Agent Monday: Do Your Homework!

MP900386224Happy Agent Monday, all!  Today I’m shaking my finger at you in a very motherly way, and saying: “Stop messing around and DO YOUR HOMEWORK!”

Here’s the thing: too many of you submit queries to me without doing what you should have done first. Namely, found out what I want, how I want it, or even who the heck I am!  Jeesh.

Want an instant rejection? Well then you’re good.

Want to snag an agent? Then get to work!  In the past few days alone I’ve received a slew of queries with my name misspelled. A ton of queries were for things I have NO INTEREST IN REPRESENTING, like high fantasy, non-fiction, gory fiction.  A bunch of queries were sent to me without the first 20 pages pasted into the query, or they had the entire manuscript attached. No no no!!!

More finger shaking.

Come on, gang.  It isn’t that hard.  Back in the day, writers used to have to slog over to the library and beg the reference librarian for the current issue of Literary Marketplace for a semi current listing of literary agents. A listing, mind you, with only the most basic contact info.  If you wanted to know who else that agent represented, you had to pull books off the shelf and hope the authors thanked their agent in their acknowledgements. It was tough in many ways.

Today? You go online and google the agent’s name for current info featured about them in blogs and interviews. You go onto their agency website and find out exactly what they want and how they want it. It’s not that hard.

And if you aren’t doing this, you are flagging yourself as unprofessional and, sadly, not too savvy. You are just begging for a swift rejection.

Is that what you want?

Of course not! So stop messing around and DO YOUR HOMEWORK.

And while you’re at it, eat your vegetables too.

 

*Marie is an Associate Agent at the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency in New York City.  To keep up with all her posts, subscribe to her site by clicking on the “Subscribe to Marie’s site here” link located on her page on the upper left margin.

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