Pub Rants

A Very Nice Literary Agent Indulges in Polite Rants About Queries, Writers, and the Publishing Industry

It Was Bound To Happen

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Is it evil to wish for the East Coast to get hit by another snowstorm so I can have a quiet email week and catch up?

Listening To:

MANIC MONDAY By Finn Walace

Well, this is a first. Now that I think about it, I’m actually surprised it hasn’t happened before now.  What am I talking about?

I just received an email from a writer who wanted to gift me his/her self-published electronic book on the Kindle.

It’s a lovely gesture but I absolutely cannot accept. I had Anita send the author an email saying I had to decline and to please get a refund for the gift coupon. If I accepted this, it would open a whole gray area can of worms. It’s probably not what this writer was thinking but an agent could accept the gift coupon, not buy the book in question, and get something else instead. In general, gifts to agents feels like a slippery slope. Better just to say no.

So thanks but no thanks.

Truly, you just need to send us a free query letter by email. We will read and consider it. If I want to read more and I know the title is published on the Kindle, maybe I’ll ask for the mobi file. The writer could then send that.


5 Responses

  1. Tiana Smith said:

    Oh! That’s … awkward. I never would have even considered doing this, but I’m much more of a paint-by-the-numbers kind of gal.

    While I appreciate the author’s ingenuity, this also smacks of ‘paying agents to read your work’ which is never a good thing (if you’re actually wanting a good, reputable agent). I think you handled it appropriately.

  2. Anthony said:

    I send out promo Kindle links like candy, but I would never send one to a literary agent. Amazon tags the link as a “gift” and the best gift for an agent is her deserved 15%.

  3. Joe Selby said:

    Does your email drop that significantly when we get hit with snow? Typically all snow means is that I work from home rather than commuting into the office. Except for October ’11 when the leaves were still on the trees and we lost power for a week. That sucked.

  4. Dave Kuzminski said:

    Well, not that we’re a big problem but P&E doesn’t ding agents for accepting gifts of already published books even if you use the coupon for something else.

  5. Kelly W said:

    Curious, is this any different from someone physically mailing you a copy of their book? Do you return to sender or do you get to keep it? If so, what makes receiving an e-book different?

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