I’ve given this a lot of thought — some of my followers may recall a comment I made on Twitter a few weeks ago — and I think it’s time for an overhaul of my submission guidelines. From now on, when submitting a manuscript for my consideration for representation, please:
- Email both the firstname.lastname@example.org address and my personal email address, so I can be doubly sure of receipt.
- Attach a photo of yourself so I know who I’m dealing with. (If you do not have an up-to-date photo, do feel free to send a picture of your dog, cat, or celebrity lookalike.)
- Send your complete manuscript as an attachment with your letter.
- Do be sure to use as many fonts as you feel is necessary in your query letter, so I can be sure to really grasp the importance of your query.
- Please let me know what other agents you are submitting to. The easiest way to do this is to copy all of us on your initial email.
- Don’t worry about coming up with an original hook for your novel. Please use the following formula: “My novel is [John Hughes movie] meets [WB series] with [supernatural creatures]!” Bonus points for including casting thoughts for the inevitable movie based on your book.
- Don’t include any mention of authors or books that readers of your novel might enjoy. Instead, please be sure to tell me how most books being published recently are crap (use examples, ideally from my client list!).
- Feel free to disregard my previously stated preferences for YA and MG fiction. I’m dying for a great military thriller, literary tale of a 30-something unsure of what to do with his life, or sex guide to the Far East. You never know until you try me!
- If you’re writing from prison, please let me know up front. I love the idea of being pen pals, but not being able to gtalk at you at all hours of the night MAY put a crimp on our relationship.
- In fact, if you can’t email, just come on by my office to drop off your manuscript. Maybe we can grab a cup of coffee and chat!
As always, do your research and make sure you check that all submission guidelines you use are the most up-to-date and comprehensive possible. Doublecheck all dates — for instance, this one is posted on April 1, 2010.