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Theo81
07-16-2011, 03:00 PM
RCW's Sam Copeland and Darley Anderson's Madeleine Buston have both reported via Twitter (here (http://twitter.com/#!/stubbleagent/status/91102342627328000) and here (http://twitter.com/#!/AgentBuston/status/91206669903728641)) to being sent a Lottery ticket with a submission.

Anybody want to admit to it being them as sent it? ;)


I'm surprised by the level of Ms Buston's, ahem, enthusiasm for it.

According to the Twit stream, the lottery had a link to the subject of the MS.

What do we all think, good idea or bad idea?
It's got the agents attention, which is good. These two tweets regard it as having done so positively, which is good. It's unlikely to be misconstrued in a creepy way, which is good.
However, agents are going to know which other agents have got it, which I'd regard as a bad thing, although I can't imagine the author has sent out 50 of the things.

I do foresee a trend of people sending stuff to try and get agents' attention now, though.

Plot Device
07-16-2011, 03:28 PM
Sending along gifts such as flowers or Yankees tickets or whatever in order to bribe an agent or a publsiher or (in the case of the film/TV industry) a creative executive into reading/considering one's submission is nothing new. In fact, I'd be willing to guess that it was probably MORE common 15+ years ago backs when all sumissions were done via smail mail. I don't approve of it, and it's my understanding that most industry professionals find it mildly creepy. The higher the value of the sent item, the more disturbing the action becomes.

Meanwhile, I kinda like that the bribe in this instance (a lottery ticket) had a very direct link to the plot at hand. Makes the whole undertaking seem less like smarmy, underhanded desperation, and more like nothing more than a very clever and humorous AND HARMELSS gesture. And the fact that it was likely well less than $10 in value (a Lotto ticket or a MegaMillions ticket is always a trifling $1) defuses the creepy desperation factor even further, swinging it off more comfortably into the realm of harmless humor.

Libbie
07-16-2011, 08:37 PM
My first thought: "What a dork."

Second thought: "Any agent who would act enthused over this might be shooting herself in the foot. Even a lottery ticket could be seen as a bribe."

Third though: "Oh, it's related to the plot of the book? Hmmm...I can get behind that."

kaitie
07-16-2011, 09:18 PM
I can't really get behind it even if it's related to the plot. It's still too close to a bribe, IMO. If there wasn't monetary value there, then maybe I could see it, but with the potential for a winning ticket, that changes things.

I also think it's gimmicky. I assume there's a reason agents have always stated directly never to send extra things with the submission and have lists of the craziest things they've received. Personally, I'd rather just send the sub out and let it stand on its own. After all, the gimmick isn't going to get you any requests, the work will. If your query sucks, no lottery tickets or anything else will help, and if it rocks, you don't need them and risk annoying people at best and it will look like a bribe at worst.

Maryn
07-16-2011, 09:26 PM
I'm with kaitie. No gimmicks, no bribe, not even if the item ties in. The work has to stand on its own legs.

Maryn, firm on this

Wayne K
07-17-2011, 12:37 AM
Another writer who feels the book isn't good enough to stand out

scarletpeaches
07-17-2011, 12:41 AM
Second thought: "Any agent who would act enthused over this might be shooting herself in the foot. Even a lottery ticket could be seen as a bribe."I thought, "How many exclamation marks were needed in that tweet?"

Wayne K
07-17-2011, 12:43 AM
Also, when you show attention to gimmicks like this, you get gimmicks like this (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/28/writer-fakes-kidnapping_n_885910.html)


Writer Mark Davis Fakes Kidnapping then sent an e-mail to a wide variety of agents. It began: “By the time you receive this, I will have already kidnapped your child.”"

Cyia
07-17-2011, 01:01 AM
If they wanted to use it as a "prop" tied to the plot, but not have it inch close to "bribe" territory, then they could have used a gag ticket rather than a real one.

Wayne K
07-17-2011, 01:06 AM
Imagine what erotica writers will start to send

Susan Littlefield
07-17-2011, 01:23 AM
My first thought--a real lottery ticket?

I have a feeling the author did use it because it tied into the subject of their book, and perhaps the author did not think it would come across as looking like bribery. It does, though.

I'm glad it got some tweets and interest, though.

Susan Littlefield
07-17-2011, 01:23 AM
Imagine what erotica writers will start to send

Oh, Wayne.....:D

JoNightshade
07-17-2011, 02:23 AM
Also, when you show attention to gimmicks like this, you get gimmicks like this (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/28/writer-fakes-kidnapping_n_885910.html)

If I'd been on the receiving end of that stunt, that guy wouldn't have gotten a simple angry phone call. He'd have the police knocking down his door.

BenPanced
07-17-2011, 02:30 AM
I would have used the SASE to return the ticket unused.

thothguard51
07-17-2011, 02:50 AM
I send Dragon eggs with all my queries. They can only learn how to hatch the egg if they read my manuscript.

So far, there have been no reports of dragons sightings, or my books.

Kitty27
07-17-2011, 04:38 AM
I think gifts are a no-no. They give off the funky stench of utter desperation or insanity.

Besides,I have to keep all my grip for myself. Four inch platform boots aren't cheap.

CAWriter
07-17-2011, 12:41 PM
Did the tweet say if it was an unsolicited manuscript, or was it from an author with whom they have a relationship? I know of authors who have put together proposals with 'props' (if you want to call it that) for everyone at a pub board meeting when the book goes to committee, and the editors who've been part of the process have been favorable toward it.

