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Packing Heat - Agent Awe

This week's podcast is about the perceived power imbalance in the publishing industry. What if we authors thought about agents and editors like we thought about our chiropractors and accountants--professionals who can do us good, but no one we lie awake at night being nervous about meeting.

Although I do get a little nervous meeting with my accountant at times :D


Sweet! I have two YAYs this week:
Clare London's book Freeman is out at MLR Press. It's available in paperback and ebook. Yay, Clare!!

Merrie's been listening to Packing Heat since episode one, and she just landed herself an agent. YOU GO GIRL!

Agent Awe

I think we hold agents and editors in awe because we perceive a power imbalance that exists in the relationship when you're a new and unproven author. Really, both the author and the agent or editor should ultimately be on equal footing. You're both professionals in a mutually beneficial relationship. If it helps you keep your head screwed on right, perhaps you could think of a potential agent or editor as a potential real estate agent or chiropractor. Sure, you'd want them to be good at their profession, but you wouldn't lie awake at night hoping you'd impressed them.

Query Letters

1. Target - Make sure you're a good fit with the agency or publisher you're querying. An email blast to 1000 markets is a waste of everyone's time.

2. Personalize - Do your best to address your query to a specific person. And, for heaven's sake, never address anything "Dear Sir." Evidently it sends certain agents to the moon. (Alternately: address everything "Dear Sir" and weed out the freaks you don't want to work with anyway.)

3. About You - Be careful not to ramble when you tell them about yourself.

4. (bonus tip) First and Best - Never, ever, ever, ever mention how many times your story has been rejected. Pretend you're submitting it for the first time, and that agent or editor was your top pick.

Permalink: http://packingheat.net/2009/04/07/packing-heat-048-agent-awe.aspx


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 9th, 2009 09:30 pm (UTC)
Off-topic comment
I was checking Samhain's tweets today and I saw Sasha Knight mention that you have a book called Hemovore coming out soon. Dude, you did not even share >_>

I really love the title. It's so creative! If your books weren't already on my auto-buy list, that title alone would've sold me!

And I'm happy that you signed on with Samhain. They're my favorite publisher. For one, you can actually find their paperbacks in bookstores. I buy so very few print books that it's just not worth it to order online with delivery costs. I recently got a Sony ereader (dark blue - it's really nice!) so I might not even be buying print books at all anymore. But at least I know the option's there if did I want to get Hemovore in print. XP

Post summary & excerpt soon?
Apr. 10th, 2009 08:16 am (UTC)
Summary and excerpt? Nah, I just thought I'd be coy and not mention it at all, hee hee....

I'm scared to post excerpts until I've edited further. We'll have at least two cutting room floor scenes, for sure. Hooray for your Sony ereader! I think I will probably invest in an eink device sometime soon. Right now they're so proprietary, but I'll bet within three years they become more universal in the formats they'll read. (You can get two of my freebies in Sony format at SmashWords.com.)

I'll bet owning an ereader will be like owning an iPod for me. Initially I thought, "What would I need that for?" and now I miss it when it's not close at hand, and it's totally changed the way I think of music, like a giant, evolving mix tape rather than a stack of CDs.
Apr. 10th, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Off-topic comment
someone needs to join the Yahoo Group...

Just sayin' ;)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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