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Or sometimes it’s at a point later in a query when I am insulted, belittled or offended (yup, those happen too).In general, I just stop the second I realize the story is just not for me.I think a young adult series based on Fifty Shades of Grey is a terrible idea …”) and in fact quite enjoy the discourse.
on a Sunday and you think, All the right things are wrong with this chick.
Dear Agent: Is it absolutely necessary to have a platform in order to attract an agent for a novel?
It seems to me the better time to become active on social media is after your book has been published and you have a product to drive people to your websites, rather than when you’re trying to attract an agent.
Nah, it’s not “absolutely necessary” to have a platform to attract an agent to your fiction.
That’s in addition to the bulk of my job: working on behalf of my current clients. I mean, come on, I’m not saving lives or inventing toilet paper (Wait, who invented toilet paper? But working with this equation, I have found that my time is better spent—and that I ultimately serve those who query me best—by fishing for the strongest material (in my subjective opinion) in the stack of queries I’ve received, and by requesting full manuscripts based on the queries I like best, and by burning the after-office hours reading those manuscripts, than it would be by tapping out a blanket form rejection 900 times. As I alluded to earlier, I usually have more time to review submissions on the weekends, so a lot of my responses to queries and manuscripts will arrive at odd hours on Saturdays and Sundays.
With a client list of about 40–45 now, even if I dedicate just an hour a week to each of those authors I’ve already committed to, I am at capacity for a “normal” workweek. But I hear what you’re saying—and I feel the burning shame, I promise. This prepares you for when you’re one of my clients and you get an email from me with a time stamp of, like, 2 a.m.Is this an accepted mode of “interaction” these days, and what are we to make of an agent who doesn’t bother to respond to queries?I recognize that agents can get a lot of queries, but isn’t that what keeps them in business?If you don’t have a Facebook page and Twitter account, hop on both networks today and just start sniffing around.Begin with secretly preening over how much weight old high school friends have gained, and then build from there.Just be a very, very talented writer with a solid idea.I can be attracted to an astounding manuscript whether the person has a Twitter following of 8,000 people or lives in a cave and taps out his best work in Morse code.That is a preface to say: Ground yourself; this one might be a molar-shaker.Sometimes it really is only, say, four seconds; a first line can close it down for me (e.g., the one I got that opened with, “What if it was your job to kill babies? Often the deal breaker is elsewhere in the first paragraph, when I see yet another Hezbollah/North Korea/China terrorist thriller plot, or an estranged daughter coming back to the small town to deal with her ailing mother, expose family secrets and rekindle love with her high school flame.When WD then approached me and asked if I’d be willing to answer a selection of those questions in print—and to do so with a level of candor that writers would be hard-pressed to find elsewhere—I applauded their creativity and immediately grabbed my thinking cap (read: flask) and dove in.I found the questions to be insightful, and I hope I did the responses justice.