I sent off several queries to agents for a new national book I have. This is a good thing. It's great to write books, but if those books never leave your computer and venture out in the world on their own, what good are they?
So I did the practice-what-you-preach thing and sent off my queries. That night, my website got jacked by some actress in LA. Her website is pink. I am not exactly a pink kind of human being. I respect all those who love pink and respectfully decline to join them. I threw a fit at my poor webmaster. He promised me he would get it fixed.
I awoke the next morning to an acupuncturist on my website. At least it wasn't pink. I worried about it a little, thinking about those queries I'd sent off and wondering if agents genuinely looked at the websites listed amongst the author information.
"Nah!" I told myself. Agents are busy and the chances of one actually going to my site were slimmer than the jeans I wore as a teenager.
I got an email later that afternoon that began with, "I liked your query and went to look at your other publications. They look adorable." The heavens opened and the angels sang. As I kept reading, that singing I was hearing turned to raucous laughter. The agent had gone to my site and then got "stuck" there due to the neat-o flaws of my website's hosting servers. In this modern day of scams, spam, and viruses, and since the agent's computer shares a network with everyone in the agency, the agent felt a little apprehensive.
It seemed like an elaborate hoax to the agent and they weren't all that appreciative. And the email that began with praise ended with a scolding.
I screamed enough my voice went hoarse. I wrote the agent back the most insane email I've ever written. And I hit send. Yeah.
Seriously am I cursed? Does this sort of thing ever happen to anyone else? I totally don't blame the agent for feeling irritated. I certainly felt irritation! I wanted to weep. So I did what I always do in a crisis of literary nature. I called Josi. She laughed and helped me to see the humor. Another author to share such misery is a vital thing. While I lamented to my dear friend (whose book, Her Good Name, is simply a must read) another email popped up on my screen from the agent.
It was a very friendly, upbeat letter of understanding and commiseration over my internet woes. It was also a request for the full manuscript. And also a request for the manuscript to be sent snail mail . . . just in case. That last request struck me as really funny and made me like this agent as a human being, whether they take me into their agency or not, I will always have good things to say about them.
The moral of this story:
- Never include anything in your query letter that you don't want your agent or editor seeing. If you include a website, your website needs to be active and professional. Granted, my situation was a result of bad timing and psychosis, but it's good to know they actually do pay attention to what information you include.
- Agents are people too, with worries and a sense of humor.
- Get yourself a good writer buddy. A phone call with a writer buddy is better than a pound of chocolate, cheaper than therapy, and more effective than drinking.
- Even after four published books, *those* days still happen.
Warning: I do NOT suggest this as a way to woo agents.
Happy Writing My Friends!