not a query

I just got something that wasn’t a query at all. It was someone wanting to know if I would read their book and review it on my blog. How unexpected (to me anyway — maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised?). And somehow surreal. So, I had to write them back and tell them that I didn’t really review books on my blog and the books I tended to promote were by my clients.

Meanwhile, blogging is likely to be a bit light over the next few weeks. Between conferences, I find myself juggling to a great degree, and it appears that blogging falls low on the triage list. And substantive blogging even lower (or perhaps that’s a function of being too busy to hear myself think). I will try to keep up with at least the query wars. And I’ll plan another Agent Manners session once things get a bit calmer. Thanks everyone for reading and hanging out here. I particularly appreciated all the comments on the right agent, the right author entry.

Feel free to let me know if there are other topics or features you want to see addressed when I have the opportunity to post entries with more depth.

6 responses to “not a query

  1. Actually, one of things of interest is what an author could expect from a response. I’ve gotten things from letters saying “no” in many words, a strip of paper (1.5″ by 8.5″ inches) form letter with “author” and “rejected” circled, and all the way over to a copy of my partial with a post-it that says “Good” and a letter that said “no”. 🙂 And one letter that actually gave something more than just a sentence or two.
    I think its interesting on the full range of responses and wonder how they reflect on the agent/publisher doing them.
    … just an idea.

  2. agents doing book reviews
    My first thought was that this writer hangs out over at Janet Reid’s blog. She often writes about books she loves that are by writers other than her clients. Random writers don’t send books to her though (as far as I know). She gets them as swag or already loves the writer or another agent recommends them or whatever. I’ve found some great reads via her blog. Maybe that’s why this writer thought you might be interested. Who knows?

  3. One thing I’d love to see if you ever felt like it, and if your clients gave permission, would be examples of successful queries, and explanations of why they worked for you. There is a lot of advice floating around out there about how to write a good query, and there are even a few examples, but I would definitely love to see more.

  4. Yes, that’s a very strange request. It doesn’t show a lot of sensitivity to (or even understanding of) how an agent actually spends his/her time, and smacks a little of, y’know, “There’s no way I can get you to read my stuff otherwise but I thought maybe this would work. Does it, huh? does it-does it-does it???”
    Topics… hmm…
    (1) “Notes from the field”: brief conference reports/highlights (I can’t get to just about any cons myself but would like to know more of what they’re about)
    (2) Nuts and bolts: what your workday is like (aside from the topics you normally cover, like this one). E.g., a partial MS comes in, in response to your request; what do you do with it? Read it on-screen, print a hardcopy, mark it up…?
    Well, you asked. 🙂

  5. We understand. Conferences and travelling can tire anyone out. 🙂 Get enough and rest and have fun.
    Topic: I think I’d like to hear more about what works with the writing in pages you read. What turns you off in those first five pages. What makes you want more?

  6. If this person’s novel is published, or will be (forthcoming, not they just want it to be published) they may be looking for some sort of cover blurb. Or, I suppose, they could be looking for some sort of blurb to put on it to send to other agents or editors (or to slap on it if they self publish). I guess agents don’t do book reviews for covers, do they? (And why not, since agents read a ton of stuff and can actually say if it is original, right?).
    Topics: Just ’cause I’m just curious, what are your favorite pre-1950’s classics (any genre).

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