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thephoenix
08-11-2010, 01:12 PM
If any of you are on twitter and you happen to run into a tweet by an assistant to an agent you find out that they talk about queries, A LOT. and most of the ones i've read just pass on queries for the most ridiculous reason, "Oh this is a feminist book written by a man, pass," or "What?! that's a weird name, pass"

what i'm realizing is that not only do we have to make our query sellable to the particular agent we're interested in, we have to sell the assistant, arguably the hardest part. how do u sell something to someone who u don't know anything about? with the agent, you research their background and u know of them.

Paranormal_Writer
08-11-2010, 02:03 PM
Even when you get an agent, you still have to "sell" your manucript to lots of other poeple you don't know anything about in order to get a deal (ie the acquisitions committe including editors, marketing, PR ect...) and there is no way you can research all of them. The best thing to do is make your book the best that it can be, and try not to worry about the things that are out of your hands.

BrooklynLee
08-11-2010, 03:50 PM
Ditto Paranormal. Also, I suspect that whatever quips they post on twitter, most agent assistants are working according to a set of guidelines dictated by their boss, and most of what they reject is due to those guidelines (for example, queries that don't fit the categories that the agent represents)

Phaeal
08-11-2010, 05:04 PM
If the assistant is to be of much use to the agent, he has to learn the agent's tastes and needs. However, personal preferences are bound to sneak in there, especially after the 200th query of the day.

You can't research the quirks and quibbles of every assistant to every agent. In fact, researching the agent's quirks and quibbles will only take you so far. Plenty of times I've matched every stated desire of an agent, only to get a form rejection. In real estate, it's location, location, location. In publishing, it's subjectivity, subjectivity, subjectivity. You can present sell-factors A, B, C, and D; factor E, which you overlooked, can bring you down.

Don't mess with the big preferences, say, by sending adult fiction to a children's fic agent or SFF to an agent who has noted "no SFF." If an agent offers further preferences (loves steampunk, hates vampires, is grossed out by gore), weigh them. Ultimately, however, you'd best put your energy into punching up your query and polishing the hell out of your novel.

katiemac
08-11-2010, 05:26 PM
If the assistant is to be of much use to the agent, he has to learn the agent's tastes and needs. However, personal preferences are bound to sneak in there, especially after the 200th query of the day.



Phaeal's right. The assistant will be reading the queries knowing what the agent wants to see.

And the stuff you see on Twitter? Wouldn't be surprised if it's more tongue-in-cheek, or very simplified versions of the real reason why the assistant/agent is passing.

Miss Plum
08-11-2010, 08:32 PM
And the stuff you see on Twitter? Wouldn't be surprised if it's more tongue-in-cheek, or very simplified versions of the real reason why the assistant/agent is passing.

Gets my vote.

Jamesaritchie
08-11-2010, 11:04 PM
Don't read anything on Twitter.

Miss Plum
08-11-2010, 11:42 PM
Don't read anything on Twitter.
Haha! Well and truly said. There's a Biggie agent with my full and nothing drives me nutser than reading his Tweets about the nite life in Manhattan, some idiot thing someone said to him on his vacay, congrats to one of his signed clients for a great review, what the dog did, etc.

shaldna
08-12-2010, 12:03 AM
If the assistant is to be of much use to the agent, he has to learn the agent's tastes and needs. However, personal preferences are bound to sneak in there, especially after the 200th query of the day.

You can't research the quirks and quibbles of every assistant to every agent. In fact, researching the agent's quirks and quibbles will only take you so far. Plenty of times I've matched every stated desire of an agent, only to get a form rejection. In real estate, it's location, location, location. In publishing, it's subjectivity, subjectivity, subjectivity. You can present sell-factors A, B, C, and D; factor E, which you overlooked, can bring you down.

Don't mess with the big preferences, say, by sending adult fiction to a children's fic agent or SFF to an agent who has noted "no SFF." If an agent offers further preferences (loves steampunk, hates vampires, is grossed out by gore), weigh them. Ultimately, however, you'd best put your energy into punching up your query and polishing the hell out of your novel.


everything Phael just said.

Ken
08-12-2010, 12:29 AM
... "Oh this is a feminist book written by a man, pass," or "What?! that's a weird name, pass"

... many assistants are undoubtedly dedicated and strive to do as good of a job as they can. I know one such, myself, and they were dedicated as can be which is why they're now a full-fledged agent.

There are some though who have taken jobs as assistants to pick up college credit as interns or the like and who could care less about the job they do.* And it's this group of low lives who Twit such stuff as this I'll wager.

Obviously they're just trying to slog through the slush as quickly as possible and settling on any excuse to reject a ms merely to get out of reading the query in its entirety and giving it serious consideration. They're doing disservice both to writers who are submitting and to the agencies employing them in doing so. Shame on them.

If they want to loaf, let them get jobs at Mickey D's!

* Not to suggest interns are uncommitted as a group, of course. Only some.

Sophia
08-12-2010, 12:38 AM
There are some though who have taken jobs as assistants to pick up college credit as interns or the like and who could care less about the job they do.* And it's this group of low lives who Twit such stuff as this I'll wager.

[...]

* Not to suggest interns are uncommitted as a group, of course. Only some.

I had the impression from agent blogs that taking on an intern isn't a throwaway matter. They take on people who fit with the mindset of the agency, who they personally gel with, and who they see as being worth investing time and trust with. They are helping the intern with their career, and they have a lot of people to choose from.

I don't know if you know specifically who the OP was referring to, but I don't think your view of 'some' interns is the case in reality.

Ken
08-12-2010, 12:44 AM
I don't know if you know specifically who the OP was referring to, but I don't think your view of 'some' interns is the case in reality.

... by 'some' I meant a handful or two at most. No idea who the OP was referring to. (I understood the examples to be generic or representative of what they've generally come across on the site.) I was just going by what they've posted, which is indeed ridiculous.

And to expand on my view of interns, the majority are hard working and do a fine job as I've found personally. All this was implied above, though perhaps I should've emphasized that. Had a feeling I should've.

Ryan_Sullivan
08-12-2010, 01:13 AM
I wouldn't worry about it. Agents have to be able to trust assistants, so assistants won't be doing things that the agent doesn't agree with. Also, not all agents rely solely on their assistants for queries. You can only control who you submit to--not who actually reads it--so don't stress. That said, I'd be wary of those agents/assistants who twitter things like that. It's not very professional in my book.

Paul
08-12-2010, 01:20 AM
it's location, location, location. In publishing, it's subjectivity, subjectivity, subjectivity. You can present sell-factors A, B, C, and D; factor E, which you overlooked, can bring you down.



all comments i agree with one can never accommodate all requirements. But the other one, indications from the publishers / tv companies etc of current market success is prob the most influential and that could in theory be a useful indicator - in broad terms for a writer.
Personally I still don't really think researching possible market trends is worth it. write what you'd like to read, end of. FG on, must go

djf881
08-14-2010, 02:16 PM
These sound hilarious. I am trying to understand Twitter. How do I find these?