As an agent's assistant, and the reader of all slush, can you do me a favor? Can you do a post about NOT calling agents? For some reason I've gotten way more calls lately, and it's driving me crazy. I'm about to start messing up the phone messages because of the pc screening...they try all these little tricks to get to my boss, who bites my head off if I let them through.
Also, as long as you're taking requests, can you do an "assistants are good people" post? I'm tired of authors trying to "get past" the assistant, and I wish they understood that my boss, at least, doesn't see a manuscript until I've read it and decided to pass it on to him. Trying to get right to him without going through me guarantees that I'll reject.
Don't call a literary agency for anything other than fact verification. Example "Is Miss Snark alive and well and taking written queries"; "is your mailing address still 666 Rue de La Snark"; "do you prefer a twenty dollar bill or two tens"?
Don't call to ask what kind of query they want.
Don't call to introduce yourself and let them know you've sent a query.
Don't call to ask why your query was rejected.
Don't call. Don't call. Don't call.
If you see some nitwit in the comment column say "I called and it worked out" DO NOT CALL.
You are not the exception to this rule.
And be nice to the person who answers the phone. In a busy agency that person is the one who'll see your work. If you are a condescending nitwit, you will be rejected with great pleasure.
There are lots of ways to shoot yourself in the font. At least let your writing be the reason someone says no.