PDA

View Full Version : Bizarre Advice - Things to NOT do



Roger J Carlson
03-23-2006, 06:57 PM
What's the absolutely worst writing advice you've seen, heard, or made up. Anyone can play.

Here's mine:

Never reveal the ending of your novel in a query letter. Leave them guessing. It'll have them begging for more.

Dawno
03-23-2006, 06:59 PM
The secret to my success is my sparklies - put a lot of glitter in every submission you send!

Put all your work on your blog first. Email the link to agents. Make sure the blog has catchy music and the story unloads in flash animation to grab their attention. Be sure you have a visible site counter so they can see how popular your work is.

Encrypting your work will keep it from being stolen by the guy who opens the mail. Be sure to send the decoder ring separately via certified mail.

Selling erotica is easier if you query with a home video of you and the SO acting out your first few chapters instead of a boring query letter.


Copyright 2006, Dawno's Sparkly Advice for Writers

Yeshanu
03-23-2006, 07:11 PM
* ***** *'** **** ** ****** ********** ****.


(Decoder ring to follow.)

JoeEkaitis
03-23-2006, 07:50 PM
Advice from women writers to me:

Men should use only their initials when submitting to female editors (the majority in children's publishing). Some are put off by a man's name on the by-line.

Shadow_Ferret
03-23-2006, 07:51 PM
What's the absolutely worst writing advice you've seen, heard, or made up. Anyone can play.

Here's mine:

Never reveal the ending of your novel in a query letter. Leave them guessing. It'll have them begging for more.

Are you saying I SHOULD reveal the ending? :Shrug:

rtilryarms
03-23-2006, 07:56 PM
Mine:

"Take up tennis or something."

dahmnait
03-23-2006, 07:58 PM
Mine:

"Take up tennis or something.":)You can always quit your day job.

maestrowork
03-23-2006, 08:03 PM
If you try hard enough, you will get published and make six-figures.

(sorry, it's harsh, but someone has to say it)

Oh and this one:

Poor man copyright everything, because the agent and editor might steal your work!

Jaycinth
03-23-2006, 08:17 PM
......"OH I have a great idea for a book. If you write it for me and get it published, I'll split the money with you."

underthecity
03-23-2006, 08:45 PM
If you try hard enough and dream it, you can accomplish ANYTHING!!!!

Well, no you can't. I can dream and flap my arms as hard as I can, but I still won't be able to fly to the moon.

allen

maestrowork
03-23-2006, 08:54 PM
People will change their minds if you talk to them, especially about politics and religion.

robeiae
03-23-2006, 09:10 PM
"light a match or something"

http://www.deepveininsomnia.com/WHarmageddon.php

:D

Julie Worth
03-23-2006, 09:19 PM
Never reveal the ending of your novel in a query letter. Leave them guessing. It'll have them begging for more.

Huh...I thought you had to include the ending in the synopsis, but not the query. So that's wrong?

Yeshanu
03-23-2006, 09:24 PM
If you do reveal your ending, make sure it's because you've killed off your main character.

Bufty
03-23-2006, 09:25 PM
As I understand it there's nothing wrong with that advice - but they should be intrigued by the premise, the protagonist's predicament, not teasers. They can find out the ending if they are sufficiently interested to go on to read the synopsis - which is the whole purpose of the Query Letter -no?
Revealing the ending could work against you - if you've a bum ending they're not going to bother reading the synopsis.

Yeshanu
03-23-2006, 09:34 PM
If you've got a bum ending, don't bother rewriting. Send it out as is. After all, 90% of the novel's great, right?

In fact, just send out the manuscript. Why waste postage on a query or synopsis? It's the book you want to sell, not the query.

Roger J Carlson
03-23-2006, 09:38 PM
Could work against you - if you've a bum ending they're not going to bother reading the synopsis.If you've got a bum ending, they shouldn't read the synopsis.

Here's what I mean. When I say 'query', I'm referring to the entire package and not just a query letter.

If the query is just a query letter and you include a short synopsis, you should include an ending. They don't want to send off for the manuscript only to find out it has a bum ending.

