Russell’s Rules for Agents

by Russell on April 25, 2012

We writers sweat blood. We pour our hearts, our souls, and in some well known cases, our sanity, into our writing. Maybe we’re a little crazy. Perhaps that’s part of the job description. Certainly, only other writers fully understand us when we talk about the crazy things our characters make us do.

We spend hours, weeks, months, years writing and editing and fine tuning that piece that you, the reader, will devour in hours. So it really toasts me when agents state they are so busy they’ll only reply to you if your one of the anointed ones.

You send them a query, and wait. And wait. And wait. And the longer you wait, the more your confidence and that ‘finished it’ buzz wanes. Agents have their set of rules you have to comply with; send query in body of email, ten pages, two pages synopsis, advise us if you have sent to more than one agent, do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign …

So, I have developed my own set of rules for agents.

If I send you a query, and you reply, even with a form letter, you get to see more of my work in the future. A personal note puts you higher up the list.

If I send you a query and you ignore me, you just went to the back of the queue next time round, I don’t care how big an agency you work for.

If I met you at a conference and you ‘requested’ my query and don’t reply, you are banned, forever.

I don’t care how busy you are, this is the business you chose to be in. Show we writers some respect. We spent months or years writing our book. If you can’t manage a thirty second reply, go work in another field. We are human beings out here, not some lump of meat or a number with a dollar value attached. Treat us well, and we’ll do our best to surprise you.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Martha M Moravec May 10, 2012 at 11:25 am

Bravo!!!

Reply

Cynthia April 25, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Amen, Brother Russell!

Reply

L.Leander April 26, 2012 at 6:14 am

Love it! I think we writers should all adopt these rules. We are important people too, and our time is valuable. Why waste time nail-biting and waiting for replies. We need to become more confident and take control. I especially like the line “If I send you a query and you ignore me, you just went to the back of the queue next time round, I don’t care how big an agency you work for.”
I am going to adopt this! Thanks for sharing.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: