Pub Rants

Secret Language Of Agents (part two)

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STATUS: BEA is in 29 days. Boy, I’m going to be busy getting all my appointments set up. Not to mention that three of my authors will be featured there. I see running around a large convention center in my near future…

What’s playing on the iPod right now? I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE by Marvin Gaye

I might have to dig deep for some more examples. I don’t tend to use too many catch phrases when I respond to sample pages (and I always personalize responses to fulls). Yesterday’s example is pretty much my mainstay or I actually comment on a specific issue regarding the work.

I have used this one though (or a version there of):

“I really need to be 100% enthusiastic about a work to take it on.”

Translation: I liked it; I didn’t love it. Also implied is that it’s a tough market and I don’t feel confident in my ability to find this work a home.

7 Responses

  1. The Anti-Wife said:

    “I really need to be 100% enthusiastic about a work to take it on.”

    I could have used this one during my brief stint into internet matchmaking services.

    “I really need to be 100% enthusiastic about your profile to date you.” Delete!

  2. S. said:

    Is this similar to your comment “You deserve an enthusiastic representative”? Just curious.

  3. Kanani said:

    This week we were talking to mystery writer Marcia Talley. She told us that one person she knew had been turned down 140 times before having a novel picked up.

    I guess the only thing I’d add to your comment is to advise the writer to stick with it.

  4. Anonymous said:

    You should never advise a writer to stick with writing in a form letter.

    I know it’s not the popular opinion on any writing site, but there really are people that shouldn’t be encouraged.

    And it cheapens it so it means nothing (less than nothing) to those who should.

    The dishonest or boilerplate statements that couldn’t possibly apply to everyone (like “the project intrigued me, but…”) harm the credibility AND cause the over-analysis of form letters.

    For form rejections, keep it short and simple and polite. Not effusive, but polite.

  5. CM said:

    Anon, the problem is that there’s no way to tell who those unworthy people who should quit are on the basis of their project.

    Maybe the project’s being submitted by a ten-year old kid. Maybe it’s someone who’s just started, who will work and learn craft for eight years before publishing. If someone makes the judgment call not to dish out a double-dose of rejection, I’d say not to worry about it. This business has enough nay-saying to satisfy even the most cynical at heart.