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A New Record

We’ve all talked a lot about what we require and/or ask for in query letters and submissions. We’ve done a number of posts on what a proper and successful query letter should look like and articles on how to make queries work to your advantage. Just recently, though, I got the most mind-boggling submission letter ever. This one holds the record for least amount of effort put into finding an agent.

A self-published book came into my office with a Post-it on the front saying “represent this!”

That’s it. No letter, no phone number, email, nothing. Just a Post-it.

Now that’s professionalism!


Category: Blog


  1. You mean that doesn’t work? *smacks self in head*.

    It amazesme how, even with all of the info out there, there are still people who think that having their ms published in book form to submit is the right way to do it.

  2. Maybe it was a painfully misguided attempt at being original. Aside from laziness and outright arrogance, that’s the only other explanation I can think of for something like that.

  3. so someone who has a self-published out, now wants representation? – humm me thinks that this person is very uninformed of correct procedure. (My guess is that he or she couldn’t get representation previously and self-published and things aren’t going as well as they expected so they are trying the representation route again – oh well for them)

    (he must think because his info is in the book somewhere that you would know what to do with it – some people just have no couth (spelling?) – lol – anyway – that does take the cake – E 🙂

  4. This takes the saying “less is more” to the extreme. If there were an olympics for ignorant people this person would have won a gold medal!

  5. He forgot to attach that Jedi handmotion to the post.

    “The self-published book will be just fine.” *hand motion*

    See how that works?:)

  6. Ooooops – there wasn’t a “Warning: coffee may be spat out onto keyboard in a fit of laughter” tag on this post!

    Oh my – with the amount of easily accessible information out there my mind boggles as to how one would think a post-it on a self-pubbed book would cut it. Didn’t the sender watch the Sex and the City episode about the post-it note? You don’t break up with a post-it and you certainly don’t ask for representation with one!

  7. december, in defense of the clueless, there’s also a lot of bad advice out there. And of course bad advice is much more palatable. Many folks would rather listen to the “you can! you can!” message instead of “you have a shot in a million.”

    I’m so tired to explaining to every well-meaning person I know why I’m not self-publishing. (This is hardest when the individual herself is self-pubbed 🙂 )
    Even my dearly beloved spouse wants me to jump on the self-pub bandwagon instead of sticking to the query-and-wait path I’ve chosen.

  8. I’ve been thinking about this, and I wonder if the person wasn’t hoping that by using the Post-it ‘n’ no intro method, you’d think maybe a colleague sent it to you, or even that you’d read it and made a note to yourself?

    Like those junk mail letters with handwritten notes on them that say things like, “I thought of you when I saw this!”

  9. I’ve gotten junk mail with post-its on it. And we all know what happens to junk mail. Wanna bet the same thing happened to the self-pub?

    Seriously, anyone with an ounce, a half-ounce, a lousy modicum, of sense knows better than this. If you need a book (or someone else) to tell you that is a horrid idea, you’re too far gone for help…

  10. iUniverse must have some strong rhetoric up. A lady on a list, recently, spouted all the reasons why it was so important to self-publish BEFORE approaching New York publishing houses. She evidently had it on good authority that it was a pro-active first step, and that agents and editors would be impressed with her initiative, and would prefer reading her submission in book form.

    A few tried to correct her, but she didn’t believe us. I watched the whole discussion in bafflement.

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