Wednesday, February 16, 2011

one fast way to instant rejection: Lie

Don't lie to prospective agents.

I'm in sales. I understand the need for diplomatic phrasing, careful word choice, and perhaps not telling every single facet of a story right at the start.  That's not what I mean when I say "don't lie."

Lies are: You requested this (when I know I haven't)
Damned lies are: Your assistant requested this (when I find out she didn't)

We keep track of what we request. Saying we requested something when we didn't doesn't mean we pay extra attention to your work. It means we reject it.

"Requested material" is not what you put on something if I've said "sure, send a query."  A query is never requested material. You don't need permission to send me a query.

You don't need to put "Requested material" on anything you send me. I know what I've asked for. The only time to put "requested material" on anything is when (gasp!) the agent says these exact words: "put REQUESTED MATERIAL" on it"

Got it?


Anonymous said...

Have to boggles the mind that anyone would do this.

Laura Howard said...

Sneaky... dually noted!

Laura M. Campbell said...

Roger that. *scribble, scribble* Noted. Thanks!

Unknown said...

Thanks, Janet, for "permission" to tell the truth. From many other well-meaning authors, we have been told to submit queries as "requested" whether or not it's the truth.

Josin L. McQuein said...

There are people who take it a step further than that, and try to "recreate" the look of a forwarded email below a new one to give their phony request "authenticity".

A year or so ago, I had someone tell me this was the best way to get something read. After all agents read "so many" manuscripts, they can't possibly remember which ones they did and didn't like.

(paraphrased conversation)

"All you have to do is make the words blue!"

"Umm... not it's not..."

"Sure it is. All forwarded emails come back in blue."

"No they don't. The formatting's different, and there's additional information from the sender attached."

"Just add in a date and time. They'll never check that close."

This idiot's "brilliant" scheme was to make the date a week or two old and then phrase their "reply" as though they'd either forgotten to send or had been tightening things up before sending (or maybe it was a "did you ever receive this the first time" status - I can't remember). However they tried to pull it off, it didn't work.

I was not shocked.

Ricky Bush said...

I've made it a policy to never request a rejection. Sounds like you know some folks that do, though.

Anonymous said...

Taking Ricky's slant a bit further. I think you should draft a form rejection for people who are brazen enough to pull this stunt.

Header: "Requested Response"

Body: Umm......NO. Did you expect anything else by lying flat@@@ to me/us?

#1Nana said...

There would be no reason for you to ask to see my driver's license, would there? Because, I ugh...didn't tell the truth about my weight.

Carolyn said...

It's amazing how many crazy people are out there.

ryan field said...

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