Thursday, December 4, 2008

How Not to Submit to an Agent

A truly amazing combination of nerve and idiocy here, via Cleolinda on LJ.

Someone faked up an e-mail from an agent (who'd rejected them) to make it look like they were sending a requested partial. And then sent chapters 4-6 of the book. [blinkblink]

Seriously, just how stupid-newbie do you have to be to not know that a partial is always the first three chapters?? Although I guess that goes with being dumb enough to think an agent won't remember that they didn't request anything from you in the first place. Good grief....

Angie

17 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

They need a tv show called "World's Dumbest Writers" to do this one justice.

Angie said...

Charles -- seriously, LOL! Except only writers would get it, because non-writers would be going, "Hey, that's a great idea!" :D

Angie

writtenwyrdd said...

I bet if she checked the file with her antivirus before deleting it would have had a worm or something. Or, probably not. The person probably was dumb enough to think she'd actually read chapters 4-6 'on accident.'

Angie said...

WW -- I hadn't even thought of the worm or virus angle. :/ It just sounded to me like a totally clueless newbie who thought he/she was being all clever at sneaking a partial in to the agent. Whatever the point was, though, it was stupid either way. [wry smile]

Angie

Ello said...

Ummmmm. huh. I seriously don't have a comment for that one. It's kind of too dumb and nervy to be funny even.

laughingwolf said...

not sure, angie, but being stupid is NOT illegal, is it?

...though it SHOULD be

Angie said...

Ello -- that's okay, if you just want to shake your head and maybe smack 'em around a little, that works too. Me, I have no problem laughing at this depth of stupidity. So you smack (or lecture, or whatever) and I'll point and laugh, and maybe between us we can get them to realize what they did wrong. ;D

LW -- there should be some penalty for this level of stupid, definitely. [nodnod]

Angie

Merry Monteleone said...

I saw this when it was posted, too... I don't think you can teach someone like this what they did wrong... they think there's a trick to getting through the door and spend all sorts of time trying to scam their way in instead of writing a better novel.

Angie said...

Merry -- you might be right, but I'm going to keep mocking them anyway and hope it helps. If not, it's still entertaining. [wry smile]

Seriously, though, it's amazing how many people seem to still think that there's some trick to getting published, that it couldn't possibly be that their so-shiny manuscript just isn't up to snuff. I wonder if these are the same people who join writing workshops and then get mortally offended when they're given concrit...? :P

Angie

Lana Gramlich said...

Ah, but were it not for the idiots, wouldn't life be a lot more dull, really? *LOL*

Angie said...

Lana -- oh, definitely! I'm certainly willing to keep them around for the entertainment value! [wry smile]

Angie

spyscribbler said...

ROFLMAO! Oh well, what can you do? And also, if Chapters 4-6 aren't integral to the story, then cut them! LOL!

PS: You're on full feed, no worries. :-)

Angie said...

SS -- I don't think it matters too much what this particular writer does to their book. [wry smile]

And good; I must've done something wrong way back when, which it turns out is just as well, LOL! :D

Angie

Shauna Roberts said...

In defense of the Idiot, luck and having connections are sometimes just as important as having a good ms. Many agents explicitly say they aren't considering new clients EXCEPT PEOPLE RECOMMENDED BY THEIR CURRENT CLIENTS. For those agents, clearly the quality of the book is not the top consideration in taking on new clients.

Angie said...

Shauna -- that's true. But it's still up to the individual to decide how they want to do business. If an agent says referrals only, then it's referals only and the rest of us can keep looking elsewhere. And if I were an agent, I certainly wouldn't want to do business with someone who thinks lying and falsification of a document (does e-mail count as a document? LOL!) is a valid business technique. [wry smile]

When agents use that sort of restriction to cut down on the flow of slush, I think it's usually because they're already pretty full and they don't want to have to spend all that time reading through random pitches. Maybe they have enough business to keep them hopping and don't want to hire help for whatever reason. I can respect an agent who wants to be sure they have time to do a good job for all their clients, rather than just signing more and more and more until some start getting short shrift.

At any rate, while I can understand this person's frustration (although I can't imagine they've tried with all that many agents before, if they still don't know that a partial is chapters 1-3) I still don't think anything excuses the deception.

Angie

Shauna Roberts said...

Angie, I'm 100% with you on the dishonesty aspect. That was certainly inappropriate and unprofessional. But I can understand how that writer got the idea that the whole agent search process is a game full of traps and that one can only win by playing games oneself.

Angie said...

Shauna -- there are certainly some bitter people out there who believe it, and I can easily imagine some newbie coming along and meeting up with the wrong people or stumbling across the wrong blogs and getting the idea that an adversarial attitude is standard between writers and agents. I just hope that whoever it is learns from this and straightens out. It'd be sad if it turns out the person really is a good writer, or has the potential for it, but manages to tank their career before it ever has a chance to germinate. :/

Angie