On the other hand, if your query includes a cover letter, synopsis, and sample chapters, then you shouldn't be addressing the plot in the cover letter. You leave it for the synopis where you BETTER have an ending.

Either way, you should include how the story ends.

maestrowork
03-23-2006, 09:44 PM
Grammar and spelling don't matter. It's the story that counts.

Yeshanu
03-23-2006, 09:46 PM
Always apply alliteration
To everything you write.
And add in schlocky poetry,
Or else you won't seem bright.

And don't follow Roger's advice in his most recent post. It's not bizarre.

maestrowork
03-23-2006, 09:47 PM
Send a query to EVERY agent in the agency, but only address to them as "Dear Agent."

robeiae
03-23-2006, 09:49 PM
Dear Mr. Agent?

maestrowork
03-23-2006, 09:51 PM
To Whom This May Make You Millions:

awatkins
03-23-2006, 09:56 PM
Use bright neon-colored paper. The younger editors love this.
Use lavender, pink, pale coral, or other pastel colors for romance editors.
Crumple the envelopes a bit to draw attention.
Use color-coordinating ink and fancy fonts on that colored paper. Now that says imagination!
Put lots of smiley faces on the query; make sure to say 'pretty please' at least twice.
Always make up a really cute e-mail address for those convenient e-mail queries.
Forget all that pesky printing or e-mailing; they won't mind if you pitch a few book ideas by 'phone! Saves everyone time.

WerenCole
03-23-2006, 09:59 PM
For writers block: Smoke Crack!

Just because Hemingway could write drunk. . . what can't you?

Ya. . . I know a lot of writers who are heroine addicts. . .

Roger J Carlson
03-23-2006, 10:01 PM
Be sure to mention that you are the next JK Rowlings and this book will be bigger than Harry Potter.

JoeEkaitis
03-23-2006, 10:10 PM
Be sure your letterhead includes the title "Author" or "Writer," especially if you have nothing in print.

underthecity
03-23-2006, 10:28 PM
In your query mention that your book will make a great movie. In fact, mention this fact at least three times. Agents love this.

Always follow up your query with a phone call. Keep calling until you get the top agent on the phone.

If that doesn't work, drop in on his or her office. Uninvited is always best.

allen

dahmnait
03-23-2006, 10:29 PM
Don't worry if your beginning is slow, just explain how it will "get better" in your query, intro, etc.

Yeshanu
03-23-2006, 10:29 PM
Use bright neon-colored paper. The younger editors love this.
Use lavender, pink, pale coral, or other pastel colors for romance editors.
Crumple the envelopes a bit to draw attention.
Use color-coordinating ink and fancy fonts on that colored paper. Now that says imagination!
Put lots of smiley faces on the query; make sure to say 'pretty please' at least twice.
Always make up a really cute e-mail address for those convenient e-mail queries.
Anne! You forgot one: Make sure you scent your envelope and/or query letter with perfume. Not only will the editors be able to see your query much better amongst all the dross if it's a neon or pastel colour, but the wonderful smell wafting from the pile of queries will have them delerious with joy.

underthecity
03-23-2006, 10:31 PM
Tell the agent you enjoyed reading her blog, but disagree with most of what she said.

Roger J Carlson
03-23-2006, 10:34 PM
Say inflammatory and defaming things about an agent in online forums. Agents never lurk in those places, and they never Google their own name, anyway.

underthecity
03-23-2006, 10:35 PM
The greatest authors in literature chain-smoked cigarettes while writing their masterpieces. Therefore, smoking will make you a better writer. If you can find out what brands your favorite authors like, definitely smoke that brand as it will help you be just like them.

awatkins
03-23-2006, 10:38 PM
Anne! You forgot one: Make sure you scent your envelope and/or query letter with perfume. Not only will the editors be able to see your query much better amongst all the dross if it's a neon or pastel colour, but the wonderful smell wafting from the pile of queries will have them delerious with joy.

Thanks, Ruth! I can't believe I left that one off. Everyone, please add this to your list immediately.

Maryn
03-23-2006, 10:45 PM
Addendum: If your query letter is for erotica and you are female, scent it with--uh, use your imagination. That surely gets a busy agent's or editor's attention, and even helps in the mail room! Be careful not to use a water-soluble ink, though.

