Just call the agent on the phone is a bad idea.

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
Skyhawk
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Re: Just call the agent on the phone!

Post by Skyhawk » December 20th, 2009, 10:54 am

I thought I made it pretty clear, more than once, that I am only sharing my experience and offering suggestions. But perhaps a newbie wouldn't read the whole thread and get the wrong impression. I'll admit now it was a bad idea. As for the standard method of submission, at least for memoir, it HAS varied and I go by that particular agent's instructions on their site, or in the Writer's Guide. When snail mailing, like I said, it was often send the entire proposal. Perhaps you are getting that confused with sending the manuscript. When emailing, sometimes they ask for Query with the first five pages of Chapter One, sometimes the book overview. The key is that they don't want attachments so you can only paste in the body.

Opinions have varied widely. One agent said I can only sell of the finished book. Many said I can sell on the proposal and get paid to write the book. Some say write the synopsis in the 1st person. Others say in the 3rd. It's been suggested to send exclusives with a response deadline. My editor tells me to submit 100 at once! I've tried it all. I believe when it comes to fiction, it's more standard. Non fiction varies widely and the one thing I've learned from all of this is that no matter how great the story, the writing, the query, the proposal, I must develop a platform. I'm not a celebrity or a PhD. Without it, my chances are slim unless I get plum lucky.

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Just call the agent on the phone is a bad idea.

Post by Nathan Bransford » December 20th, 2009, 12:27 pm

Memoirs are kind of a gray area, and some agents will try and sell them on proposal, others need a full manuscript. I'd say the trend is toward full manuscript, but if the authors has a sufficient platform a proposal may be possible. It depends a lot on the project.

Skyhawk
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Re: Just call the agent on the phone is a bad idea.

Post by Skyhawk » December 20th, 2009, 12:58 pm

I think it's time to wrap up the book. I've also been told that editors may want to contribute toward the content but I suppose there's always room for that later, even on a completed manuscript. I have 50,000 words written. I'll take this as clear direction and write another 50 and revisit submitting.

Strangely enough, I never mentioned how much of the book was written, and no one has ever asked! Back to work...Thanks!

Skyhawk
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Re: Just call the agent on the phone is a bad idea.

Post by Skyhawk » December 20th, 2009, 1:15 pm

I will add this:

I will continue to be inspired by the last 3 or 4 books with similar subject matter that have all done well. One had a name...Kennedy," and two were on Oprah. There must be SOMETHING about this specific genre.

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