Ah yes, insult me, then ask for a favor...interesting game plan

Hello Miss Snark,

I have recently stumbled onto your blog and find myself wishing I had found it earlier. I find your attitude refreshing, especially in today's world.

I was wondering if you had any agents that you felt would welcome a query letter for a first time wouldbe author? I had written a book about two years ago, but was met with nothing but rejection. I found myself saddened after having put so much time into writing this book. I put the book to rest and went about my life. After a while I took my book out of hiding and reread it. It was garbage and I understood why it failed. I wasn't proud of the content, form or flow of the book, I was proud of the fact that I wrote a book.

I then set out to write a better book. I believe I am finishing that very book (first draft) now, but would love any advice you can give as far as good agents. I know there are hundreds of lists out there with thousands of agents names. But after reading your blog I am left with feelings of corruption within the agent world.

Thank you in advance for any help you may render. Please feel free to tell me to F-Off as I'm sure you get way too many of these e-mails on a daily basis. If you do feel like writing back though, I will gladly come to where you are and bow down and kiss your sky high stiletto's in appreciation.

Miss Snark is not a matchmaker even though Crossing Delancey is good movie (with books!!!).

Nor is she inclined to feel favorably to someone who writes "after reading your blog I am left with feelings of corruption within the agent world" given that -sound of the cluegun being cocked - Miss Snark IS an agent (not to mention that sentence is subject to severe misinterpretation about the location of corruption).

In fact, Miss Snark sincerely hopes this is one of those spoof emails from people who think it's fun to get an faux letter answered.


Dan Lewis said...

But after reading your blog I am left with feelings of corruption within the agent world.

Trans.: "But after reading your blog, I have become wary of scam artists, those vile SOBs who are too low to kiss the ground constantly stabbed by your deadly heels (although, as I am about to explain, I am not)."

Here's my ammo for the cluegun:
Money flows to the author, not the other way around.
Good agents can stand on their sales records.
Read Preditors and Editors.

Kitty said...

Awwwww, Crossing Delancey -- Izzy, Sam the pickle man, and Bubbie -- one of my two favorite Peter Riegert movies. The other is Local Hero.

Anonymous said...

If you're talking about scammers, then say so. They have nothing to do with the real agent world. Real agents are not corrupt. They make money when you do, so it's in their best interest to do their job.

Jude Calvert-Toulmin said...

> In fact, Miss Snark sincerely hopes this is one of those spoof emails from people who think it's fun to get an faux letter answered.

It's an insensitive letter.

One of the common factors amongst great writers is their sensitivity.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Miss Snark, I'm pretty sure the corruption this person speaks of is all of the stuff about the Sobol Awards and the scam agents that you uncover. There has been an awful lot of that on the blog. I really doubt, based on the tone of the rest of the letter, that the person was referring to anything you've said about reputable agents. We LOVE agents because of you!

Anonymous said...

Based on the tone of the letter, I also think this writer referred to scammers and SOBOL awards, and not agents like Miss Snark, who he seems to admire. Chalk it up to not proof-reading his letter.

Which brings me to my point. If your first book had to cool off two years before you realized it was garbage, you might be rushing things with the second. Let it rest for three months while you write something, anything, else.

Spend your downtime reading how-to books, like the new one on mysteries by G.H. Ephron. Go to a conference. Then, after you reread your book and realize it is garbage (all books all are at this point), you'll have some specific tools at hand for fixing it.

Plus you might meet an agent at the conference who'd like a peek at the manuscript.

Good luck, and don't forget to edit your query letters!

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

I'm watching the sunrise. It's a gorgeous pale emerald and gold. Very unusual.

Bill E. Goat: [Inaudible mumbling]

Me: You said something, Bill?

Bill E.: I said Corruption! Corruption! Foul, dirty corruption!

Me: You could use a bath all right...

Bill E.: No no no! I mean it has to be corruption ... corruption in the agent world. I bet none of them are goats. I bet none of them would...

Me: Corrupt agents. Phsaw! What brought this on?

Bill E.: I submitted my new novel, The Great Alpine Buck in the Halls of Valhalla to 25 agents, and they all told me no! It's bloody corruption.

Me: An this book is about?

Bill E: It's about a cute French Alpine doe named Debbie who's been kidnaped by evil trolls and the Great Alpine Buck leaves his home on the top of some mountain or other and goes to find her and rescue her and they kinda mutually seduce each other on ten pages, but not ten pages in a row, and then they head-butt the trolls with the help of the Gruff brothers and retire to the Azores and ... well they raise a family, but all of them are secretly super-hero goats and they have this giant cave full of dried leaves (roughage is important you know) and state of the art computer equipment, and capes. They have lots and lots of capes, mostly because the kids like to chew. ...

Am I boring you with this?

Me: No. Not at all. Yes, I see. It's corruption.

Bill E: I'm glad you agree

Me: I didn't exactly agree.

Anonymous said...

The preditors and editors site is a good one.

But that was a very odd letter. Anyone who says I can tell him or her to F*-off, will suffer the consequences (as Miss Snark has shown).

One of the problems with blogging is that those who read it form the impression that they have a close, personal relationship with the blogger. So when they write, it tends to be casual, rather than the sort of letter you'd write to a CEO who you want to impress.

An agent is a business person. They are not your friend, they're your agent.
It's always easier keep the two separate. Negotiating with a business person is much easier than negotiating with a friend.

RedWritingHood said...

Yikes - I think there is corruption in the offices of corrupt agents, that's about it. It's not hard to spot a scam in any way ... if this writer has actually read this blog they will know the difference between Miss Snark pointing out scams and "corruption within the agent world". I HEART MY AGENT.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Sha'el! It is a shame, that no one wants to publish Billy E's book. There is a definite shortage of goat-spy books on the market...

Me, I'm writing a romance book, about a nut and a fish... It's very sad.

Sal said...

Spend your downtime reading how-to books, like the new one on mysteries by G.H. Ephron.

Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel: How to Knock 'Em Dead With Style

by Hallie Ephron;
Introduction by S. J. Rozan
Writers Digest Books, 9/05;
ISBN 1582973768.

Hallie Ephron is one-half of the G.H. Ephron writing team, the other half being forensic neuropsychologist Donald Davidof.

This 2006 Edgar-nominated (for Best Critical/Biographical book in the mystery field) was written by Hallie Ephron, not the team.

Unknown said...

LOL...I couldn't pass this one up. Usually I only post one comment in 24 hours, simply because I've shot my glue gun off and I'm an idiot, but this letter is really kinda sweet.

No disrepect intended MS, but you have to admit that was a great line!

And yeah, you should be up by the pearly gates, begging the Angel on duty for one last shot of Gin....

Anonymous said...

If for no other reason than a person would have to be imagining things to believe you a corrupt agent from reading your forums, I sincerely doubt you were part of the intended party of that insult. The slight was probably aimed at the scam artists who pretend to be agents rather than legitimate agents like yourself, Miss Snark.

And for jude calvert-toulmin, it's a careless letter for sure, but I wouldn't assume the author insensitive for it. I'm a living testament to the ability for a person to be both extremely offensive and sensitive at the same time. It's called talking too much when you have a conscience that will make you lose sleep for the next three weeks over what's said.