Wednesday, March 17, 2010
What the hell were you thinking?
At first blush, this seems very sweet.
What sours it? It's a query.
No harm, no foul, right?
I mean, gosh, who gets their undies in an uproar about something as harmless as a mug?
Well, it's not so much the mug as the what it indicates about the sender.
If I get something like this I know the querier is tone-deaf about how publishing works, and worse, nuance-impaired. In other words, the exact kind of person who will require extra work, extra handling, extra instruction, extra monitoring, and pre-printed apology letters.
Not the kind of person agents are eager to work with.
In case it's not obvious (and it may not be if you're just starting out learning how publishing works) gimmicks are a bad idea. You spend $10.00 to personalize and mail a mug hoping to get attention. All you really need to do is write a book I want to read, and write it well enough that I want other people to read it too. 12 place settings of Limoges won't help you if you can't do that, let alone a cheap ceramic mug.
And honest to Godiva, do you really think an agent is flattered by "world's greatest agent?" Most of us have a pretty firm grasp on our egos, and those who don't recognize empty flattery when I see it.
This kind of stuff not only doesn't help you, it actively hurts your chances of being taken seriously.
Don't do it.