For inside the publishing world Wednesday I'd like you to meet Kate McKean, agent at Howard Morhaim Literary Agency Inc. I met Kate this summer at the PNWA conference.
She then started on the path to becoming a literary agent. Right now she represents 60% fiction including: literary fiction, women's contemporary, paranormal + general romance, urban fantasy, middle grade and YA. In the non fiction department she likes narrative non fiction, crafts and sports.
When asked what she doesn't want she gave us a long list: No mystery, thrillers, picture books, lawyer, private detective, military, epic fantasy, sci- fi or verse.
Kate has a couple pet peeves that she shared. Top among them was resending a manuscript after it has been rejected, but you've re-edited. She told us to put a manuscript aside when it is finished and come back to it later. Work on something else. It makes her mad if she thinks you didn't send her your best work the first time.
Also, be careful using small presses. She will look at your previous works and numbers. She advises, don't be hasty, research first. She doesn't like to think an author is desperate.
Another piece of advice, she is very busy. If you send her a submission as an "exclusive" that she hasn't requested, it might take her several months before she even sees it. It takes a while just to get through the mail pile, so she might not even know about it. Multiple submissions work well unless the agent requests the exclusive and is on the look out for its return.
Right now she is accepting email submissions only. Please send a cover letter and the first three chapters of the novel, or the full nonfiction proposal. Attachments are fine. Please note - Only query one agent at the agency with your proposal.
For more info- http://www.morhaimliterary.com/