Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How not to get an agent by Linda Glaz

Well, we all know the story of the pitch offered to an agent in the restroom. Hopefully, that’s basic enough I don’t need to repeat it here. No? Okay, let’s just say there are better places to pitch to an agent than during very personal time.
How about? You’re such a good writer you don’t need to follow agency guidelines. The agent wants to see a synopsis and one chapter. But your novel is so amazing, he must want to see at least the first five chapters and the ending, after all, the ending’s where it starts to get really good!
Why wait for a reputable agent? Paying for one is so much quicker and she must know what she’s doing, she’s been doing it for twenty years. A closer inspection might show that she’s been agenting that long because she’s making a boat load of money off writers unwilling to learn their craft and submit properly.
Well, then, I’ll just blanket the industry with queries and hope someone is interested. It doesn’t matter that they don’t work with my genre; it’s so doggone good, they’ll want to try and sell my novel, anyway.
We’re human, aren’t we? And the first inclination is to hurry up and get an agent one way or the other.
Alas, there are no shortcuts. There is only one sure way to get an agent.
Write an amazing story.
Learn your craft!
A man doesn’t do brain surgery because he reads a book about it; he studies for years. Practices, practices, and then practices some more.
The best idea for a novel isn’t enough without a lot of hard work. Write, rewrite, find a strong critique group to belong to, attend conferences, take all the classes you can, and read all those books on writing (brain surgery won’t help here), and then put the principles to practical use.
A really amazing story will put you in the hands of an agent, a good agent.
Don’t expect to take the easy way.
You’ve heard it said, “If it were easy, everyone would do it.”


Jeanette Levellie said...

Excellent thoughts, Linda. You know, it never occurred to me to slip a proposal under a toilet stall if not for seeing that item on all the lists of "Don'ts" I've read! Now every time I go into the ladies room at a writers conference, I think of this! Perhaps there should be an in-box at each restroom door, where writers can check their proposals, like men used to check their hats at swanky restaurants. Ahahahaaaaaaaaaa!

Linda Glaz said...

Hahahahaha. What a great idea!