Friday, 21 June 2013

Agent provocateur



Maybe things are looking up...
So far, in my writing journey, there's one experience that has eluded me (well, yes, apart from never having received a huge book deal). There have been editors, and contracts, but no agent. 

Perhaps it's time to review my approach, as I consider:


Things you must never say to an agent*


I've made you a key ring, enclosed, from my own hair.

I've discovered that your house is only a couple of bus rides from my office. I could bring my manuscript over, one evening after work, along with a pizza for us. I bet you like Hawaiian too.

I hope, even if you ultimately completely devastate me by rejecting my wonderful book, that we become friends.

I wouldn't say my book is a best seller, but you can!

Do you like horses? I bet you don't like them as much as I do. I LOVE horses. And alpacas. Anyway, please find enclosed my spy thriller - about a crime-solving horse and her alpaca sidekick.

Enclosed is a photograph of my tattoo, based on your website photo. 

How soon can I get an advance on future royalties? Only my landlord is chasing me for last month's rent.

Of course, there are much better margins in self-publishing, but I thought I'd give you a chance to prove yourself.

Several agents I sent my book to, who all rejected it first, suggested I try you as a last resort.

This is the first book I've ever written, so feel free to mark up any corrections for me. And if you have any ideas about how I can improve it, that would be great too. Sorry, but I can't afford stamps right now - I'll pay you back when the book starts earning.

There's no rush for a decision. I'm away in Marbella for a fortnight, so take your time.

I've put a surveillance device in the envelope so I can get honest feedback. Remember to speak clearly.

* And in case you're an agent reading this (you know who you are), I'll be good next time!

18 comments:

L said...

Cheerful post on a grey and wet Friday!

Derek said...

That's what I'm here for! :o)

Joanna said...

Your post has really cheered me up. It's good to start a damp Friday with so much laughter. Thank you! x

Derek said...

My pleasure - I'm also available for children's parties, magazine columns and after contract speeches...

Vivien Ayinotu said...

Hehehe!This is serious.

Derek said...

Yep, seriously funny and funnily enough it's serious too.

Jaxbee said...

Oh! Aren't they serious? Just off to revisit my submission letters... Great post, chortle chortle.

Derek said...

Me too!

Caroline Green said...

This really made me laugh. Although I expect some of these have actually happened to agents...

Georgina Troy said...

Love these, especially the comment about being in Marbella for two weeks.

Derek said...

And on a day like today the sun seems like a distant memory here.

Talli Roland said...

The key ring thing made me smile and shudder at the same time!

Derek said...

But you'd never misplace your keys again - or get them out in public. And congratulations on signing with Madeleine Milburn. Speaking of which, where's that plait...

Gillian McDade said...

Brilliant!! I too have started my search for an agent. Note to self - don't use above phrases :)

Mary said...

you should become an agent yourself. If I was an agent I'd definately sign you up. All best Mary

Anonymous said...

If I was an agent I'd sign you up All best in your hunt. Mary

Derek said...

Gillian - obviously the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook or the Writers' Handbook is your first port of call. But let me know your genre - you never know, I might know someone who knows someone.

Mary - that's an intriguing idea, but I'm not a great enthusiast for pizza or horses.

Derek said...

And to Mary who would sign me up, you're most kind.

I have two Brit thrillers and a transatlantic comedy drama available, so there's definitely scope.