(Humor) 10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to an Agent

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work

(Humor) 10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to an Agent

Postby JonGibbs » 20 May 2011, 08:43

There are lots of great blog posts about how to pitch a novel in a face-to-face meeting with an agent, but sometimes, what you don’t say can be just as important.

With that in mind, I’ve made a list of things writers probably shouldn’t say during an in-person pitch (with special thanks to Bill Mingin, my friend from the GSHW (Garden State Horror Writers), who inspired this post during a pre-meeting chinwag a while back, and also suggested I include #6 on the list).

10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to an Agent During an In-Person Pitch

1: “Before I tell you my story idea, you have to sign this secrecy agreement.”

2: “I’m here to talk to you about the book what I wrote.”

3: “Wow! You look so much older in person.”

4: “Help me agent person. You’re my only hope.”

5: “This is a great conference, don’t you think? Listen, I know you’re on the toilet, but from the sound of things, you’re going to be in there for some time, so while you’ve got a few minutes to spare, please read my first chapter. It’s in the envelope I just slid under the door. No need to rush. I’ll just wait here till you’re done.”

6: “You’ll love having me as a client. I’m great fun to work with. Here, pull my finger.”

7: “I thought about approaching you before, when I follow you to work each morning, or as you collect your kids from school, or when you put the cat out at night, but I know how you agent-types like your privacy.”

8: “You’ll love my book. It’s way better than all that other rubbish you’ve been getting deals for.”

9: “Personally, I think literary agents are nothing but parasites and vultures. Still, since you guys are also the gate-keepers, I suppose I’ll just have to hold my nose and let one of you represent me. Now, about my novel…”

10: ___________________________


I’ve left number ten blank. What would you put on a list of things not to say to an agent during a personal pitch?
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Re: (Humor) 10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to an Agent

Postby Watcher55 » 20 May 2011, 08:52

10: I'm here to save your career. Read this now.
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Re: (Humor) 10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to an Agent

Postby JonGibbs » 20 May 2011, 08:59

"10: I'm here to save your career. Read this now."

Lol, good one :)
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Re: (Humor) 10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to an Agent

Postby Collectonian » 20 May 2011, 09:21

10. This 200,000 word novel is the start of my 20 book series, and I fully expect it will be bigger than Twilight, Harry Potter, even Lord of the Rings! Hollywood is going to be beating down your door to turn them all into films!
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Re: (Humor) 10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to an Agent

Postby taylormillgirl » 20 May 2011, 09:38

I think you'll love my novel's content. I know because I've been watching you.
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Re: (Humor) 10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to an Agent

Postby JonGibbs » 20 May 2011, 10:17

Collectonian wrote:10. This 200,000 word novel is the start of my 20 book series, and I fully expect it will be bigger than Twilight, Harry Potter, even Lord of the Rings! Hollywood is going to be beating down your door to turn them all into films!



If only, right? :)
Born in England, writer, Jon Gibbs, now lives in the USA. He can usually be found hunched over the computer in his basement office. One day he hopes to figure out how to switch it on.

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Re: (Humor) 10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to an Agent

Postby JonGibbs » 20 May 2011, 10:18

taylormillgirl wrote:I think you'll love my novel's content. I know because I've been watching you.


Watching, taking notes, waiting... :)
Born in England, writer, Jon Gibbs, now lives in the USA. He can usually be found hunched over the computer in his basement office. One day he hopes to figure out how to switch it on.

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Re: (Humor) 10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to an Agent

Postby taylormillgirl » 20 May 2011, 11:10

JonGibbs wrote:
taylormillgirl wrote:I think you'll love my novel's content. I know because I've been watching you.


Watching, taking notes, waiting... :)


I'm hearing Sting in my head: "Every breath you take..." lol!
Author of hot & humorous romances, debut novel coming in 2012 from Sourcebooks!
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Re: (Humor) 10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to an Agent

Postby Quill » 20 May 2011, 12:54

10. Any chance you could read my manuscript this weekend, and I could call you Monday?
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Re: (Humor) 10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to an Agent

Postby JonGibbs » 23 May 2011, 11:07

If only, right? :)
Born in England, writer, Jon Gibbs, now lives in the USA. He can usually be found hunched over the computer in his basement office. One day he hopes to figure out how to switch it on.

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Re: (Humor) 10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to an Agent

Postby Quill » 23 May 2011, 12:26

Quill wrote:10. Any chance you could read my manuscript this weekend, and I could call you Monday?

Correction:

10. Any chance you could read my manuscript this weekend, and call me Monday?
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Re: (Humor) 10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to an Agent

Postby jazzlovesnoodles » 24 May 2011, 11:23

I think I should play my main character in the films. And you should play the Love Interest.
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Re: (Humor) 10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to an Agent

Postby RobinWeeks » 28 May 2011, 11:19

10: I queried Mr. Super Agent last month and I'm sure he'll take me on as a client, but just in case he doesn't, you're one of my backups.
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Re: (Humor) 10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to an Agent

Postby StephFunk » 28 May 2011, 15:19

I know you'll love my manuscript. It's written from the MC's vagina's POV.
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Re: (Humor) 10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to an Agent

Postby Nathan Bransford » 30 May 2011, 20:32

10. I can see you through the window, you look like you're having a bad day.
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