Yet another way to spend your money

I recently discovered a website where the company claims to connect writers to agents It seems to be legitimate, however, I was wondering what your expert opinion is of such services.

I did a quick check of the archives and didn't find this question addressed. (If it has been please forgive me.)

You'd think with the amount of howling I do about bad query letters I'd be all in favor of something like this. I'm not. I think it's important to write your own query letter and send it to me directly. I don't like dealing with these kinds of services. I like seeing you, your pink kitten letterhead and your glitterati fonts. It tells me what you're about.

I also think it's important that you know how to talk about your book and the best way to do that is to write your own good query letter.

These guys aren't scam artists, they do what they say they do. I've gotten a couple letters from them, and (sadly) about sixty gazillion emails. Besides for what they charge, you can query everyone in the 212 twice.


Dave Kuzminski said...

Read their success page carefully. Observe the wording which I'm quoting here: "In some cases, the clients found agents who sold their book; in other cases, the clients contacted the publishers directly; and in many cases, the clients did both, and the agents they found through a query handled the follow-up. Also, in many cases (but not all?), we wrote the query for them which helped to open the door. Whatever the case, here are some recent big successes."

Emphasis and question in parenthesis are mine. Based on their wording, they appear to be claiming successes that they might not have actually caused. Careful thought before engaging their services is advised

Ann Aguirre said...

I think the most important fact to take away from that website is that despite the claim:

we provide a preliminary screening, and if someone has a project that sounds terrible, we would turn them down

They accepted a novel called MANROOT.

Do we really need to say more?

Anonymous said...

I just steered a fellow writer away from that very site. Non-scam or not, they charge an awful lot for use of their information that can be had for free, and you still end up having to write your own query letter (with their "guidance").

Simon Haynes said...

I like seeing you, your pink kitten letterhead and your glitterati fonts.

And if they send you something like this you don't have to waste time reading the actual letter.

Anonymous said...

With respect to Miss Snark, doing "what they say they do" doesn't necessarily mean it's not basically a scam. I'm not saying they are scammers, but that's way to forgiving a stance, IMHO...

Stacia said...

They accepted a novel called MANROOT.

Do we really need to say more?

No, unless it's a biography of revolutionary fighter Manroot Resse, who I just made up, or maybe incredibly tall ex-basketball star Manroot Boll, who was actually named Manute but it sounds funny to say Manroot.

Either way, it's not a good title.

Anonymous said...

At least its not 'Manrot'.

Okay, okay, its just as bad.

Recently, I read a sworm of those editor-writen 'how to become a published author' books. Its all a jumble now, so I can't recall which book it was, but the author-editor did say that these query-sending companies are not a good idea. They bunch up their clients' books, so there's really a very poor chance of them actually helping.

Sorry to but in again, I just can't help my self.

Anonymous said...

I've read, "If you can write a good book you should be able to write a decent query." Which only stands to reason; the word "good" being of utmost importance. The problem with professional, paid query letters is that they are always better then the book the writer is trying to pitch. I took a workshop with an awful writer (who thought he was spectacular; truly believed this) and read a query letter he ended with this sentence: "Say but the word and lunch I will buy, you bring the tuna and I'll bring the rye." He thought it was "cute" to end his query with this because the agent he was querying, so he'd read, loved to examine manuscripts over lunch. Had this writer paid for a professional query it may have gotten a response, but his book would still be filled with cheesy, cliched cutisms about lunch, tuna and rye. And in the end, though they may have asked for a partial, the book would have been rejected based on the fist sentence. It ain't sex; you can't fake it.