Blogger: Rachelle Gardner
1. Use a generic greeting (To Whom It May Concern or my favorite, Dear Sirs) or address it to the wrong name. (Our names are Janet, Wendy, Rachel, Mary, and Rachelle. There are no “sirs” here.)
2. Say in your query that there’s never been a book as amazing as yours since The Holy Bible — yours will be the single most life-changing book I’ve EVER read.
3. Forget to include a Starbucks card. (I’m KIDDING, okay? I do not accept bribes. Except maybe chocolate. But no, just KIDDING. Really.)
4. Check on the status of your query daily. “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”
5. Slide your proposal under the bathroom stall at a writers conference. (Though this would be considered a kind gesture if the agent’s stall happens to be out of toilet paper.)
7. Pitch 27 different book ideas in the same query and ask the agent which one she would like to represent first.
8. Submit projects that we don’t represent, explaining that you’re certain we will change our minds once we see how brilliantly your techno-fantasy-historical-noir-romance-memoir is written.
9. Pitch a hackneyed plot we’ve seen a thousand times before and fail to include even one tiny element that makes it feel unique or fresh.
10. Say in your query that you realize the agent has a blog but you’ve never read it because after all, you’re a serious writer and you just don’t have time for that kind of thing, you’re too busy writing and all that. (LIE, people, seriously.)
Okay, your turn. Let’s title today’s comments Ways to Annoy a Writer. Go for it.
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