Dear Miss Snark:
I've heard of agents and publishers Googling prospective authors' names to see if they can turn up any information about that person.
Well, today I decided to search the Internet to see what someone looking for information about me would turn up. Much to my surprise, the first thing to pop up was a news story about a California criminal who happens to share my name. Other people who share myname include a soldier, a Hollywood businessman, an improv musician, an editor for a telecom newsletter, a fictitious character in a British horror movie, and many others. Clearly, some of these characters would have a better shot at publication than others.
How do people who do their research on Google go about weeding through these results? Would the petty thief with the same name as me hurt my chances at getting published?
Ya, agents are so feeble-minded that when they google "nervous nitwit" and get 129,000 hits, they know it's ALL about you babe.
Ya think maybe agents have figured out that there is more than one Nervous Nitwit in the world and maybe they throw in an extra search term like "feeble minded" or "book" or something from your query letter?
Nahh...we get 129,000 hits that say you're fictional, and a thief, and a worst of all..a musician, you're toast.