Bambi Meets Godzilla, (3)

After querying an agent, if they request a copy of your work do you send them something that is not published? I'm not sure if the work you send them is the actual work they will first take if they become your agent or if it is just a sample of your work.

Should one of our first steps be trying to find an agent? I have a short story coming out with an online publisher. I also have a novella finished as well as half of the second novella in the series. Is this too soon to start scoping out agents? I would like to move into print books instead of online but I didn't know if you can do that with novella's or not.

Ok, let's review the concept of a query letter. A query letter asks an agent to consider a specific work. That is the work you will send to them for consideration.

You do not send a query letter saying "will you be my agent"; you send a query letter that says "will you be an agent for this novel/novella/cluebook".

The right time to query an agent is when you have work ready for consideration. Based on your email to me, that is not now.


Kate said...


Anonymous said...

Nitwit 101?

Richard said...

"…cluebook." Hilarious.

salty said...

stomp? nitwit? cluebook?

yep, it's a post that doesn't really illicit a response, yet you feel the need to say something... like we all do

whitemouse said...

Snarklings: Now, now; Miss Snark was actually very nice there. You should be too.

Writer: Good luck with your writing, and I'll add that the best time to go looking for an agent is not only after you've finished a novel, but also after you have educated yourself both on what a legitimate agent is good for, and what sorts of scams non-legitimate agents perpetrate on those writers who haven't educated themselves first. Read Miss Snark's Archives (Index here, thanks to Miss Adventure), and also pop by both Writers Beware and Preditors and Editors.

Also, based on the letter, you've got a few grammar issues to work out before you start submitting your work to agents.

Anonymous said...

I have even less to say, but I just wanted to make note of my word verification:


As in, "I need some hepwzi process of finding an agent."

Sherry Decker said...

Yes, it sounds as if you're new to the writing biz. You need to attend some writing conferences and read some 'how-to' books. Join or start a writing group and get some creative criticism. Taking some classes at a local college would be great, too - they can be very informative when it comes to what writers should know and expect in this harsh world. For instance, don't even think about contacting an agent until you have finished the third draft of an entire novel. Good luck.

Cheryl Mills said...

Not only should you write a novel before querying an agent, you should write several.

bookfraud said...

yes, there are a few grammar issues to be worked out before the writer gets the novella's published. not that i'm one to talk about clean copy.

lizzie26 said...

It took me three read-throughs to figure out what s/he was trying to ask.

Yes, you need to complete the novel first.

Yes, you query about that particular novel.

Read as many books as you can on writing. Also brush-up on grammar. Very, very important.

Never pay agents upfront. Go with a legitimate agency. Use www.aar-online.org and www.agentquery.com

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

"There are no stupid questions, only uninformed ones. There are many stupid answers."--My Mommie

"But Mom, Anna asks stupid questions all the time."--Me

Dear Writer,

Welcome to the world of the strange. No one who writes is perfectly normal. The world of writing is an unloving, unsolvable puzzle. May you be published by a Big House and not be sent to one. May you make a bazillion dollars. May your work become a classic. And may you never have to face a room full of fifth-graders who know more than you.

Anonymous said...

Hey kid, if you can write the grammar will come. Don't stress. And as for getting a clue; that will come too. And don't worry about being called a Nitwit; that is the least of what I've been called. Just keep doing what you're doing.

Cheryl Mills is probably right about writing more than one book. I know that's been right for me. It's a process.

I know, my grammar sucks and I can't punctuate worth a damn. Who cares.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kid, that post was me.

Georgia Girl

M. G. Tarquini said...

As in, "I need some hepwzi process of finding an agent."

That comment sent the coffee coating my screen. Thanks soooo much, Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

When my niece was an undergraduate at Princeton, she took a creative writing class with Joyce Carol Oates. My niece is now in a medical residency and hasn't written a thing since that class. Yet she agonizes over getting an agent as if that's the key to success.

Obviously confused about the process as is the person who sent this letter to her snarkness. Or did I miss a step somewhere?

Anonymous said...

Dear Miss Snark,
Will you be my Valentine?
George Clooney

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Dear Miss Snark,

Ask the anonymous posting as Clooney for ID and for proof of insurance. Also ask him if he likes goats, double dates, and if he's ever read Hudson's Green Mansions.

If he's read Green Mansions, ask him if he knows how the forest pixie [I'm sure she was really a pixie] managed to wear a spider-web dress.

Get back to me with the answers, and we'll see if this is the real Clooney, or just a loonie.

Brady Westwater said...

For purposes of medical research, how many bottle of Zoloft did Miss Snark ingest before responding to that letter?

Dr. Quack, M.D. said...