Saturday, August 09, 2008

Elmore Leonard said it best**

1 phone call Wednesday afternoon
1 email query Wednesday afternoon
1 snail mail query, no SASE, today's incoming mail
(hint: all from the same person, pitching the same book)

How much is too much?
I don't know where the demarcation point is exactly, but I know this one is on the wrong side of wherever it is.

This is the kind of thing I'm on the lookout for in prospective clients.

I remember a series of phone calls with a prospect who would not let me hang up. It was always "just one more thing." Well, that one more thing led to 'no' cause it told me this person wasn't reading my signals very well or didn't care. I wasn't all that subtle either: "I have to end our conversation now" is pretty darn blunt.

There's a time and place for being over eager but this isn't one of them. There's a time and place to get in someone's face about something: this again isn't one of them. It's like the guy who gets on a crowded subway car and starts preaching the good word at the top of his voice. No matter how good the message, the delivery really gets in the way.

Every agent in town is well aware of how eager you are to secure good representation and how much your project means to you. Every SINGLE person we deal with feels that way. It's absolutely the norm.

Be cool.

Cool is not blase, cool is not indifferent, cool is not above it all. Cool is keeping your passion under control; it's showing not telling you are a professional.

Be cool.

***But John Travolta really gave it oomph.


Elissa M said...

Ditto what I said on the previous post. Behavior like this is inexcusably stupid.

Mags said...

Don't want to discuss that I brought up Elmore Leonard in relation to my book in a Grub St. wksp today. I'll never win the lottery, you've spent my mojo.

(I'd be an EXCELLENT lottery winner, BTW)

Peeple always spending my mojo. Damn.

Maybe I'll just dance for awhile. I'm pretty spent. Okay.

Back to revising...

Mags said...


(I forgot to sigh)

Corked Wine and Cigarettes said...

Ha! I just experienced The Call from the other side. We spoke once before the Second Call that offered representation.

He was very up front in the first call, saying that his minions (interns) had read the MS and loved it. He was nearly through it, but wanted to call and chat a bit before any decisions were made.

I caught on instantly, recognizing what he was doing.

Reverting back to my single days, I somehow managed to recall every hard-learned lesson I had been taught while dating.

Don't be needy.

Compliment her dress. (Say nice things about the agent and the agency's rep and why you picked them) But don't overdo it, man. That reeks of desperation.

Be confident, but not cocky.

Be pleasurable and easy to talk to. Listen.

Be light, but not silly, and definitely not ignorant or stupid.

Don't be needy more.

Be polite and use your manners.

Don't cry.

And finally, DON'T BE NEEDY!

It was actually a nice date, er, conversation. We spoke briefly about the book, but more about our common ground as attorneys.

But it was difficult to do so. I was a bit blind-sided by the call, as I'm sure everyone is, and fumbled a little throughout the call from the excitement.

That stupid little voice inside your head is tough to ignore when it's shouting THIS IS HAPPENING!!

Glad I didn't tell him about that voice.

Eh, back to revisions on a Saturday night. Fun, fun, fun.