View Full Version : Dear agent I went to school with: want to be friends?

06-05-2008, 11:38 PM
ETA: Update - It WORKED!!! She emailed a request for a full proposal today, complete with a reference to one of my mini-jokes. Tee hee hee. Thanks again for the advice, guys!

My alma mater is a small, ultra-conservative school of about 2,000 students, where security guards were once called to stop me from making out with my now-husband in a dark corner of campus.

I ran a search on agentquery for the name of the school, searching only among those who listed parenting as an area of non-fiction interest, and found Ms. Agent.

Would it be cheesy (weird, grossly inappropriate, etc.) to send the following query?

"Dear Ms. Agent,

"Selecting a birth method before experiencing birth is like trying to buy a car before learning to drive. How do you know if you would prefer maneuvering a Jeep to the top of a cliff or winking at the UPS guy with the top down in your Miata?

"When choosing a car, you would head to the library or Internet for straight facts. Then you would ask Aunt Mildred about her Jeep and Wilbur in the next office about his Miata. Choosing a birth method is no different. Mothers-to-be glean information from pregnancy books or Google, and then ask friends how they gave birth.

"_My Birth Choice: 101 Birth Stories by Real Women to Help You Plan Your Labor_ will provide America's four million pregnant women with both the straight facts and the anecdotal information they seek. Each chapter gives a 2-3 page overview of a childbirth philosophy or location, followed by 5-7 first-person birth stories. The book itself will run about 200,000 words or 500 pages.

"My distinct childbirth experiences—a routine epidural, an accidental natural delivery, and a HypnoBirth—have given me an unbiased view of birth methods. Writing for several magazines, such as Mothering, American Iron Magazine, Christian Parenting Today, and ByLine, has honed my professional, approachable style.

"I will interview experts in each method for the informative section of each chapter (such as M--, co-founder of the A--, whom I interviewed for my sample chapter on the B-- Method, and M--, who has agreed to participate in the chapter on the H-- system she founded).

"I'm contacting you because the non-fiction deals you've represented looked so fun that researching your past projects made me want to run out and buy the books. I also hoped your interest in M--'s fictional take on dealing with the outside opinions and whirlwind emotions of unplanned pregnancy might extend to a non-fiction look at making childbirth choices in a culture that bombards the newly pregnant with such emotions and opinions. My writing, while dealing with serious subjects, is often also irreverent and fun, and it seems like you have a similar sense of humor.

"Your representation of _C--_ especially interests me because I graduated from H-- in 2000," (note: Ms. Agent graduated in 2002) 'and becoming "a Better Flirt, a Tougher Chick, a Hotter Girlfriend, and Living Life Like a Rock Star'" (note: this was the subtitle for a book she repped) "sounds like a laundry list of my personal ambitions (with wife substituted for girlfriend). It's not, however, a list that I'd expect Dr. B-- to extol in chapel, and I'm always fascinated by fellow H-- alums who aren't quite what the student handbook describes. We may also have bumped into each other in a class with Dr. L-- or Dr. H--, since I took most of my writing and linguistics classes in my last years there.

"Would you care to see my complete proposal and sample chapters?

"I know you receive many queries, and I appreciate your time and attention. Whether I'm what you're looking for or not, best of luck with your clients, and have a blessed weekend.



No need to critique the query (although you may if you like; I just don't want to take advantage). I'm just wondering if this is acceptable networking or some variation of nepotism/butt-kissing that would be rude to attempt. What do you think?

cate townsend
06-06-2008, 12:57 AM

I don't think there's anything wrong with mentioning that you went to the same school with the agent. At the very least, it might wake them up from that "query stupor" they probably fall into while reading so many letters per day/week, and cause them to take more notice of you and your project. I say go for it, and keep us posted on the outcome.

06-06-2008, 01:46 AM
You bring up the connection very appropriately there!

06-17-2008, 04:50 PM
Sounds good to me!

07-03-2008, 12:12 AM
Update - It WORKED!!! She emailed a request for a full proposal today, complete with a reference to one of my mini-jokes. Tee hee hee. Thanks again for the advice, guys!

07-03-2008, 12:21 AM
Awesome! :snoopy:

07-03-2008, 12:23 AM