Miss Snark Gets the Chalkboard and the John Madden suit

Howdy Miss Snark!

Heart the blog! Heart you! Heart Killer Yap!

Can you give us some insight on exactly HOW an agent shops a manuscript? For example, let's say you've just signed on with a new writer, Jennifer Hotshit. What's the first thing you do? Do you have an "A" list of editors at big houses you approach first and, if they don't bite, proceed to the "B" tier? Do you have your stiletto on the pulse of what specific people are looking for so you only approach those select editors, whether they're at a big house or
small press? And (although I'm pretty sure the answer to this is a dumbfounded "uh...NO") do you share your gameplan with Jennifer?

Hope you've got the time to answer this. Thanks much!

First thing I do is write a cover letter and from that talking points. Then I call up a select list (ha--aka..anyone I think will buy this) of editors and tell them what a great opportunity is about ready to land on their desk. Amazingly some editors, clearly deranged, pass. Fools! Fools!

Then, if I don't sell it on a preempt, an auction or on the first round, I keep going until everyone in the Free World has seen it. Then I change the title, call it "experimental fiction" and shop it again.

And I do tell my authors where it's going if they ask. I just don't ask for their opinions. (and no crap about that ok?...that topic has been done to death in 79999 earlier posts, if you disagree, well, ok, don't sign with my agency)


dink said...

Miss Snark wrote:
"Then I change the title, call it "experimental fiction" and shop it again."

hahahaha I love this! :-D I'm not much into hearting peeps or pups but well ...yanno

Miss P AKA Her Royal Cliqueness said...

Forgive my ignorance, but what's a "preempt?"

Anonymous said...

It's been covered before a couple of times; I just did a quick search:

If something is sold on "a preempt" it means the acquiring editor coughed up enough money to keep everyone else out of the game.


Simon Haynes said...

First thing you ask is whether she's considered a pseudonym.

SherryD said...

I can't believe that some writers are so confident (ignorant) that they think they know more than their agent and make suggestions as to where to send it. Idiots. Maybe they missed their calling? They should be agents instead of writers? Sorry, I'm in a piss poor mood.

Anonymous said...

You mean you don't change its category to memoir? Miss Snark, you're missing a sure thing!!!!