Maryn, full of helpful ideas

Stew21
03-23-2006, 10:51 PM
I love the "how to write" advice.

"so Trish, hear your writing a book,"
"yep. Just finished my first draft."
"So, um, what's it about?"
(I tell them)
"Ooh, maybe you can have the lake house catch fire! then you could kill of the evil ex-husband of the waitress and his mistress that he works with can find evidence of blackmail he was using on their boss, and then, and then....and you, know like maybe you could put me in it!"
"uh, yea, thanks."

ETA: there isn't even a waitress with an evil exhusband in the book.

Roger J Carlson
03-23-2006, 10:56 PM
Be sure to tell the agent or publisher how much your mother/uncle/cousin/next-door-neighbor liked the book. They're always interested in the opinions of people outside the publishing world.

(The really sad thing is I've done almost everything listed here at one time or another.)

PattiTheWicked
03-23-2006, 10:59 PM
Make sure you tell agents and editors that this is just the first book in a planned twelve-book series. And some of those plot holes they're complaining about DO get resolved. In the last book.

When you send it in, don't worry about spellcheck. That's what editors are for.

Be sure to mention that you heard George Clooney was looking for new material, and that he'd make the PERFECT lead if your book was ever made into a movie, and so could they please just call him and see if he'd be interested, oh and by the way, your cousin Rhonda with one leg is a big fan of George's and she had a part in last summer's community theater production of You're A Good Man Charlie Brown, so maybe she could play the heroine.

Don't worry about including a return address. No one reads those anyway.

Elincoln
03-23-2006, 11:13 PM
Don't worry about proofreading. Spell/Grammar check catches EVERYTHING!

JoeEkaitis
03-23-2006, 11:22 PM
If a publisher's submission guidelines specify traditional manuscript formatting (monospaced font, double-spaced lines, one-inch margins on all sides, no justification), show 'em how much better your book will look in single-spaced justified 12-point Times New Roman.

And don't forget to center those page numbers between frilly dingbats!

Roger J Carlson
03-23-2006, 11:26 PM
Always put a copyright notice on your manuscripts. That way they'll know you mean business.





© 2006 Roger Carlson

No portion of this post may be reproduced without the poster's consent.

Roger J Carlson
03-23-2006, 11:29 PM
If a publisher's submission guidelines specify traditional manuscript formatting (monospaced font, double-spaced lines, one-inch margins on all sides, no justification), show 'em how much better your book will look in single-spaced justified 12-point Times New Roman.

And don't forget to center those page numbers between frilly dingbats!Never bother with the publisher's submission guidelines. Your genius will shine through regardless of the format.

reph
03-23-2006, 11:40 PM
Include a résumé with your query letter. Editors always look for new writers who are well-rounded people. Nothing impresses them like a background in data processing.

What if your background happens to be in shoe repair? No problem! Just call it data processing anyway, unless your book features hot scenes involving distinctive shoes (wink, wink).

Don't forget, editors are underpaid. They'll appreciate little gifts. A carelessly selected gift, however, shows you're not paying attention. Your gift must be thematic. It must relate to the book. For that book with all the shoes, for instance, get the editor on your side by tucking a tube of foot cream into the package. Of course, a busy editor may not send a thank-you note and acceptance letter immediately. If you don't hear back within a reasonable time, such as four days, send a follow-up mailing. This time, enclose a second gift to encourage the editor to reply. You might choose a bottle of nail polish in a cheerful shade, for her toes. To comply with postal regulations, label the package "Caution: Contains Volatile Liquid."

Be patient. Give the editor another week. She may seem to ignore you, but don't give up. Now that you've established yourself as a generous person, she's probably holding out for bigger gifts. Engage a private investigator to find out her home address, which you'll use for your next mailing. Then you can send a reminder card and a complete pedicure kit.

Or, if your budget won't permit all that, submit your manuscript to PublishAmerica in the first place. They don't have any editors to bribe.

MadScientistMatt
03-23-2006, 11:48 PM
"I've heard a lot of people are turning to POD because it costs so much to get published otherwise."

