Wednesday, May 13, 2009

So, what are you looking for?

Prompted by this post from Nathan Bransford, I thought it would be fun to see if you, the blog readers can help me hone a description of what I'm looking for to fewer than 100 words.

There's a practical reason I'm asking for help: I need this description for the upcoming Writer's Digest pitch slam and WNBA's Query Roulette.


To assist you here's the link to my most recent sales.

You can post your answer in the comments column.
You can email me!

I've got some great books here to give away as thank you gifts!

Ready, set, Go!

27 comments:

Janet said...

I can't believe my eyes. Janet Reid wants us to write her query for her.

Is that legal? ;o)

BJ said...

You mean something like:

Snarky, humorous, sharp-toothed literary agent seeks friendly, eccentric writers with a mysterious bent for successful publishing relationship and good-natured ribbing.

Or did you want something more along the lines of your sub guidelines?

HWPetty said...

I mostly stole this from your website... but 95 words!

Janet Reid represents narrative fiction and non-fiction—it’s all about the story. She’s particularly interested in the Pacific Northwest, death penalty issues, justice issues, and contemporary music and art.

Send manuscripts in the following genres:For Fiction: commercial fiction, literary fiction, crime fiction, thrillers, women’s fiction, chick lit, and YA in these genres.
For Non-fiction: memoir, biography, history, science, business, pop culture, music, how-to
Additionally, she accepts photo essays and graphic novels

Don’t send:Fiction: science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, horror, westerns, romance.
For Non-fiction: politics, religion
Middle grade or children's books
Screenplays or poetry

Scribe said...

You want to know what I'm looking for? I'm looking for a good book. Write me a book that I'll take on the plane and wish I was traveling further. Write me one that'll keep me up late before that biggest of big days. Write me a book that will get me in trouble for reading when I should be bathing the kids, or letting the kettle boil dry on the stove. Write me something that will make me snort with laughter and not care who notices, or gasp with tension and not see the heads turn my way.

ChristineTB said...

Okay. I can't beat this last one. Captures the essence of the "desire" and the signature Reid attitude. Plus it sounds like the types of books I love to read. Bravo!

Caroline said...

In fiction I specialize in mysteries and thrillers, but am also looking for: off-beat stories, cowgirl lit, and anything with a compelling plot. I’m a sucker for flawed heroes. In non-fiction I like exposes of the criminal justice system and memoirs about vanishing ways of life. All of the above are just preferences, not iron-clad rules. What I am looking for, above all, is a story I can’t put down.

Matilda McCloud said...

I am interested in literary and noir-type mysteries, unusual memoirs, speculative fiction, and women's fiction. Please do not send me queries for romance or romantic suspense, thrillers, traditional sci fi/fantasy, or other fiction one might find on the mass market shelves. I like writers who aren't afraid to mix genres and to challenge readers. I have a special interest in Pacific Northwest topics and writers.

Chris said...

Janet,

In fiction Janet seeks upmarket literary works, fast paced mysteries and thrillers and select science fiction. In non-fiction she is partial to memoirs with a true crime edge or explorations of some aspect of the criminal justice system but will consider other categories if the material is engaging and original. For a more detailed overview of her recent sales please go here: http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2004/08/recent-deals-posted-on-publishers.html.

Hope this helps.

Chris Lites

kitty said...

What Scribe said. I like that a lot!

...

jimnduncan said...

Ok, this is a bit tricky. I don't know whether to base this on all of the variety of genres you are willing to look at or off of what you have been selling recently. Based off of what you have sold, you look to have a narrower range than what is given, but I'll go with recent sales over kitchen sink.

You certainly like crime, whether fiction or based on true events. You appear to like it darker and edgier. You like crime-focused memoirs. You like stuff a bit off the beaten path. And then there is the literary love story.

This would be the point to insert some witty references to the old movies you would watch while sipping scotch, but alas, I don't watch enough old movies to know what I'm talking about here. Anyway. Here goes.

I want to see strong, well-crafted stories that take me to a darker, grittier place. If it's got crime, I'll see it, fiction or non. I don't walk the well travelled road, so show me the other path, be it quirky or just downright strange. I also want to see a fabulous, literary love story. They never go out of style.

Rebecca Knight said...

Good morning, Janet!

Here we go, in exactly 100 words:

I love a story that keeps me up at night flipping pages. The story has to grip on to me and not let me go. For fiction, some of my favorite categories include quirky literary fiction, unique murder mysteries, post-apocalyptic thrillers, supernatural suspense, and cowgirl lit. In nonfiction, I love a memoir where someone does something truly groundbreaking or extraordinary—a story that hasn’t been told before. I’m also interested in the Pacific Northwest, books dealing with the death penalty, and quirky “how to” books. I like to be surprised, shocked, and in awe of what I’m reading. Bring it!

