A writer friend of mine *waves* is compiling a list of myths about agents for an upcoming workshop. Since we have quite a diverse group reading along here at this point, I thought it might be fun to see what people came up with. Based on yesterday’s post, I’m adding:

“…the editor/agent is likely not to remember who they met at the conference or remember what they asked for…” (thank you, writersweekend)

I was intending to respond to some of those comments but today is turning hectic (er, more hectic). So I’ll just say…. I know it’s possible that I won’t remember everyone I meet at a conference, but when I meet with someone for a pitch session, not only do I write down whether I asked for anything or not and what that material might have been, I additionally make a note of it on the back of the business card I hand to them. (And if it’s a less formal meeting, I write it down on the back of a business card and keep a copy for myself.) So, it’s possible the person in question was just excited and made a mistake, but I tend to find it unlikely given my careful approach to such things. Of course, not everyone has my overdeveloped system, so the above myth may be true of some agents or editors.

Many of the other comments covered a number of very good points, almost all of which are elements of the feeling that I think I get when something I didn’t ask for shows up. Personally, I very much enjoyed stevethorn‘s reasons.

11 responses to “

  1. All agents like chocolate.

  2. An agent or an editor is happy to be approached in the washroom of a convention and be handed a whole mss while performing their ablutions (this courtesy of my editor).

  3. If an agent lists submissions guidelines on her website these are mere guidelines and not meant to be taken literally. You should feel free to ignore them and call her up to chat about the complete novel you’re about to send her.

  4. Handy mailing tip: when in doubt, ADD GLITTER!

  5. Editors automatically buy whatever agents offer to them. In fact, they frequently ask agents (when they go out for drinks together in downtown Manhattan after work at precisely 5pm) if the agents have anything for them.
    I couldn’t even type that with a straight face…

  6. Agents are only out to get their best clients published and are never going to take on an unknown.
    Agents steal novel ideas from unpubbed writers to hand over to their pubbed writers.
    Agents will spell and grammar check your manuscript for you.
    Zhaneel

  7. As an unpubbed aspiring writer, one of the myths I see prevalent among my peers is the notion that signing with an agent (ANY AGENT) is tantamount to making a sale.

    • myths
      Oh, I’ll second what randyjean said. I know an unpubbed author who has spent over $1000 in fees to her agent (photocopying, shipping, etc.). She claims she would have spent that anyway. In two years, she hasn’t sold a book. I’ve been submitting for three years, and I’m nowhere near that amount of money!! (unless she’s been submitting to Zimbabwe??)
      So I guess the myth I’ll add is that all fees are legitimate….
      -Michelle
      http://www.michellewillingham.com

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