JoeEkaitis
03-23-2006, 11:51 PM
"I've heard a lot of people are turning to POD because it costs so much to get published otherwise."And:

"No one sells a book to a publisher except by selling out to the publisher."

Roger J Carlson
03-23-2006, 11:57 PM
Paying to have your manuscript "professionally edited" is highly recommended.



Goy's Law: Money always flows away from the author.

Julie Worth
03-24-2006, 12:01 AM
To make your submission stand out, add baking powder to the envelope.

maestrowork
03-24-2006, 12:23 AM
Write your masterpiece on toilet paper and submit it as is.

Use less postage than you should.

Tell, never show. Comment on every thought the character has. Use lots of italics.

dahmnait
03-24-2006, 12:33 AM
Don't worry if you have your facts wrong. Nobody ever checks that stuff out anyway.

maestrowork
03-24-2006, 12:36 AM
Lie and make things up all you want -- you're only writing a memoir, nobody cares about facts.

arrowqueen
03-24-2006, 01:03 AM
Don't bother enclosing return postage. Once they get their lucky, little hands on it, they're not going to give it back, now are they?

maestrowork
03-24-2006, 01:14 AM
Expect the agent or editor to drop everything to read your masterpiece and respond within days, if not hours, to offer you a 6-figure contract. They should be so lucky!

Cat Scratch
03-24-2006, 01:22 AM
Don't forget to send your only copy, and then hound them for its return!

CaroGirl
03-24-2006, 01:28 AM
The best way to come up with absolute profundity is to work only when you are stinking drunk, or so high you can't remember your own name. It worked for some of the best writers in history: Hemingway, Dylan Thomas, and it can work for you too!

Actually, become an addict. It can only enhance your creativity.

PattiTheWicked
03-24-2006, 01:31 AM
If you find you're coming up shorter than a publisher's preferred word count, go back through the manuscript and add the words "very" and "really" before every adjective.

dahmnait
03-24-2006, 02:40 AM
If you find you're coming up shorter than a publisher's preferred word count, go back through the manuscript and add the words "very" and "really" before every adjective.For a little variety, throw in "quite".

maestrowork
03-24-2006, 03:34 AM
Adverbs are your friend.

And chiches are there for a reason -- so that writers can use them generously.

"There" and "their" are interchangable. So are "your" and "you're."

JoeEkaitis
03-24-2006, 03:38 AM
"There" and "their" are interchangable. So are "your" and "you're."Definately!

robeiae
03-24-2006, 03:40 AM
Hear, here!

Danger Jane
03-24-2006, 04:48 AM
Send chocolates to get noticed. If the box is really expensive, you might not even need to send the actual MS--they'll be so bowled over by your generosity that they'll take you on the spot.

Use as many words as possible. This makes you look sophisticated and stuff. Never write simple sentences--simple sentence = simple author. Use obscure punctuation. Nobody ever got anywhere by using small words.

dahmnait
03-24-2006, 05:04 AM
Said and asked are overused. Instead, use verbs like exclaimed and questioned. Oh, and don't forget the all important adverb. Instead of just exclaimed or questioned, try exclaimed excitedly or questioned pointedly.

SC Harrison
03-24-2006, 06:28 AM
How about this:

It doesn't matter if bookstores refuse to carry your book—everybody knows the Internet will make bookstores obsolete in a few years anyway. And don't let the high price of your book bother you—people don't pay attention to the price anyway, they just want a good book. Grammar and spelling aren't that important—if the story is good, people won't even notice a few mistakes. Don't listen to somebody who gives your book a bad critique—they're probably just jealous anyway. Be careful when editing and rewriting your manuscript—if you mess with it too much, you can ruin it. And last but definitely not least, the best way to make up for a small royalty check is to buy enough of your books to qualify for the higher discount, and then sell them yourself! When you get famous, you can go back and tell the stupid bookstore manager to suck a lemon! Yay!

underthecity
03-24-2006, 07:13 AM
What about a photograph? You should always include a photo of yourself with a query so the agent knows exactly what the author looks like. Yes, it's that important. The agent doesn't want to represent some ugly author, now would she?

