1.24.2007

The Usual Suspects

Miss Snark,
A friend mentioned to me the other day that her agent 'queried' a publisher the other day and never heard back from them. The same agent has also mentioned a few times that she has sent 'blind' submissions to editors at the publishing house that she does not know, but someone suggested said editor might like it.

Is this a bad thing? I was under the impression that you got an agent because of their connections, so I'm puzzled as to why an agent would send blind submissions. Am I making too much out of this?


First, unless your friend is unhappy with her agent, it doesn't matter.

However. It may be that there's just a "translation lapse" here. When I talk to my clients I sometimes use the word "query an editor" because my clients understand "query" to mean finding out if an editor is interested. My querying of editors doesn't much resemble your query to an agent. Think poodles and goats. Both quadrapeds. Both regulars on the blog. Both with distinct voices, but they don't sound like each other and you can tell the difference just by looking.

As for blind submission, again, my first response is the agent is using vocabulary the client can relate to. I send stuff to editors I don't know very well all the time. My colleagues give me referrals, I call up editors from Media Bistro interviews and PW articles ALL the time. When you become an agent you aren't issued a list of contacts and that's it. You are constantly building your pool of pals in publishing. I've sold things to people I don't know at all. The difference is mostly those editors want to hear from me cause they know I've got something good to sell (whether they buy it is a different question).

So yes, you are worrying about the wrong end of the stick. I'm much more inclined to fret about agents who AREN'T reaching past their known list of suspects than I am about agents who are.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can't help but wonder if her agent isn't giving out too much information, and too soon, about the process of shopping a manuscript.

While this never happens here, on Miss Snark's blog, you see it on other blogs and have to wonder what these agents are thinking.

Anonymous said...

"translation lapse"...

"Sorry but your manuscript wasn't right for me. It exsanguinated!"

Haste yee back ;-)