NOTE: I don't post to this blog super-duper often anymore, because I'm busy writing, well, books. (Read more about that here.) For more up-to-date, day-to-day ramblings, visit my Facebook page.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Easiest Way to Lose an Agent

Friday seems like the wrong day for a lecture, right?

Wrong.

Yesterday I enjoyed reading agent Sara Megibow's always entertaining mini-chat on Twitter, #10Queriesin10Tweets. It's just what you'd expect: Sara pulls 10 queries from her slush pile and responds to them on Twitter. (No, she doesn't use anyone's name, and yes, she's quite kind.) What struck me?

Out of 10 queries addressed, two of them were immediately rejected because Sara's agency doesn't represent those submissions' genres. That's 20 percent, people.

I don't write a whole ton about the agent-seeking process, but this part is a no-brainer:

DO YOUR RESEARCH.

At times, this seems like a tough task. An agent might write in her blog, "Oh, I just love vampire novels!" and then three months later say in another interview, "I've really had my fill of vampire novels." Okay, you might miss the boat there. But when an agency says they don't represent nonfiction--ever--then don't send them nonfiction. That's basic. Some agents represent only juvenile fiction. Some only represent adult fiction. Some stick to nonfiction. These are broad genres. Don't waste your time, and theirs, submitting something outside the guidelines because you think your work is different.

It's not.

Don't make it easy for an agent to reject you!

To read my brief but presumably helpful tip sheet on submitting your ms., click here.

photo: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / Andrey Popov

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