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Grimball4
12-04-2013, 04:29 AM
Iím thinking of including in my query letter a picture drawn by the artist of my childrenís book. Do you think that would help get an agentís attention?

Canton
12-04-2013, 04:42 AM
Tons of blogs by agents say how tired they are of gimmicks. That's my 0.02c

Grimball4
12-04-2013, 04:57 AM
Good to know...

rainsmom
12-04-2013, 06:12 AM
I am NOT a writer of children's books, but IIRC the publishing company matches writers with artists. Generally the artist comes with the writer only when writer and artist are the same person.

(Someone please correct me if I'm misremembering!)

Siri Kirpal
12-04-2013, 07:32 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

If you're emailing, DON'T send. Illustrations clog the arteries of the internet. So ONLY send photos if you're an illustrator or the book is a picture book or coffee table book, art book, etc. And even then, only send if they say it's okay.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Old Hack
12-04-2013, 11:58 AM
Don't send the illustration. Really, don't. And don't consider any other gimmicks: they count against you. They don't help at all. (I once received a banana in the post, from a writer who thought it might help his submission. I didn't open anything else from him.)

Publishers prefer to find illustrators for their picture books: they very rarely sign up books which arrive with both text and illustrations in place.

Grimball4
12-04-2013, 08:25 PM
My book only has a basic illustration for each chapter i.e. like the Harry Potter books, so the artwork is not crucial to the story. I was thinking of just having the artist (my brother in-law) do a little picture that would sit in the bottom right corner of my query letter, and it would tie in with my book and Christmas… But this all seems like a moot point since it sounds like most agents take emails now-a-days and I don’t want to do an attachment…
My book only has a basic illustration for each chapter i.e. like the Harry Potter books, so the artwork is not crucial to the story. I was thinking of just having the artist (my brother in-law) do a little picture that would sit in the bottom right corner of my query letter, and it would tie in with my book and Christmas… But this all seems like a moot point since it sounds like most agents take emails now-a-days and I don’t want to do an attachment.

MJNL
12-04-2013, 10:03 PM
You might want to hold off on querying until you do a bit more research on standard industry practices. That is not how a middle grade novel gets illustrated. And no, it's not a good idea to send a picture, because even if agents wanted to see such a thing at this stage (they don't), they most likely have images and links blocked in emails from unknown senders (this is just basic e-mail firewall type stuff). So they wouldn't even see it anyway.

EMaree
12-04-2013, 10:22 PM
You might want to hold off on querying until you do a bit more research on standard industry practices. That is not how a middle grade novel gets illustrated. And no, it's not a good idea to send a picture, because even if agents wanted to see such a thing at this stage (they don't), they most likely have images and links blocked in emails from unknown senders (this is just basic e-mail firewall type stuff). So they wouldn't even see it anyway.

This x2. Most e-mail programs (Outlook and Gmail definitely do, and those are the most common agent mail providers) block images from unknown sources by default so it would be pointless to include them.

Grimball4
12-04-2013, 11:17 PM
Looks like no pics. I just won't tell the artist, so that he can draw me another cool picture...

MJNL
12-04-2013, 11:51 PM
Looks like no pics. I just won't tell the artist, so that he can draw me another cool picture...

Because lying to a collab partner in order to exploit their talents is totally the way to start a good buisness relationship.

I can only hope you were joking.

Grimball4
12-05-2013, 12:41 AM
of course...

gingerwoman
12-05-2013, 12:57 AM
Every year I go to the Romance Writers of New Zealand conference, and every year there is an agent, or two talking about the gimmicks they've had come in, and how much they don't want to see them.

Grimball4
12-05-2013, 01:04 AM
Just saw your blog gingerwoman you got some great info in there...

Maryn
12-05-2013, 02:48 AM
At another writing board I visit, the stories about gimmicks are funny and desperate. Food (right, you're going to eat food prepared and sent to you by a stranger), perfumed papers, small gifts with notes hoping your ms. will get moved to the top of the waiting list, food deliveries, liquor deliveries, flowers, live animals...

What they want to see is work that impresses the hell out of them, nothing more.

Maryn, who can't share all of the stuff she's heard about at an all-ages board

Grimball4
12-05-2013, 04:01 AM
Maryn, who can't share all of the stuff she's heard about at an all-ages board

Maybe you can publish this as an AO book... call it 50 Ways to Bribe...

Taran
12-05-2013, 06:55 AM
...live animals...

At least alive when the package was sent.

Also, doesn't almost everyone have a "I will not open an unsolicited package with air holes" policy?

Imagined response to such a situation:

Dear Author:

Thank you for the puppy. Unfortunately, it shat all over your manuscript. I have therefore enclosed the soiled document, unread.

Grimball4
12-05-2013, 09:14 AM
"Live animals.."
But wasn't that how George Orwell sold Animal Farm to his publisher...

Old Hack
12-05-2013, 11:27 AM
A few of the inappropriate things I have received in submission packages:

1) The aforementioned banana;

2) Biscuits and chocolate;

3) Items of clothing (some new, and meant for me; some used, and belonging to the author; most were laundered before being sent but not all were);

4) Offers of money;

5) Money;

6) Author photographs (one was of the author doing yoga, naked, and no, the book under submission had nothing to do with yoga or nakedness).

Do not send in anything other than your submission.

zenjenn
12-26-2013, 11:12 AM
Ok Old Hack - I have to know what you do when you receive money. Keep it? Send it back? Donate it?