I can see where they wouldn't want every author in the slush pile finding a gimmick to go with their proposal, but it's not completely unheard of (or frowned on) for established authors to submit something of the sort.

mccardey
07-17-2011, 12:45 PM
RCW's Sam Copeland and Darley Anderson's Madeleine Buston have both reported via Twitter (here (http://twitter.com/#!/stubbleagent/status/91102342627328000) and here (http://twitter.com/#!/AgentBuston/status/91206669903728641)) to being sent a Lottery ticket with a submission.

What do we all think, good idea or bad idea? .

Better than sending it without the submission ... ;)

Matera the Mad
07-17-2011, 01:30 PM
I like the metaphor.

seun
07-17-2011, 02:18 PM
If a book can't sell itself, then the writer shouldn't be querying it.

DanielAnuchan
07-17-2011, 02:31 PM
If a book can't sell itself, then the writer shouldn't be querying it.




I agree with this, but don't you want a little added advantage over all the other submissions? As long as it isn't construed as a bribe, I find it OK.

seun
07-17-2011, 02:39 PM
I agree with this, but don't you want a little added advantage over all the other submissions? As long as it isn't construed as a bribe, I find it OK.

Make that advantage by producing your best work, not by sending a little gift. No matter how quirky or meaningful the gift is.

The other issue to bear in mind is just because the writer didn't mean it as a bride, there's no guarantee the agent/publisher will see it the same way.

aruna
07-17-2011, 02:51 PM
“I went on as many Internet writers’ boards and chat rooms as I could, as Perno Morris, and vented about how unfair the publishing business was,” he said. “Then I told them I had a plan, and started a countdown to when I would reveal it. That sent a lot of traffic to my website xxx, where I had posted the first three chapters of the novel.”


Hmmm. Did that author post in AW? If not, why not? As the biggest writers' board out there it seems like a huge ommission -- if his story is true.

DanielAnuchan
07-17-2011, 02:55 PM
“I went on as many Internet writers’ boards and chat rooms as I could, as Perno Morris, and vented about how unfair the publishing business was,” he said. “Then I told them I had a plan, and started a countdown to when I would reveal it. That sent a lot of traffic to my website xxx, where I had posted the first three chapters of the novel.”

That sounds like an interesting gimmick. Any publicity is good publicity. Make a loud noise and wait for the echoes.

aruna
07-17-2011, 02:59 PM
Did you read the article it is culled from (someone upthread posted the link). It was a pretty crazy thing to do.

aruna
07-17-2011, 03:00 PM
Oh, and Pat Wood got her megadeal for Lottery without resorting to gimmicks like that.

J.W. Alden
07-17-2011, 03:00 PM
Hmmm. Did that author post in AW? If not, why not? As the biggest writers' board out there it seems like a huge ommission -- if his story is true.

Yep. He got banned.

aruna
07-17-2011, 03:07 PM
Yep. He got banned.

Ha! Interesting! And I bet this whole media story is just another part of his big plan for publicity.

DanielAnuchan
07-17-2011, 03:34 PM
Must be a long way back. Although I didn't read the article, I doubt I would do it the same way that person did, nor would I want to. But I can think of ways to attract attention to myself and then direct people to my webpage.

Bufty
07-17-2011, 04:43 PM
I wonder if the rejection note and ticket were returned before or after the relative Lottery Draw? :D

Snitchcat
07-17-2011, 05:43 PM
IMO, that's one promotion gimmick that should have been left till after he'd signed a contract and the book was in production. Would've generated better attention, sales and reached a wider audience in a more positive way. As it is, it feels smarmy and in no way piques my interest.

If his writing requires something like that to get noticed, then I'm not reading it. For me, the story has to stand on its own. I don't care about extraneous gifts (they're unexpected bonuses that would be nice, but not missed if they're absent). The only one I'm after is the story and the enjoyable ride it presents -- that's enough.

Aside from that, if the writer wants to pull something like that prior to landing an agent, what will he do afterwards? And his promotion for this next book will be unique? Perhaps I'll watch his promotion methods for some ideas, but frankly, that "I've kidnapped your child" email gimmick was creepy and unnecessary. If his novel is as good as it's supposedly is, why the cheap tactic?

And just 'cos he went to a lawyer to check out the legalities doesn't mean he understood the ethics. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against promotion or publicity. I just have ethics that don't include faking an event that would potentially alarm or panic the agents and editors I'd like to submit to. None of the parties involved need the extra stress or worry. And for those who do have children who aren't at home for any reason.... ugh.

Cheap tactic is cheap. (And in this case: slimy.)

Chris1981
07-17-2011, 08:09 PM
I've spent years reading advice from publishers, agents, etc. that stated, in various ways, "Don't send gifts or trinkets or any crap like that with queries or submissions if you want to be taken seriously."

The promotional angle to this lotto-ticket gimmick is there, yeah, and I can see why the author's mind went the direction it did. But I intentionally wrote "gimmick" because I don't see how this differs so greatly from sending the agent a nice bit of chocolate as a flat-out bribe. (Well, except for the fact that the lotto ticket can't melt all over the query. But still.)

As others have already said, write an excellent query, synopsis, novel, etc. and let the work speak for itself.

Also, I wonder about the logistics of claiming out-of-state lotto prizes. If I sent an agent in, say, New York, a Texas Lotto scratch-off, and it happens to be a winner, how much of a pain in the ass would claiming the prize money be? (I don't know because I don't play. Also, I'm thinking of smaller prizes, as I'm sure few people would be thrown into black depression over having to catch a flight to Austin, Texas, to claim multi-million-dollar prizes.)

CACTUSWENDY
07-17-2011, 08:22 PM
And from past remarks from agents...don't send your submission in printed on colored paper....and the likes. There use to be a site that had a ton of DO NOT Do things. Some of them were a riot.