Blogger: Wendy Lawton
You expected Janet Grant today, didn’t you? Janet let me have her blogging day so that we could do a two-day quiz. (And you thought you were through with finals forever.)
We’ve often said that members of our blog community who’ve been with us for a while have probably earned the equivalent of a degree in Christian publishing. But no one gets an education without tests, right? So let’s see how you do. I’m going to pose the questions today. You’ll note your answers, sharing any you wish to discuss further in the comments. Tomorrow, I’ll give you my answers and listen as you argue the correctness of your answer.
- The best way to get an agent is to simply pick up the phone and call. After all they get so much email it must be refreshing to talk to a real person. True False
- All agencies and all agents have the exact same protocol for contacting them. True False
- The best place to discover what an agent expects in a first contact is to look on the agency’s website. True False
- If a writer meets an agent at a conference and is given the go-ahead to send in their materials, that means you do not have to query. You can go straight to proposal stage. True False
- The query letter should be as long as it needs to be to whet the agent’s appetite for the book and to cover the author bio in detail. True False
- If a writer received a request to submit from an agent at a conference and, for whatever reason, was not able to follow up, that writer should not query that agent again. True False
- If an agent were interested in a writer’s manuscript but suggested some edits and changes, perhaps initiating several back and forth conversations, it would be a better idea to take that final, sparkling manuscript to a fresh agent, since the original agent had seen the writer at his worst. True False
- If you submitted prematurely to an agent– a manuscript that was in no way ready– the best strategy is to move on to a different agent. Again, won’t that agent always see you as a loser? True False
- Agents understand that most manuscripts are works in progress. A couple typos, misspellings or grammatical errors are expected. True False
- A working title is just that. Everyone knows that the publisher most likely will change the title, so a writer shouldn’t waste time on a title. True False
- The easiest way to the top of the pile at an agency is to have one of the agent’s clients recommend you. True False
- The agent is known for reworking the proposals before sending them on to publishers so if a few sections are too difficult, don’t sweat it. The agent can easily fill in the blanks. Especially with the competitive analysis. No one knows the industry like an agent. This would be a snap for them. True False
- When looking for an agent, the most important thing is to be a good consumer. Before settling, it would be wise to first send out a questionnaire to all the agents, asking how much their commission is and what you will get for that investment. True False
- If you met an editor at a conference and already have an offer on the table, you’ve no need for an agent. True False
- Fiction, nonfiction, it doesn’t matter. The proposal is essentially the same. True False
- A writer met an agent at a conference and during the appointment, nerves got the best of him and he made a complete cake of himself. That writer shouldn’t discount that agent because of it. She is not likely to remember it. And if she did, it would make a great story to tell when the writer wins that huge award. True False
- If an agent turns down your manuscript you need to cross him off your list and move on. God often uses closed doors to send us on a different path. True False
- It is wise to find some way to stand out from the crowd. Think creatively, artistically, when packaging your proposal. True False
- If at all possible, deliver your query in person. It would make an impression. No one could doubt your commitment. True False
- Agents often say it’s great writing and a fabulous concept that makes them offer representation, but, at this stage, it’s more important to follow the submission rules to the letter to prove that a writer is conscientious and will be easy to work with. True False
Tomorrow, I will give you the answers to the quiz and you can let me know (a) how you did and (b) you can tell me why my answer was wrong. 🙂 The best part of a test is arguing for that A.
And here’s the fun part: I will pick one commenter from today and one from tomorrow and send a box of books to each. I’ll announce the winner at the end of Tuesday’s blog post as I’m quitting for the day– sometime around 6 p.m. PDT.
And now, for a quiz essay question that you can answer in the comments. There’s no hard and fast answer. Sell us on your answer. 🙂
When is the best time in your writing journey to seek an agent?