Monday, March 10, 2008

My crazy idea for agent queries

Following some advice from a handful of authors who have "made it," I recently began to query agents.

Okay, let me rephrase that a bit. I didn't exactly send agents a query letter. Instead, based upon the advice of others (some personal and some just stuff I read online), I put together a promotional package for the first book in my trilogy, "City of Rogues."

This promotional package does not include a lot of the things normally sent in a query letter. I did not send mult-page samples of writing from the book. I did not include a synopsis of the novel, nor of the trilogy. Heck, I didn't even include an SASE, which I realize is a huge no-no.

What I did include were four simple pages. The first page was a short, 200-or-so word, example of the writing in "City of Rogues." The second page was a brief overview of the main three characters in the book ... Kron, Randall and Belgad (which makes me feel a little bad since all of them are male ... Adara is in the book, but she's mostly a secondary character until the second novel). The third page is a bio of myself with a photo. The fourth and final page is a little bit of marketing speak and the actual request for representation.

I didn't include an SASE because, in the words of another writer though I can't remember which one right now, "an SASE is just an excuse to turn you down."

So, am I doing the right thing by going against the grain?

I don't know. I wanted to do something to stand out a little, but I didn't want to do anything too crazy. And the promotional package, I'm hoping, shows I have a little flair for marketing my own product.

But, here's a funny thing ... though I've not received a lot of positive contact from agents so far (though I've received some), I have gotten back quite a few e-mails from agents. And none of them have been nasty. Not a one of them has said, "Hey, loser, were not representing you because you didn't include an SASE!"

In fact, I'm quite happy to hear from an agent even if he or she is turning down my request for representation. Why? Because it means somebody at their agency took the time to at least glance over my proposal. AND, for good or ill, they took the time to respond.

How do I know someone had to look at my proposal? Because my e-mail is on the very last page at the bottom. So, they had to get that far. I guess it's possible they could've just skipped through the first three pages, but I find that unlikely. If they were going to do that, they probably would have just thrown away my stuff.

I'm sure there are some agents who have just thrown away my package, but that doesn't bother me. I understand it. I just hope I haven't burned any bridges by not being conventional. More than likely any agents not interested probably won't remember my name anway, but you never know.

As for future proposals, I think I'll keep doing what I'm doing. I'll keep sending out my promotional packages instead of the standard query letter.

I think it's working. Only time will tell.

Or the next novel.

2 comments:

Howard von Darkmoor said...

interesting. I don't think too unconventional. You're generating responses, like you said. And as soon as I read that line, I just knew you were going to tell us your email address was at the end. So I consider that good news - there is interest enough to take a look at your package.

Now, is it interest in the package or in what is packaged? So far it seems to be the package, but I'd expect someone to take a look one of these times at what's in the package before saying 'no thanks' - keep on doing your thing, Ty, and we'll all keep our fingers crossed for ya.

cyn said...

you are a brave soul! good for you and good luck!! =D