Monday, March 4, 2013

How Not to Get an Agent! by Linda S. Glaz

There's always plenty of advice on how to get an agent, but have you 
ever thought about how NOT to get one?

1) Don't follow the agent into the restroom with your "elevator pitch" flowing from your mouth
(You are both in there for another reason, not the time for him/her to hear about your book unless you've just written Fifty Shades of Toilet Tissue)

2) If you're at an agent table at a conference, let him/her have at lease one bit of food occasionally
(I'll never forget when I sat at my agent's table for the first time; each bit he took, someone ask a question, which is what agents want, but I don't think the poor guy got one complete bite all meal. Let 'em have enough stay alive)

3) If you are turned down and the agent is kind enough to give a reason, don't spend the next two days
firing emails at him/her telling them why you did it that way; you aren't going to change his mind, and you might just irritate her enough, she won't open any more of your emails
(Instead, ask how you might improve that to make it ready for submission)

4) DON'T BURN BRIDGES! Do not write an agent OR editor back and tell them how stupid they are, don't know what they're doing, why they should find another job, even if that's how you feel. If you feel the need to respond, wait a day, think over what she said, and then respond
(You never know when that person might cross your path again in a professional capacity and you want the door to be wide open, not closed)

5) Don't send a submission for erotica to an inspirational agent; same goes for sci-fi, romance, historic, etc. 
(Really? Did you even read the guidelines? Be sure that agent handles your type of novel)
Know what they prefer BEFORE you submit

6) DON"T blanket the industry with your queries
( Send a couple, wait and see what type of response you get. The individual might have caught something with a suggestion that will help your next query)

7) Don't continue to resubmit to an agent unless you've done some serious rewrites 
(Then let him know you are resubmitting)

SO HOW DO I KNOW ALL OF THIS? I did "almost" every one of them before I got serious about my writing, BEFORE I learned how to behave in a professional manner. I was fortunate to clean up my act and try to do it right. No, I didn't write Fifty Shades of Toilet Tissue, that wonderful novel is still awaiting an author, but I digress.......

AND YES, ALL OF THESE HAPPEN ALL THE TIME, well, maybe not the first, though I have a friend.... Be considerate, be open to suggestions, make yourself unforgettable--known, 
What have your experiences with agents been like? GOOD AND BAD???


Linda Glaz said...

Sorry folks, this didn't post this morning as scheduled. Not sure why but here it is, better late than never.

Jennifer Major said...

I'm hoping the restraining orders are dissolved by ACFW...KIDDING!!!

Your post would imply I'd have the nerve to go near an agent. HAHAHA!

ANd by the way, I have an Amish Vampire Space Opera set in the year 3992AD and it only has 42 swear words per page, you want it, don't you? It will make JK Rowling look like a slouch!! You'll be rich!

Annnnd, enough of that.
Thanks for the fun post!

Linda Glaz said...

Jennifer, thanks for the laugh. Trust me, MOST agents want to hear from folks with books. Go figure. How else do we find books like your amish vampire novel. Woot!!!

Deborah K. Anderson said...

LOL at "Fifty Shades of Toilet Tissue."

Thanks for sharing this post!

Linda Glaz said...

Sorry, Deborah, I just couldn't resist. I guess you know what I think about books like that. shame on me...