Probably don't want to include someone else's photo than your own if you aren't very good looking. When you eventually meet your agent, you want her to recognize you.

Which brings up the next important point, if the agent rejects you, you should visit her office in person to ask why. That's another reason to include the right photo.

allen

Danger Jane
03-24-2006, 07:23 AM
What about a photograph? You should always include a photo of yourself with a query so the agent knows exactly what the author looks like. Yes, it's that important. The agent doesn't want to represent some ugly author, now would she?

Probably don't want to include someone else's photo than your own if you aren't very good looking. When you eventually meet your agent, you want her to recognize you.

Which brings up the next important point, if the agent rejects you, you should visit her office in person to ask why. That's another reason to include the right photo.

allen

Also drawings of all your characters. Maybe even photos of people who LOOK like them. You want the agent to have a clear picture of the characters. Subjectivity--what's that?!

maestrowork
03-24-2006, 07:24 AM
Have sex with your agent or editor.

kristie911
03-24-2006, 08:19 AM
Have sex with your agent or editor.

That falls under bad advice? Damn...back to the drawing board.

Dawno
03-24-2006, 08:32 AM
Ya. . . I know a lot of writers who are heroine addicts. . .

I don't know if this was deliberate or the best typo of the day. If it's a typo then Weren gets "Dawno's best typo of the day" award.

cool_st_elizabeth
03-24-2006, 08:43 AM
In your cover letter, be sure to include several paragraphs about the boring stuff you left out of your novel to keep it under 200,000 words ... you want the agent to be sure you've done your homework. This is where details like the protagonist's job description, exercise and pill regimen, lists of cancelled checks, etc. would go.

And here's a really cute idea -- if you have an old report card from grade school with a comment about your budding writing skills, clip it to the top of your cover letter!

AdamH
03-24-2006, 10:14 AM
Send out your notebook full of all the "other ideas" you have for stories with your manuscript to show that you're more than a one-trick pony. That'll woo them.

I know it's been mentioned but it can't be stressed enough: Have sex with your agent or editor.

PattiTheWicked
03-24-2006, 05:56 PM
No wonder I don't have an agent yet. I'm not putting out for the right people.

:::scratches a bunch of names off To Do list:::

Yeshanu
03-24-2006, 05:59 PM
Also drawings of all your characters. Maybe even photos of people who LOOK like them. You want the agent to have a clear picture of the characters. Subjectivity--what's that?!
For fantasy writers:

If you still have the old D&D character sheets you based your characters on, you can send those too. Make sure you mention that you've included as background info in the novel every single adventure your character has been on.


More bizarre advice, but this really works:

A friend on this board (who shall remain nameless) and I are currently using our Sims2 legacies to write stories. My friend just PM'd me to tell me that it's better for her writing than the writing software she bought. So play Sims2. A lot. It'll help your writing.

Roger J Carlson
03-24-2006, 06:08 PM
No wonder I don't have an agent yet. I'm not putting out for the right people.

:::scratches a bunch of names off To Do list:::Gives a whole to meaning to: To Do List.

awatkins
03-24-2006, 06:20 PM
Use lots of punctuation!!!! How will the editor recognize the exciting bits if you don't????? And don't forget to use lots of ........ when you get stuck for descriptions or dialog!!!!!!!! And never, ever start sentences with the word and!!!!!!! Why???? Who cares??? Be creative - make up your own rules!!!! The editor will appreciate your ability to think on your feet!!!!

PattiTheWicked
03-24-2006, 06:33 PM
When one of your characters says something really funny in your mansuscript, add an "LOL" or a smiley. That will show the editor you have a sense of humor.

Roger J Carlson
03-24-2006, 06:42 PM
When one of your characters says something really funny in your mansuscript, add an "LOL" or a smiley. That will show the editor you have a sense of humor.Ooooo. What a good idea! It will also show that you are "hip" and "with it" (to use the current vernacular). Above all else, the publishing industry is anxious to accept rapid change and has a tendency to jump on every new bandwagon. So...

