Thursday, 20 May 2010

Alien Abduction and Agent Letters

You may have noticed I've got a book out. God, I hope you have. If you haven't, it's called Kissing Mr Wrong and the launch party is TONIGHT at 6.30pm at Waterstones, Bath and please, please, someone turn up. Anyway, I'm a little teeny weeny bit stressed so thought I'd take one thing off my shoulders - I'm going to repeat some of my favourite blogs from last year starting with writing to agents...

Oh dear, it's happened again. For the third time in as many months, someone I previously believed to be a charming and intelligent person has shown me their agent letter and revealed their real self to be an arrogant and demanding, possibly litigious, definitely humourless, buttock-clenchingly, squirm-inducingly, utterly bonkers individual.

I don't know what happens. Agents are, in my experience, hard working people in love with books - they have to be, or they couldn't do the job. They're normal (although I'm sure I once spotted a dorsal fin), so why does it seem so hard to write a normal, straightforward letter introducing yourself and your book in normal, straightforward language? It must be the weight of the thing, summing up possibly years of hard work and hope in a couple of paragraphs. Well, five...

1. Why you're writing to them.
2. Brief summary of your book.
3. Market position of the book.
4. About yourself.
5. Thank you for your time etc (I call this the 'I am not a loony' paragraph).

Pop it all onto one page, and there you are! It's not difficult. Except it is. My first agent letter is the one thing I've never shown to anyone else, so ghastly and needy it is, I might as well have disembowelled myself and sent the contents by Parcel Post. My only excuse is alien abduction. The proof is out there.


Lizzie said...

Sarah, good luck tonight with Kissing Mr wrong's launch – I'm sure Waterstone's will be packed with discerning readers.

Your mum sounds quite a character!



Sarah Duncan said...

Thanks so much Lizzie, I'm already hyperventilating! Right now I don't care if they're discerning or not, just so long as they're there. Still, my mum has promised to behave...