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Submitting to Agents: What Not to Do

This is probably a post title I’ll use a lot. If we’re lucky.

Frequently I get submissions, queries or even just questions that I’ll refer to another agent at BookEnds. I feel very lucky to work with such smart women with different tastes and as such, referring something usually means I think it has merit, but I think someone else at the agency would be a better advocate for it.

Recently I received one of the best responses to a referral yet. The author had simply sent a question asking who at the agency would be best for YA or Fantasy. Naturally I referred her to Beth. I love that we finally have an agent representing SFF. Since my assistant years were spent working for Ginjer Buchanan at Ace it’s a something I’ve missed for a long time.

Sorry, lost in my own train of thought.

So, I referred the author to Beth. The author responded to me by attaching the submission and explaining that she was out and about running errands and didn’t have time to look up Beth’s email so she just sent the material my way to pass along.

When querying agents its important to remember that you are taking the first step to seek a business partner, someone you want to invest in your product. If you don’t have the time to make that initial contact yourself to find your business partner I’m pretty sure that’s a partner who doesn’t want to take the time to read your proposal.

–jhf

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4 comments

  1. Sadly, this doesn't surprise me. I've been working with small publishers for some time, and more than once, submissions have been received in the form of a link to where the acquisitions editor could locate the author's work if they were interested. Shows an appalling lack of respect for a professional's time.

    I submitted to Ginjer Buchanan when she was a senior editor at Berkley – awesome lady!

    Great posts, too!! I enjoy them all, and save most of them when they arrive in my email.

    Cheers,
    Denysé Bridger
    Award-winning, best-selling author

  2. I agree. When I'm submitting a new work, even to a publisher I'm familiar with, I check and double check everything a dozen times before I hit send. I'm all nerves attempting to query an agent, which could be why I don't have one! Thank you again for the great posts!!

    Have a great one!
    Denyse

  3. I used to wonder what kind of people would act like this, but getting out to book fairs and meeting other writers face to face makes me realize we have a lot of divas in our midst. I sometimes feel like telling them even Jesus washed feet, who the hell are they?

    But I don't. I was raised to mind my manners and smile a lot.

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