Agency diary mentions in the Independent
15 Nov 2011
The agency ghosts’s Halloween lunch on 31st October made The Independent
The Independent on Sunday then ran a story on 13th November on agency submissions.
Literary editors receive some strange messages – PRs misaddressing emails to the wrong newspaper, out-of-work writers demanding reviewing work with menaces, or authors wanting us to read their self-published conspiracy theories that no publisher will touch because they are “afraid of the truth” – but they’re nothing, it seems, compared to the postbag of a literary agent. Andrew Lownie has been in touch, directing me to the website of his agency, which specialises in history and biography (not poetry and short stories, aspiring writers please note) and has a list of handy tips for authors wishing to submit their masterpieces. Among the tips are many we agree with, including: “My rule is that the longer the parcel takes to open, the quicker it is to discard. Anything with too much sellotape and staples suggests a mad person.” Here at IoS Towers, the longer a book takes to unwrap, the less interesting it inevitably is. Another is: “Address the agent correctly.” He’s right: for a person who claims to be a writer or reviewer, for whom spelling and attention to detail are quite important, getting the addressees name right is particularly important. Mr Lownie tells us that he has recently been addressed as: Hello dear Andrew; Dear Mr Townie; Hello Angel; Dear Mr. Dolby; Top of the day to you; and Do your current interests include ferociously paced, commercial Tartan Noir? His correspondents have signed off, variously: In His Holy Name; PLEAS CONTACT ME FOR FUTURE TALK; Artistically Yours; If there’s a zombie apocalypse, good luck!; and i need to get published man. hope to hear from you guys. Peace. If you have recently sent a submission to the agency including one of the above, then sorry, but it doesn’t look like you’re going to be published any time soon. Please, though, don’t call us.
Good to know the website is being read.