Tuesday, December 2, 2008

WIth Advice Like This

Since my mini-retreat at the library, I've been reading a few more how-to books. A few I will buy and keep within reach. Some were published over twenty years ago. Most of the advice holds true. I take general notes, hoping someday I'll find the time to reread them. But I also jot down ideas for my WIP characters or plot. Yesterday I finally put it all together and wrote about 3,000 words. A good day for me.

I'm still waiting to hear from a few agents reading full or partial manuscripts of The Bodley Boys and Center Court Seats and a Pair of Jimmy Choos. Pamela and I received excellent comments from Moonrat on CCS after Pamela won us a partial review and we're working on tweaking the manuscript. Moonrat said she believed someone would snap it up!

It's been over a month, so I'm not sure if I should query the next few agents on my Bodley wish-list. I thought I'd read up on the etiquette.

One particular book was published about ten years ago. Not so old. The book focused mostly on proposals and finding an agent. So far, so good. I started feeling squirmy after seeing the word entitled. As in "the book was entitled." In the U.K., acceptable. In the U.S., not so much. But hey, it could be a style thing, right?

Then halfway through I realized the advice was a little off. No, a lot off! If I followed it, I wouldn't receive the amazing rejection I received last week (so close!) or even kind "I'm passing on it" rejections, I'd be starring in all those agent blogs titled "How to Piss Off an Agent." I'm clearly exaggerating for dramatic effect, right? (The all-cap SNL references are mine.) You tell me:

1. Query one agent at a time. Offer them a six-week exclusive. REALLY!?

2. If you haven't heard from that agent, call after three weeks. OMG, YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING!

3. If you receive a confusing rejection, call the agency and ask to speak to the agent for clarification. NOW YOU'RE JUST TALKING NONSENSE!

I don't know about you, but I'm going to pass on it. Any agents reading my blog want to comment on that advice?!


Anonymous said...

Maybe you can give that book to someone already clueless as a holiday gift. But that would just be mean.

I'll be waiting for the lovely package.


Joan Mora said...

Even I'm not THAT mean!

See you at the bookstore!

Kim Bullock said...

Oh My God! Are you sure it wasn't called "How NOT to get an agent?