How Not To Land An Agent!

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Post by Guest »

(not an exhaustive list)
  1. Querying self-published material. -unless the book has sold thousands and thousands of copies in which case they'll probably come to you, why would an agent want to try and sell a book to a publisher that the public already isn't buying?
  2. Querying unfinished fiction. -sure, for non-fiction several sample chapters and a rock-solid proposal can do, but if it's a novel it needs to be finished. And not 'hot off the presses first draft' finished. Written, rewritten, washed through critique partners and beta readers, written again and made as good as anything you've ever crafted in your life
  3. Having a wordcount that's insanely high (or low) -there are expected standards in the literary world for a first book from an unknown author. Get way outside those and nobody will be interested
  4. MC waking up on the first page
  5. MC looking in a mirror on the first page
  6. Prologues (seriously; had a screenshot for awhile where an agented writer said 'My agent refuses to rep a book with a prologue' probably because 99.999% of such are infodumps that add nothing to the narrative. You have to hook on the first page. -from a former agent's assistant "I could only read the first page or until the first spelling or grammatical error. If it didn't grab me on the first page, it was discarded."
  7. Trolling FB groups asking if anybody knows an agent
  8. If by some random chance someone in a FB group admits to being an agent, immediately asking them to represent your novel
  9. If you've asked the random FB agent to represent your novel and they admit they only work with non-fiction, saying "Non-fiction is stupid"
  10. Cute Queries. -"It was shocking how many people would ignore the instructions in order to get noticed. Weird fonts. Glitter or confetti in the envelope. Colored paper. Query letters written on cloth/fake leather/brown paper bag with burnt edges. Any submission that did not strictly adhere to the rules was immediately rejected"
  11. Scattershot sending the same query letter to every agent in the world
  12. Responding angrily to rejections
It's a business relationship. Treat such in a professional way (research who is accepting unsolicited manuscripts in the vein of the story you have to offer, write a professional query letter, include exactly what their submissions requirements ask for and NOTHING they do not) and you will receive professional responses 

Post by Angelina »

One would think every single point you made would be common sense.
Alas, sense isn’t all that common…

Post by Lisa »

You are not wrong.
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