Agents/Interns Tweeting Query Comments

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
Margo
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Re: Agents/Interns Tweeting Query Comments

Post by Margo » October 4th, 2010, 3:10 pm

Mira wrote:I was going to beg for a name from either of you, but probably best if you don't give me one. I forgot that I told Nathan I'd hold off. He plans to go through channels and take this up with the Association of Agents to talk about agents and their public presence.
That's interesting news, and probably the best way to handle it.

(I'm just glad I've got my query polished already. :P )
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cheekychook
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Re: Agents/Interns Tweeting Query Comments

Post by cheekychook » October 4th, 2010, 4:59 pm

I love snark. I really, really do. But I'm afraid I fall into the category of thinking there's a time and a place for it. If you've submitted your query to a review site, particularly one known for shredding, then of course you're going to expect some sarcastic or humorous-at-your-expense replies. If, however, you submit your query to someone who you believe to be a person who is potentially going to be interested in representing you as an author, then I don't think you should have to assume that you could, as a result of sending your attempt at a business letter, become the object of public ridicule. We, as writers, are told time and time again "a query is a business letter, keep it professional"---I don't see how anyone can construe snarky, eye-rolling tweets as a professional response. I just don't see it. Sure agents are going to tell their agent pals about particularly ridiculous queries they receive, and that's fine---who doesn't bitch about the nonsense we all encounter? But tweeting about it? Not okay. Tweet about your aggravation. Tweet about the overall incompetence of the writers who query you. Don't tweet about a particular query. It's disrespectful. And I doubt there are many agents/interns out there who'd find it "funny" if they pitched a client's book, which they think is fabulous, to some editor or publisher and that editor/publisher tweeted the next day "wow, agents are such idiots, just got sent the worst book I've ever read by an agent who's clearly got the worst taste in the business."
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Down the well
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Re: Agents/Interns Tweeting Query Comments

Post by Down the well » October 4th, 2010, 6:28 pm

Nicely said, cheekychook. That really is the distinction, isn't it, whether or not someone signed up for the shredding. I love queryshark, but those people volunteered to be shark bait. It isn't quite as much fun to watch someone get torn to pieces when all they thought they were doing was querying an agent. When I think back on the very first query I ever sent... *shudders* ...it was cringe-worthy. So glad that was before anyone knew what a blog or a tweet was.

elfspirit
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Re: Agents/Interns Tweeting Query Comments

Post by elfspirit » October 4th, 2010, 8:05 pm

Mira wrote:With all due respect to those who aren't bothered by it/find it educational - this makes me so mad, I can barely post about it.

I hope we can all still be friends.

*BE AWARE - WHAT FOLLOWS IS A RANT*

I find it not only unprofessional, but shockingly inappropriate. I believe it's demeaning and degrading to writers. There are other professional and positive ways to educate someone on how to write a query letter. This borders on illegal and definitely crosses the line into unethical.

Sorry, but I obviously have extremely strong feelings about this. This is a big part of the reason I'm considering e-publishing. I can't stand how writers are treated in the industry. There's absolutely no excuse for mocking writers in public, especially given that without writers, the industry can't exist.

If anything really kills the print industry, this will be a big part of it.

Mira, thanks so much for your rant. I really appreciate it. You're 100% right. Even though Nathan is going to go through channels, as is wholly appropriate, I am fantasizing a Hall of Shame page somewhere where the agents who can be named are listed. From my point of view, they are as dishonest and unscrupulous as the characters listed in Predators and Editors and should be avoided by any self-respecting writer.

Yeah, it does make you want to avoid that aspect of the publishing pyramid.
What galls me is these people do it anonymously. They do it anonymously because they know it's wrong. If I ever get an actual name, I will complain to their boss, the better business bureau and the association of literary agents about them. I might even go to consumer watch groups, and their Senator.

I'm serious. Get me a name, please. I really, really, really want a name.

I don't know if you can tell, but this issue really bothers me.

Okay. END RANT.

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Mira
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Re: Agents/Interns Tweeting Query Comments

Post by Mira » October 5th, 2010, 2:22 pm

elfspirit wrote: Mira, thanks so much for your rant. I really appreciate it. You're 100% right. Even though Nathan is going to go through channels, as is wholly appropriate, I am fantasizing a Hall of Shame page somewhere where the agents who can be named are listed. From my point of view, they are as dishonest and unscrupulous as the characters listed in Predators and Editors and should be avoided by any self-respecting writer.

Yeah, it does make you want to avoid that aspect of the publishing pyramid.
Thanks elfspirit. I was alittle grumpy yesterday, and this issue makes me get really, really hopping mad. Usually I try to be abit more diplomatic. I'm glad it felt on target for you, though - that's a good outcome. :)

Cheekychook - I really liked your post!

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TigerGray
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Re: Agents/Interns Tweeting Query Comments

Post by TigerGray » October 6th, 2010, 11:40 pm

It doesn't bother me, as long as no identifying info about either the novel or the author makes it in. (and I mean specifics, like character names and so on) I have yet to understand why so many people are pissed about it, really.
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TigerGray
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Re: Agents/Interns Tweeting Query Comments

Post by TigerGray » October 6th, 2010, 11:43 pm

elfspirit wrote:my opinion is it's unprofessional. Imagine doctors tweeting about their pain-in-the ass patients. I have a retail business, and there are times I'd like to publicly let off steam about difficult customers, but I don't. It's not a matter of outing someone's stupidity; it's a question of whether you respect the people who are looking to you to take their work seriously.

Turning a query letter into shark bait is only acceptable at QueryShark or other sites where you knowingly volunteer for the abuse.

I have to say that I think someone tweeting about patients at a medical office is on a very different level from this. I don't think the comparison really functions.
"Who knows themselves better than the blind?' - for every thought becomes a tool." --Luis Borges

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