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

"Write me a book that's Sleep Toward Heaven [death penalty] meets Snow Falling on Cedars [Pacific Northwest], and see if you can throw in a clown."

Nah, I'm no good at this. But congratulations on the Andrew Grant "Even" press in today's NYT!

Rick Daley said...

I looked up your current Pitch Slam listing and used that as a basis:

JANET REID (FinePrint Literary Management) specializes in crime fiction. Her recent success includes mystery/crime, narrative non-fiction, thrillers, and literary fiction. She does not represent science fiction, westerns, or Christian topics. He clients include both established and debut authors, and she values good writing above any specific genre.

JES said...

D*mn. Intentionally wrote mine (and emailed it) before reading other comments. But I'm so jealous of Scribe's "...and not care who notices" I could just spit.

Rick Daley said...

"He clients include both established and debut authors, and she values good writing above any specific genre."

OK, the He should be a Her.

I can't count the times spellchecker has incorrectly suggested I replace your with you're, their with there, and its with it's because they are the blanket "Commonly Confused Words."

Why can't it see that all other pronouns in the selection are female and make a worthwhile suggestion for once?

Someone get me Bill Gates. We need to chat.

MaLanie said...

I am shocked no one mentioned NO YAHOOS!

McKoala said...

I brilliantly posted this in the wrong place. I do so love shooting myself in the foot. However, if I may humbly resubmit...

Janet Reid's tastes verge on dark, with a strong emphasis on crime, thrillers and anything that could sensibly have the word 'noir' after it. To balance her dark side, she is also looking for commercial fiction, womens' fiction, literary fiction, incisive nonfiction and memoirs. Whatever the genre, she'll be in touch instantly if she discovers a strong plot written in a distinctive and consistent voice by a passionate and committed author. If your writing causes her to miss a subway stop, expect her to parachute into your back garden clutching a contract with your name on it.

Lynne said...

"Something that will make me simultaneously pee my office chair and spew my morning vodka all over my keyboard."

Scribe said...

McKoala - that's exceptional. We'll all be keenly watching the skies from now on!

Marjorie said...

I am Janet Reid and I mainly represent crime fiction and thrillers. I occasionally represent memoirs and fiction. If I am impressed by a good story that's a real page turner... to quote Edie Beale, "We may be able to cement the deal."

Devin said...

In exactly 100 words...


Janet Reid, have octopus, will travel. I am ready to leap tall buildings and face the scourge of slithering rivals with my loyal green sidekick. With a steady eye on my computer and armed only with a clue gun and 6” stilettos I seek mystery, truth, fiction and crime. Science fiction, westerns and Christians need not apply. Send a query if you must, but be forewarned… include a word count, the first 3 to 5 pages and yes you must have a completed manuscript. Direct e-mail queries to my attention or be banned to meaningless randomly firing electrons for all eternity.

Picks By Pat said...

Literary Agent seeks Publishable Writer.

In fiction, looking for mystery, thrillers, sci-fi, and literary. Non-fiction leans towards crime and the occasional memoir. Must have excellent finished manuscript (no first drafts) written with passion and a great sense of offbeat humor. The way to my heart is through your story. Experience preferred but not required.

Monika said...

If you want Janet Reid to bite at your literary work you need to know that she finds criminal minds most tasty. Your offering must have the lure of a strong voice and a solid offbeat story. She finds mysteries, crime, law, New Century Noir, with an occasional exceptional memoir, delectable. A flawed hero or a tough, funny, self-sufficient heroine with a compelling story is a five course meal. If you are human stop by to say “Hi”, if you are a Yahoo…introduce yourself to the agent on her left.

Susan Adrian said...

Can we vote? I think Scribe and McKoala's are the best so far!

Highlighting your passion about the story and character is better than detailing the genres...mine still wouldn't fit into most of the descriptions above, but I identify with you parachuting into the back garden with a contract. :)

Haste yee back ;-) said...

I never win any of these kinda things...

I have Janet showering with Federico Fellini discussing joining a circus of numb people, including confused Supreme Court Justices, detectives and deviates wielding anxious-to-please guns, "on empty" night people, (ya know, like slasher-stabber types), all leading to low rent Yodas and Cowgirls meditating at a post apocalyptic spa on Siesta Lane. Contact, yada, yada...

But I decided to vote for MONIKA!

Haste yee back ;-)

Shauna said...

I want a story that feels real. I don’t care if it is –I like both fiction and non-fiction. But it should feel like it could happen –that it probably did happen. And if it happened to me, it would have kept me up at night and changed a corner of the world.
I prefer material intended for an adult audience, but I do look at YA.
Tell me an organic story; just make sure it doesn’t actually stink.

Scribe said...

So what happened with this - it seemed to fizzle out. Did you get something useful, Janet?