Even if they SAY they don't accept email submissions, they really do. Send your manuscript as an attachment in simultaneous emails to every agent or editor in the house. Everybody uses email today and the agent or publisher is more than willing to print out a copy of your manuscript for you.

maestrowork
03-24-2006, 06:47 PM
Write your query with 1337 7@11<.

Dawno
03-24-2006, 06:51 PM
The big publishing companies are all publicly held. Buy a share of stock in each one. Then get the annual report and find the names of the board members. When you don't get a quick response to your query, be sure to write the board about it, mentioning that as a shareholder you expect better service.

maestrowork
03-24-2006, 06:55 PM
Publishers are going to do everything to make you rich. You don't have to do a thing. Just sit down, relax, and collect those big royalty checks, baby!

LloydBrown
03-24-2006, 07:01 PM
After you send in your query, call the agent or editor every day to make sure they got it. Persistence wins points.

maestrowork
03-24-2006, 07:21 PM
Please DO reply with scathing, snarly remarks when an agent or editor sends you a rejection.

Please DO reply with scathing, snarly remarks when someone posts a bad review on your book.

Please DO reply with scathing, snarly remarks when someone gives you an honest critique.

A writer should always speak his or her mind.

awatkins
03-24-2006, 08:04 PM
don't worry about using capital letters. it worked for e.e. cummings.

LloydBrown
03-24-2006, 08:09 PM
Concentrate most of your self-promotion on a free website that allows you to fill in a template. 90% of book sales come from people browsing random sites on the internet, preferably sites that aren't linked or in the top 10,000 search engine hits.

Jaycinth
03-24-2006, 08:20 PM
Gramma always said 'don't put beans in your ears.'

( I have a cousin who took that as a dare.)

Dawno
03-24-2006, 08:27 PM
Concentrate most of your self-promotion on a free website that allows you to fill in a template. 90% of book sales come from people browsing random sites on the internet, preferably sites that aren't linked or in the top 10,000 search engine hits.

Don't forget the catchy music and flash animation! ;)

awatkins
03-24-2006, 08:31 PM
Don't forget the catchy music and flash animation! ;)

And use lots of frames! Everybody loves frames!

JoeEkaitis
03-24-2006, 08:38 PM
Like crosswalk stripes, STOP signs and red lights, the phrase "Agented submissions only" is meant to be ignored. See also: "Closed to submissions" and "Not accepting submissions at this time"

CaroGirl
03-24-2006, 08:41 PM
Use lots of semi-colons. Don't worry about whether you're using them correctly, just having them in your ms makes you look smart. Colons are good too.

Dawno
03-24-2006, 08:45 PM
Editors love writing that contains many subordinate clauses taking you further and further away from the orginal thought, like a mountain stream cascading down to a peaceful lake, surrounded by weeping willows, that provide a sanctuary for the little creatures of the forest beyond, where deer and fox gambol in the meadow, where small children are putting out their picnic lunches under the eyes of watchful nannies who are dressed in starched white shirts and long black skirts which they lift oh so slightly to keep their hems from being dampened in the dew touched grass which is so green it looks like a polished emerald under the noon day sun.

maestrowork
03-24-2006, 08:58 PM
USE CAPS ONLY. THEY DRAW ATTENTION.

Yeshanu
03-24-2006, 09:03 PM
Use the smallest font possible, single-spaced. Why waste paper with double-spaced TNR 12? Paper's expensive, ya know!

JoeEkaitis
03-24-2006, 09:23 PM
Match the font in your query or cover letter to the genre of your submission. God (and Microsoft) gave us all those fonts for a reason, people! Show the editor how witty and clever you are, because nothing breaks up the monotony of screening submissions like a cleverly witty query:

hard-boiled detective novel

wedding planner

humorous short story collection

wacky retro 1960s spoof

tech manual

Victorian period piece

LloydBrown
03-24-2006, 09:36 PM
Bookmarks are *extremely* important, and you should concentrate your efforts on designing the perfect bookmark. After you pay a professional to design one, order the largest amount you can afford (to bring that per-bookmark price down) and leave boxes of them on the counters at local bookstores.

LloydBrown
03-24-2006, 09:37 PM
Find the best artist you can do to your cover before you submit so that the publisher knows exactly how they should approach your novel.

