Duck and Cover

A Snarkling who might want to open her umbrella to avoid the shitstorm about to fall on her head innocently inquires:

An editing client and I are both wondering whether it's necessary anymore to send a novel synopsis at any point in the query process - for example, if the agent or editor requests only a partial ms?

Did s/he ask for it?
Yes..then send.
No...then don't.

I've said it before, now I'll jump up and down and say it: send what they ask for.

Normally I'd not be jumping up and down but people send me the weirdest, stupidest, most god awful stuff. I swear they not only have no clue about how small our offices are, they don't have clue about presentation skills.

No videos. I don't have a television or a vcr in my office. Silly me, I know.

Nothing with glitter! I can't tell you how humiliating it is to show up at a business lunch and discover you have glitter on your blouse.

Nothing with food. I swear to god, we had the exterminator in twice before we figured out some moronic nitwit asswipe had sent COOKIES in a package. Roaches in NYC are a fact of life. They are not welcome tenants here in the office. Anyone who causes them to think they are welcome is automatically excluded from representation even if he has a first hand account of Jesus and the Sermon on the Mount.

By it's very nature a list of what not to send will give some moronic nitwit asswipe the idea it's ok to send something since it wasn't on the DO NOT SEND list.
Thus the rule is: SEND ONLY WHAT THEY ASK FOR.

You can lower your umbrella now, the storm has abated.


Bonnie Calhoun said...

Wow!!!I put up MY umbrella! Thank you Miss Snark. I will copy this post in size 50 type and paste it to the wall beside my desk, so that I will never, ever, make THAT mistake!

E. Dashwood said...

Agents aren't always explicit about what they want. My agent doesn't have a web page and their listing in directories just kind of says they accept queries and include an SASE. This meant I could just send the whole proposal, which worked.

When there are explicit requirements, I sometimes went beyond--e.g., including some sample pages when they asked for a letter only. I found that if an agent is interested, he or she will forgive you for violating their desires.

In re to another point. I always sent my proposal plain vanilla, but professional--the conventional wisdom. Imagine my surprise when I saw my agent's first revision. There on the cover, graphics. Discrete, understated graphics but graphics nonetheless.

Christa M. Miller said...

Mostly I asked because no one ever seems to mention synopses. Also, Writers' Market discusses book proposals only in terms of nonfiction. I thought they'd become irrelevant, but apparently not?

Demented M said...

So that would be a no on the bottle of gin then? And you don't want the nude photos of Mr. Clooney? Dayum. I got arrested taking those! :)