Question & AnswersCategory: GeneralQuestions for Polly Nolan
Lizbeth Martin-Lopez asked 4 years ago

Hi Polly
Thank you in advance for answering my questions. I hope it’s okay to ask them all in one go!
If a submission shows promise in that the story is good but it needs tweaking, would that put you off contracting with that author? Do you ever contract with a writer based on a synopsis and sample chapters (for fiction) if she’s a published author? How do you feel about authors who want to write in different genres and age categories? E.g. Under different names I’m published in adult and NA romance, but I have now written my first upper YA (#ownvoices) novel. Thank you again for your time!

1 Answers
Polly Nolan Staff answered 4 years ago

Hello
Thank you for your questions.  No problem to ask them all in one go. I will do my best to answer them all in one go in return!

  1.  A story that is outstanding but needs work would not put me off. Working with our clients to help them develop the very best manuscript they can is at the heart of what Greenhouse does. Both myself and Sarah have excellent editorial skills and backgrounds. That said, it’s always wise for a writer to polish and refine their work, making it as good as they possibly can themselves, before sending it in. We see hundreds of queries each week, so polishing before you hit ‘send’ is a must.
  2. I haven’t ever offered rep based on a partial, simply because I have seen it happen too often that a novel starts out really strongly and/or has a great synopsis but then fails to deliver. Unless I knew the author and their work well (eg I’d worked with them whilst an editor or was very familiar with their published novels), I doubt I would offer rep based on a partial. Even then, I would want to be assured that they knew where the novel was going and had a clear path for getting there.
  3. I’m always delighted to learn that a writer has lots of ideas and loads of ambition, so I feel positively about authors wanting to write in different genres and age brackets. That said, it’s important to be strategic and pragmatic when thinking about a writing career. Publishers are likely to want to build an author in one area of the market. Once that’s done, there is room/luxury to expand. It’s something that I talk to my clients about often. One of the potential frustrations of publishing is that it tends to move at a glacial pace, whereas most authors are chomping at the bit to get their work out there!

I hope all of that helps, and that it answers your questions.