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Old 11-16-2012, 04:35 PM   #1
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Is this weird?

Before subbing my MS to editors, my agent asked me to write a query for the book. Not the whole "Dear Editor, boy do I have the perfect book for you blah blah blah" part, just the part about the book. He then edited it to his satisfaction and wrote the rest of the letter.

Aaaanywho, one of my friends said that's weird because she thinks agents tend to write all of the letter themselves without any input from the author. Is that true? I'm just curious to know how many agents do this.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:38 PM   #2
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My agent took my query, tweaked it, and we discussed a few points. I left the final decision to him, since he knows how to slant things for editors.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:57 PM   #3
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I wrote the parts about the book too -- surely that's part of my job as a writer? An agent isn't necessairly a writer, and this is supposed to help showcase your writing in any case, not theirs.

So while some agents maybe do write the whole thing, I suspect as many or more either tweak the query or polish what the writer supplies as Calla suggests, as they know how to slant for editors. (I'm sure I've seen Kristen Neilson for instance say that she does this????)

So no, not weird. Just the way your agent works.
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callalily61 View Post
My agent took my query, tweaked it, and we discussed a few points. I left the final decision to him, since he knows how to slant things for editors.
Mine did the same.

It's pretty common for the author to write a query that they tweak for use as a pitch. Definitely not out of the ordinary.
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:06 PM   #5
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Ahh, thanks for the answers guys! I will now send this link to my friend and go "HA!"
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:45 PM   #6
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My previous agent also tweaked my query pitch. One time he asked for a shorter blurb to use when he was chatting to editors in public. Others may write their own blurb and run it by you (or not). It all depends on the agent and I don't think there's any right or wrong here
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:55 PM   #7
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Not a chance in hell. Either I write it, or the agent writes it. The agent does not tinker with my writing, period. If she wants something written her way, she needs to write it herself. If she can't, I don't need her.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesaritchie View Post
Not a chance in hell. Either I write it, or the agent writes it. The agent does not tinker with my writing, period. If she wants something written her way, she needs to write it herself. If she can't, I don't need her.
What the wha?

Most of the time I write my own pitch from scratch, but it depends on the book. The more voicey stuff (or the stuff with REALLY strong characters) I'll often use part of my client's query pitch but tweak. For instance, Jessica Martinez, a client of mine who wrote VIRTUOSITY, started her query with "Now is not the time for Carmen to fall in love." It was such a strong opening--as was her first paragraph-- I used it, but then focused in more on the hook and the high stakes, which is a bigger selling point. And the line was so good they used it in the flap copy too.

For another client who wrote a really strong, voice-driven magical realism with GORGEOUS turns of phrase, i built my pitch around a few lines she had in her query that were fantastic.

There's NOTHING wrong with an agent using your query/pitch as a jumping off point.
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