WerenCole
03-24-2006, 09:58 PM
Always put a copyright notice on your manuscripts. That way they'll know you mean business.





© 2006 Roger Carlson


No portion of this post may be reproduced without the poster's consent.


Really?

What you gonna do about it, huh?

maestrowork
03-24-2006, 09:59 PM
Write what you don't know, and don't bother to do research. Nobody would notice.

PattiTheWicked
03-24-2006, 10:10 PM
Really?

What you gonna do about it, huh?

Oh, that reminds me. When an editor or agent rejects you, it's a lot of fun to write back and tell them how much they'll regret it some day when you sell your story to someone else and make a bazillion dollars.

"Haha, Mr. KnowsItAllAgent, who's yo' daddy now? Phhhhttt!!!!"

reph
03-24-2006, 11:37 PM
Remember, if you don't tell the editor how good your book is, she won't know. Your query letter should say how favorably your book compares with the trash her employer usually publishes.

Dawno
03-24-2006, 11:47 PM
Even more helpful than just mentioning the trash is to show her how you could have done it better. Note all the typos with page numbers, especially.

dahmnait
03-25-2006, 12:39 AM
Match the font in your query or cover letter to the genre of your submission. God (and Microsoft) gave us all those fonts for a reason, people! Show the editor how witty and clever you are, because nothing breaks up the monotony of screening submissions like a cleverly witty query:

hard-boiled detective novel

wedding planner

humorous short story collection

wacky retro 1960s spoof

tech manual

Victorian period piece
Don't forget: (hopefully these come through ok)

Children

Stage play


Screen Play

MYSTERY

Futuristic western

Horror

poetry

Dawno
03-26-2006, 12:53 PM
Start posting your Science Fiction or Fantasy novel a paragraph at a time in the comments section of Making Light. Patrick and/or Teresa will be so thrilled they'll beg to help you get a contract with Tor.

Carole
03-26-2006, 06:09 PM
I don't know if this was mentioned before or not, but this is a pearl of wisdom I received early on:

You don't have any publishing credits yet? No worries. You're an interesting person who has lived and interesting life! Fill that bio with details about your husband, your kids and your siblings. Bulk it up with all the places you've lived. Tell them about all the jobs you've held, relevant or not. No agent in their right mind could resist such a well rounded person!

aruna
03-26-2006, 06:26 PM
Send chocolates to get noticed. If the box is really expensive, you might not even need to send the actual MS--they'll be so bowled over by your generosity that they'll take you on the spot.

Use as many words as possible. This makes you look sophisticated and stuff. Never write simple sentences--simple sentence = simple author. Use obscure punctuation. Nobody ever got anywhere by using small words.


To that end, always keep a thesaurus handy at your side, and replace simple words with more sophisticated alternatives. That'll show the agent how clever and educated you are, and that you can write a literary novel that wil win prizes. (You might mention the latter in case she doesn't get it)

LloydBrown
03-26-2006, 07:34 PM
Editors get bored silly reading the same queries for 10 hours a day. Hours and hours of greeting, pitch, description, bio, closing, repeat...

Send yours by singing telegram. They'll remember it forever.

maestrowork
03-26-2006, 07:37 PM
Send yours by singing telegram. They'll remember it forever.

Actually, not a bad idea.

Better yet, send a naked singing telegram. You'll be the talk of the office for years to come.

awatkins
03-28-2006, 01:31 AM
Print out this entire thread, laminate it, and refer to it frequently.

sacredmime
04-06-2006, 07:00 AM
Submit simultaneously.

MrAlex'sMommy
04-06-2006, 12:10 PM
Hmm. . .I was always told to send out queries and MS to agents using signature confirmation or restricted delivery. That way, you know the agent received your submission. If they claim it got lost in the mail, you can produce the confirmation. Don't worry about interrupting your prospective agent's day with deliveries or trips to the post office -- agents like to take breaks. Plus, everyone submits this way -- the agent probably has a ton of other submissions to pick up at the post office other than yours.

Better to be safe than sorry. In any case, the agent will appreciate and respect your professionalism and thoughtfulness. http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif