I had an enjoyable time reading Colleen Lindsay’s blog from Monday. I think you should read it too. My blog will make more sense if you do. So go read it now and come back.
Ok, I’ve never submitted to Colleen Lindsay. I have intended to. In fact, she is one of a dozen agents are high on my list of those that I wish to represent me. If she still has an open window when I’m done revising my failing query, I may be try and be among the elite form-rejection-letter-receivers. But the first thing I must say is that when I do submit to Colleen, I intend to follow her guidelines to the t. (What does that mean anyway?) Seriously, I’ve gone through and done my research. I know who to compare my writing to. I know who is competition. But most importantly, I know who I’m submitting to. When I submit my queries, I do everything I can to adhere to the ‘Submission Guidelines’ that I can locate concerning the agent. For example, Colleen asks for one of the simplest collection of ‘items’ that an agent is asking for. She wants you to email her. And not just because it’s green or cheaper, but I’m sure because it’s easier to click delete instead of shredding the failed rejection letters. But shredding is more fun. If I was Colleen, I’d print off some choice queries and run them through the shredder for fun. I mean, honestly, I’d keep Mr. Roscoe’s email in a special folder and whenever I’m having a bad day, I’d print it off and shred it. Isn’t that cool?
Anyway, her submissions request, as I stated, is simple. Along with the short email query, she wants the first 5-10 pages of the author’s work. How hard is that? “I’m going to compare myself to big shots. That way, your ego will get bigger thinking that you can market me that way. Nothing else is required.” Yes, yes, I’m sure waving your hand like a Jedi to make Colleen, or any agent for that matter, bow to your will works….in the Galactic Empire. Maybe in Narnia. Possibly at Hogwarts with Professor Lockhart. But that doesn’t work in the real world. Neither is backtalking to an agent, a very popular one at that. Please, like that’s going to help. If you repeat to yourself Captain Barbossa’s famous words from Pirates of the Carribbean (which would be “They’re more like guidelines anyway”) and fail to keep these ‘guidelines’ then you find yourself with a form rejection letter that may sound like “I’m disinclined to acquiesce to your request.” And honestly, I won’t blame them.
Now, when I was rejected by Kate Epstein, I was very disappointed. She is another that is high on my list of agents that I wish would represent me. Now, I was very disappointed to receive a form letter. But then again, who knew how busy her day was. Either way, it doesn’t matter. At least she sends a form rejection letter. Some agencies don’t. So, I decided to be nice and thank her for taking time to have read my query. She actually acknowledged my thank you on twitter, which I found to be awesome and made her seem that much more classy.
These women work for two different agencies. They’re both stern in their submission guidelines. If they weren’t, they’d be representing 20,000 people and sleeping for a total of 1 second in a day (most people call that enough time to blink). Am I fearing submitting to Colleen? Absolutely not. If she likes my book, she likes it. If she doesn’t, she doesn’t. I wouldn’t want to represent Jule Garwood or Julia Quinn (nor would I read their works), but I would represent Rick Riordan or James Dashner. To each his or her own when it comes to likes and dislikes. If I get through writing another book, will I submit it to Kate? Absolutely. There’s no ill intent on the agents part. Authors submitting should do well to remember this as well.
Well, that’s it for today. And as always:
Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.