STATUS: TGIF and I’m leaving the office before 6 p.m. Almost unheard of. But you guessed it, I’m still behind so plan to work this weekend.
What’s playing on the iPod right now? NOBODY DOES IT BETTER by Carly Simon
Today was crazy. The phone was ringing off the hook. Sara & I were trying to finish up letters to authors whose fulls we had read. We were trying to organize the author dinner at RWA and just generally running around like chickens with their heads cut off.
So when the buzzer rang, and while Sara was on the phone, I just popped over there to hit the door open button thinking it was Fedex or UPS or whoever.
No, it’s this woman who has come to drop off a package. The dog is barking (as it’s the highlight of her day—after her morning walk that is) and Sara is telling me the agency lawyer is on the phone and do I want to take it, so without thinking, I just say “is this a delivery for me.” The woman smiles and says “yes” so I take it, set it down, and dash back to the phone (as my lawyer and I have been playing phone tag for a couple days).
I don’t think anything more about it until an hour later when I remember the package so I go over to check it out.
I had just closed a deal for a client recently and often clients will send thank you gifts for a first time sale (which isn’t necessary but we never say no!) so I just assumed that was what it was (and from a local Denver place and hence the hand delivery). One of my favorite gifts was designer cupcakes from a local Denver Bakery that a client in Oklahoma had sent us. Yum!
Guess what? It wasn’t. It was an author delivering a personal query letter, a copy of her book, and a lovely package—which we can’t accept.
So Monday, Sara is going to have to ring her up and ask her to come and retrieve it as it’s just not appropriate. As an agent, I have a lot of integrity and I don’t want to be “bribed” to review a project (however nice the gesture is on her part). This is not how you land an agent.
And we really don’t want to accept the gift. Had I been less frantic at the moment, I would have asked her the nature of the delivery and would have refused it there and then but alas, there was just too much going on.
So don’t do this folks. We do read all our queries and every author we have taken as a client sold us on their project via a query letter and then their sample pages. No bribe needed.