widgets anyone?

Here’s an interesting one…. I got an e-query, which is always sort of interesting because my personal website doesn’t encourage them and the DMLA website says we only answer them if we’re interested — unfortunate, but necessary, because the volume of them far outweighs what we get in paper form. Though perhaps I shouldn’t admit it, I’ll once in a while glance through them because sometimes a client will pass on a referral that arrives via email, which is a different thing entirely in my book. But, I digress. The actual reason this one caught my eye (besides it’s extraordinary length and it’s complete lack of showing any research into me at all — it’s a non-fiction self-help book)…. it claims to come with an offer on the table and affirms that the agent who represents them will get a full commission on this book, but — and here’s the catch — only if they will help secure an offer for the next book within 18 months. Not impossible to do. But quite improbable to guarantee. Even if I was going to represent this sort of project, such a proviso would change my mind. And, of course, though the email goes into great detail about a great many things, including the criterion the future publisher must meet, it doesn’t name the publisher. Go fig.

9 responses to “widgets anyone?

  1. Wow… That’s got to take some guts. *boggles at people*

  2. Vanity press? In any cas,damn arrogant and foolish.
    The only situation I could imagine approaching someone like you with a non-fiction book would be (1) I have an offer on the non-fiction book and (2) I have at least one (unsold/unrepresented) fiction book completed that is your genre.

    • Yeah, sounds like they’re trying to play hardball when all they’ve got is the free nerf football that they picked up at their local home show.
      I don’t know how the industry works, but there’s nothing to make me think it would work like that.

  3. You know, it surprises me that the majority of queries you get are email ones. The website only mentions it as an afterthought (and yours doesn’t mention it at all). For some reason, I suppose I thought that paper would get lost in the shuffle and e-queries would be fewer-and-far-betweener. *grin*
    Shows how much I know, eh?

  4. e-queries
    Well,
    One of the reasons you might be getting so many email queries is because the DMA and you in particular are listed in several online writing websites as accepting them.
    Unfortunately, I’m one of those who sent out an email query. I use Karen Fox’s website as a sort of pipeline to the latest market news.
    Karen has a whole section on agents– what they specialize in, what they are looking for–submission guidlelines and such. She also posts websites and email address. I’d been following your sales for a while, was familar with your client list and planned on querying you as soon as my WIP was ready to go.
    When the time came I checked her site for your addy, visited your webpage. Even checked out your submissions page to make sure it matched what Karen’s site had down. Somehow–God knows how– I totally misread that bit you had about E-queries. I think its because I’d just read on her site that you took them, so when I saw e-queries on your submissions page I just sort of skimmed it, and didn’t really notice what it said. In anycase, I found this blog through a friend and it was only then that I realized you didn’t want them.
    Anyway– long story, I know. But your name and agency is listed on several sites I’ve visited, as encouraging Email Queries. Plus– your email addy is listed right there too. So I imagine that’s where the biggest share of these queries are coming from.
    My apologies, btw– I should have paid more attention. I’ve since sent a snail-mail query in.
    Theresa Monsey

    • Re: e-queries
      There are even sites online that still list the address the agency was located at several years ago. And I’m sure if we move again, it will take a while for people to update. I used to try and email all the site owners to make sure their information was current, but it gets away from me.
      As for the e-queries…. what really happened is that we started getting them without saying we were accepting them. Probably because someone lifted our email address from the website or from Publisher’s Marketplace or something like that and just listed it. So, we had to decide on a policy. And, the official one is: “due to the volume of e-mails that we get, we will respond only if we are interested in reading more of your material or if we want to discuss representation.” Or, at least so it says on the DMLA website, which does have instructions about submitting them, so technically we do accept them.
      One of the interesting thing that seems to happen is that people apparently never go to our actual site and see our statement. So, we end up getting repeated emails asking for replies.
      I suppose I really should update my own site to reflect the company line. I’m in the middle of attempting to redesign it and it’s slow going.

      • E-queries
        I’m always wary of querying by e-mail for agents or publishers (Avon, in particular). I have this theory that there is an auto-generated rejection response. 🙂 The queries are sucked into a vacuum of cyber-space, never to be read by human eyes….
        -Michelle

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