Friday, December 06, 2013

Answers to the bonehead promotion quiz.

Yesterday's blog post was about this  envelope that arrived last week with a self-published book.  From that statement and the picture below you were asked how many errors of fact and strategy can you identify? (most of you got them all!)


Here are the three obvious errors:

1. The mailing address is wrong. Our office is on 29th Street and has been for 14+ months.

2. There is no designated agent. I open all mail to the agency cause I don't want to miss anything but if you want my attention, or any agent's attention, you really should use their name.

3. The name of the agency is wrong. (Clue: FPLM stands for FinePrint Literary Management)

Here's the answer you'd need to intuit from the description of the contents:

4. Notice the return address is Amazon, not the author. There's no cover letter inside because it was sent from Amazon. Even if this was the best book in the world, what am I supposed to do? Send up smoke signals?

There's no contact information for the author inside the book either. I looked, simply for the purposes of this blog post.

More and more people are being told that self-publishing is the new way to catch an agent's eye. I think that's hogwash but even if I believed it, this is the wrong way to do it.

Here's the right way:

1. Get the address right. It's on our website. I checked just now to be sure.

2. Address your cover letter and your package to the agent you want to represent you. That means you DO NOT SEND DIRECT from Amazon.

3. And while you're at it:  nothing makes me throw a book away more quickly than bad aesthetics.  This book was laid out poorly; had (c) author name under the chapter one heading; had never heard of interior book layout and design; and, was just plain ugly.  This book went in the trash right after I wrote this blog post.

If you want to be taken seriously in the professional publishing world, look professional.


Anonymous said...

A big fat whoops. It would be funny (sort of??) if this person reads your blog. If this were me, I'd be so embarrassed, a snake wouldn't slither away more quickly than me.

Lance said...

Very interesting couple of posts. In this case, all of those who commented yesterday are winners because you did not send them the book in the package. Thank you.

Kitty said...

I think this calls for a writing contest.

Michael Seese said...

"Even if this was the best book in the world, what am I supposed to do? Send up smoke signals?"

Pffft! Well, YOU'RE supposed to Google him, find his website, go there, and scour it for any contact info.

I swear, you agents have gotten so lazy lately.