middle Grade Ninja
- August, 2010, interviewed for the Markham Village Writers
- May, 2010, on GalleyCat
- March, 2010, on the Guide to Literary Agents Editors blog
- July, 2009, talking about platform for QueryTracker.net's blog