Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 25, 2018

Agent of the Month – Leslie Zampetti – Interview Part Three

SEE FIRST PAGE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES AT BOTTOM OF PAGE.

LESLIE ZAMPETTI IS MAY’S FEATURED AGENT OF THE MONTH AND WILL CRITIQUE FOUR FIRST PAGES – START SUBMITTING.

Leslie joined Dunham Literary in June 2016. Previously, she was an intern for The Bent Agency.

A former librarian with over 20 years’ experience in special, public, and school libraries, Leslie has cataloged rocket launch videos and Lego rocket ship models, presented SEC documents and story times, and negotiated with organizations from Lexis-Nexis to the PTA. Her experience as a librarian has given her a distinct perspective on publishing and readers. A writer herself, Leslie is very familiar with querying from both sides of the desk.

Leslie graduated from Wake Forest University with a degree in English and has a Master’s of Library and Information Science degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
She is available to speak at conferences.

You can follow her on Twitter @leslie_zampetti.

​Member:
AAR
SCBWI

What She’s Seeking

For children’s books, Leslie seeks middle grade and young adult novels, especially mystery and contemporary. Historical fiction set in the recent past, novels in verse, and off-the-beaten path romances are on her wish list. For picture books, Leslie wants unusual true tales, biographies of unsung heroes and heroines, or stories that show everyday diversity to mirror under-represented readers and open windows to others. She is drawn to books about Florida, baseball, and kids with book smarts and big hearts.

For adult fiction, Leslie is interested in literary mysteries, upmarket romance and women’s fiction, and historical fiction from lesser-known eras and places. For nonfiction, Leslie finds narrative nonfiction that straddles the boundaries between crime, memoir, and literature especially appealing. An armchair adventurer, Leslie enjoys experiencing wild places and extreme challenges from the comfort of her chair.

BELOW IS PART THREE OF MY INTERVIEW WITH LESLIE:

How do you like to communicate (email vs. phone)? And how often do you communicate during the submission process? 

I prefer email, because I tend to be chatty. So email is more productive. I generally only communicate if I have news, or if I’m sending out another round of submissions. I do touch base with my clients outside of the submission process.

Would you drop the writer if he or she wanted to self-publish that one book that doesn’t sell?

No. But I would warn them that doing so takes time away from writing the book that will. Self-publishing is a successful path for some authors, but I think it’s a hard one, and one that requires a whole-hearted commitment.

How many editors do you go to before giving up?

I’d like to say as many as it takes, but the reality is it depends on the response I get. Am I receiving feedback on the manuscript? Am I receiving the “this isn’t for me” response? Has something happened to affect the submission? For instance, an almost identical book was just announced.

What do you think of digital books?

In terms of digital-only contracts for clients, I would accept that if it was in my client’s best interests. E-books aren’t going away anytime soon.

I like to read hard copy. Partly because I read all of my slush electronically, so e-reading means work (except when I travel) and a book means leisure reading.

Do you handle your own foreign/film rights contracts or does your firm have someone else who handles those contracts? 

Dunham Literary teams up with other agents for foreign/film rights.

Any words of wisdom on how a writer can improve their writing, secure an agent, and get published?

READ. Read as many books as you can in the genre and category in which you wish to publish. Read books that have nothing to do with that genre and category. Immerse yourself in words. Read craft books on writing: other writer’s memoirs about writing, books about creativity, and books on specific parts of craft –  scenes, characters, the hero’s journey. Then sit down and write.

Having a critique group and/or beta readers is also important. So many writers would be more successful if they had an objective eye on their work before they queried or submitted.

Would you like to attend writer’s retreats, workshops, and conferences?

Yes! I love meeting and talking with writers in person. 🙂

STOP BACK NEXT FRIDAY TO READ LESLIE’S FIRST PAGE CRITIQUES.


 

HERE ARE THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR MAY FIRST PAGE CRITIQUES:

In the subject line, please write “MAY 2018 FIRST PAGE CRITIQUE” and paste the text in the email, plus attached it as a Word document to the email. Please make sure you include your name, the title of the piece, and whether it’s a picture book, middle grade, or young adult, etc. at the top on both the email and the Word document (Make sure you include your name with the title of your book, when you save the first page).

REMEMBER: ATTACH THE WORD DOCUMENT AND NOT GET ELIMINATED!Your First Page Word document should be formatted using one inch margins and 12 point New Times Roman font – double space – no more than 23 lines – only one page.Send to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com.

PLEASE FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES: Your submission will be passed over if you do not follow the directions for both the pasted email and the attached Word doc. This is where most people mess up.

DEADLINE: May 25th.
RESULTS: June 1st.

Please only submit one first page a month, but do try again if your first page wasn’t one of the pages randomly picked. Thanks!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


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