Friday, May 26, 2006

Q & A 22 Which agent to target?

We've been told to read your favorite books, your favorite authors, ones who write similar stories with similar tones and see who their agent/editors are because they are who you should be targetting.

Your tone, of course, should be your tone, not an homage to Gene Wolfe or Jennifer Crusie. But once you've completed your book, if the tone reminds you of GW or JC, by all means target their editors or agents. Just don't tell them that's why they're being targeted. Because not only is there a good chance the editor/agent will disagree with your evaluation of the tone, there's a good chance he'll be right. If you're the second coming of Laurell K. Hamilton, let her editor take the credit for discovering this. Don't ram it down her throat, only to have her . . .

1. Discard your manuscript without even looking at it because it's the 12th advertised second coming of LKH she's picked up this morning.

2. Discard your manuscript after one page for no other reason than the fact that it doesn't remind her of LKH.

3. Pass your manuscript around the office with a post-it note reading, Guess who this one thinks she writes like. I need a vacation.


Bernita said...

Thank you.
I know comparisons are frequently recommended, but the idea of spouting off like that makes me queasy.

Anonymous said...

A bit off subject…

I can see some charlatan selling the right “tone” to gain the attention of that special agent or editor and set you apart from others.

Reading this I wonder what it will be like in the future when you can easily e-mail voice or sound that play when the e-mail is opened, like those annoying greeting cards that were popular a few years ago.

I imagine Michael “let’s get ready to rumble” Buffer making a killing voicing greetings for potential authors… “Now introducing the next hottest #1 NY Times best selling sensation (insert potential author here)”.

Or maybe for the more traditional, genteel amongst us it would be a simple trumpet fanfare or a few lines of Mozart played on a harpsichord.

Just a thought that made me laugh ~W

Anonymous said...

I've always wondered how much it would cost to get James Earl Jones to do a recording of my manuscript.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, I wish you could send in verbal queries. I do voice work for charity and sound darn good on tape.

-A, who doesn't do a podcast yet and wonders why

Brenda said...

"all means target their editors or agents. Just don't tell them that's why they're being targeted"

Ah! Now I understand that you meant.

New coffee mug line: Evil Editor is my Hero.