Querying Agents

Trying to get an agent means looking them up on the internet, reading their submission requirements.  Some want a letter, ten pages, or three pages, a synopsis or a bio.   Most if not all want them to be in the body of the email.   So off it goes and if they’re somewhat polite you get a form response back…”we got your query – we get so many it make take a couple of months and then if we want to see more we’ll contact you.”

One had a big ol’ typo in her response and I could not help but send her back the following:

Hi Barbara – I know you take pride in your work so you might want to correct the typo in your thoughtful response.   I know it’s a difficult time to be an agent.


Yeah like why bother?   I’m sure she’ll just put me at the top of the pile.

I was serious about it being a difficult time to be an agent.   With the publishing houses in chaos and the old guard heading for court (see antitrust blog) it must be really hard to be an agent, especially with a new client who has never been published.

One agent I love said don’t bother sending us a query unless you’ve been published by a real publisher (not self-published or pod).   Or if you have an agent who wants to represent you or a deal already and need someone to negotiate the contract for you.   Sure, why don’t I just get the deal and send you 15% afterwards.

Dear Agent – I’ve just signed a three book publishing deal for $100,000 and wanted you to have $15,000 for your commission.   Will you be my agent now?




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