Old Hack
12-26-2013, 12:24 PM
I always returned it. There's not really an alternative, is there?

zenjenn
12-26-2013, 12:38 PM
It just strikes me as so creepy, I would hesitate to want to continue contact with that person. But then, I'm not in the business of accepting piles of communication from strangers.

I do think donate would be another alternative. Someone sends you cash unsolicited, you are under no obligation to return it. If you don't return it, it also might have the effect of discouraging him from repeating the behavior with other agents. I'm trying to imagine if a significant number of authors attempted this - at some point sending returns (postage on your dime, I assume), becomes impractical.

gingerwoman
12-27-2013, 02:59 PM
If she kept it at all, including donating it to a preferred charity, it would look like maybe she took bribes. She couldn't possibly without risking her reputation as an agent.

Marian Perera
12-27-2013, 03:04 PM
Besides, if someone is unprofessional enough to send cash to you along with a submission, who knows what that person will do if you keep or use the cash?

Old Hack
12-27-2013, 03:40 PM
I always returned gifts and such, unless they were perishable items: they went in the bin.

Having been the focus of several disgruntled writers, it was way too risky to eat anything I was sent.

jeffo20
12-27-2013, 05:24 PM
Someone who thought it acceptable to send money to an editor in hopes of getting a deal is also likely to think acceptance of said money is sealing the deal. It might not hold up in court, but I wouldn't be worried about court with a person like that....

Polenth
12-28-2013, 12:24 AM
At least alive when the package was sent.

Also, doesn't almost everyone have a "I will not open an unsolicited package with air holes" policy?

Invertebrates can be mailed safety and legally. All my cockroaches have come via the normal post system (it's a talking point with the post people, as there's a special label for live animals). Though obviously, sending them to someone without warning is downright irresponsible.

gingerwoman
12-28-2013, 01:48 AM
Someone who thought it acceptable to send money to an editor in hopes of getting a deal is also likely to think acceptance of said money is sealing the deal. It might not hold up in court, but I wouldn't be worried about court with a person like that....
Well to be fair, I think there are countries where virtually everything is done via bribes? They may not be paticularly crazy people just very ignorant about publishing in the UK. There are all kinds of overseas people desperate to do anything to get recognition in the UK and the USA etc...and countries seen as richer and more democratic although lol at how wrong they are about general wealth of people in democratic countries since the 2008 recession.

I see people on yahoo answers saying stuff like "will they let me into the USA or the UK if I get a book accepted by an agent/publisher there." Um....no.

Canton
12-28-2013, 02:36 AM
This thread makes me think back to when the first thing I tried to write was a screenplay, and I sent pitch letters to agents on pink paper trying to get some attention. Boy, was I naive. Then later I was like, oh, people are writing novels? Those things that I never paid attention to in school? I only started reading and writing when I finally read books by Michael Crichton and then Cormac McCarthy. Then I eventually started reading blogs by agents and got the strong impression that they aren't into the whole pink paper thing.

Cyia
12-28-2013, 05:14 AM
Iím thinking of including in my query letter a picture drawn by the artist of my childrenís book. Do you think that would help get an agentís attention?


Aside from the issue of "the norm" in submissions, there are other reasons not to do what you're asking about.

While a few agents (actually most, in regards to those who actually rep picture books) will look at author/illustrator combos (meaning the illustrator is the author), it's an entirely different scenario when the artist isn't the author.

You're proposing they not only work with, and contract, you, but also the artist. You can't just use someone's artwork, relative or not, unless that work has been licensed by the publisher who buys a book. You're adding another person's worth of difficulty to a negotiation. If they like the text, but not the images, and the illustrator won't change them, you've got a problem. Likewise, if they like the images, but not the text, and the author won't budge, then the artist has a problem.

You have to figure in the royalty split for the illustrator, as well as the author, because both have to be paid. You have to make certain that both parties can make the same deadlines. Having someone make you a small illustration as a favor or for purposes of a first impression is nothing compared to expecting that same person to create a set number of pieces to the specifics of a publisher.

And all of this is assuming that you even state that the artwork isn't yours. If you add the image in order to make an impression, and the agent loves it, then finds out you didn't do it, it's a sticky situation to put yourself into.

Illustrations are at the discretion of the publisher, and not the norm unless you've got a picture or chapter book. They add costs to the book that the publisher has to figure into the production costs.

frimble3
12-28-2013, 08:42 AM
Invertebrates can be mailed safety and legally. All my cockroaches have come via the normal post system (it's a talking point with the post people, as there's a special label for live animals). Though obviously, sending them to someone without warning is downright irresponsible.
How very posh! Most people's cockroaches just sort of sneak in under cover of darkness. And, just because you can do it 'safely and legally' doesn't make it right. :D

imjustj
12-29-2013, 01:49 AM
I think you answered your own question by using the term "gimmick."

While the dictionary definition may be fine, the connotations are not. You say "gimmick" and most people immediately think of someone trying to pull a fast one. It is not a positive word.

Best of luck with your (gimmick-free) queries!

GardeningMomma
12-30-2013, 06:16 AM
most were laundered before being sent but not all were
That made me gag.



Author photographs (one was of the author doing yoga, naked, and no, the book under submission had nothing to do with yoga or nakedness).


I'm sure the rejection to that submission stung double...