Saturday, March 23, 2013

10 Ways NOT To Get An Agent: Guest post by Eric Ruben

My awesome literary agent, Eric Ruben was kind enough to visit my blog and share the ways authors ruin their chances for landing an agent.

Agent cat says: "Follow Submission Guidelines!"

"Ten Ways NOT to Get an Agent" by Eric Ruben

1. Send a query that violates the agent’s submission guidelines. 

This tells an agent that you are either lazy or arrogant.

2. Send a query or manuscript with spelling or grammatical errors. 

This tells the agent not that you're uneducated, but that you have no eye for detail.

3. Send a lot of emails. 

This shows you to be high maintenance and without a clue as to an agent’s daily workload.

4. Call. 

This shows you don’t understand how agents work and that you need a lot of attention.

5.  Talk poorly of an agent on social media or be complicit by forwarding or retweeting negative comments. 

This tells us you are not business savvy and untrustworthy.

6.  Misbehave at a conference. 

Get drunk, loud, obnoxious and/or fight. There IS such a thing as bad publicity.

7.  When meeting us, make us uncomfortable with over-familiarity or inappropriateness.  

This let’s us know we have zero chemistry.

8. Bad mouth other authors. 

This shows us you do NOT play well with others.

9.  Complain about the business. 

This lets us know you will be a problem client and hard to handle.

10.   Finally, don’t work your craft. Don’t understand the art form or seek to improve. Send us mediocre work at a time when even great work is hard to sell.

  I really don’t want anyone to do these things. It’s my hope that this list helps people see some ways to actually GET an agent.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I like the "what not to do" format because you can go through and go "nope, nope, nope huhhh at least I'm doing some things right."