Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.

- Graycie Harmon

Thursday, April 8, 2010

It Starts....

Though this won't be posted until Thursday morning, I'm writing this Wednesday afternoon.... if only to say this:

I am an idiot.

Plain and simple. An idiot, I tell you. After my third rejection in less than two weeks, and a handful of further submissions, I found a typo in my query letter. Well no wonder I'm being rejected! Who wants to represent a writer who can't even write? Gr! Argh!

What a bloody mess.

Hello... this just in (and by just in, I mean at 3:31 Wednesday afternoon)... a response from Awaticka Agency.... Reading now... thought it was a rejection... but they're asking to see my manuscript... hmmmm.... seems kind-of fishy to me... doing research... can't see anything wrong.... emailing Writer's Beware, just in case.... Hmmm...

Alright, so here is the email Awaticka sent me:

Dear S.M. Carrière,

I want to begin by thanking you for considering Awaticka Literary Services for your query. I had planned to reject all recent queries without even reading them because we are currently back logged with work and have had to turn away even really good authors because we can't always keep up. Awaticka Literary Services is a very VERY small agency. There are only three and occasionally four of us so we have to be careful about who we select to work for. Still, I find myself compelled to look at your work, even if I should have to invest my personal time, I would do it for the right piece. Anything you have that you think would sell me on your book... you are invited to send it along with any precluding chapters you may have to accompany the main text, such as a prologue, foreword, etc...

In submissions, we like to see manuscripts that have at least one to one-and-a-half inch margins all around, double spaced lines and paragraphs indented by .5. The name of the manuscript/yourname should be in the top left corner of each page and the page number should appear in the top right corner.

We run several software packages as we do have more than one agent and more than one department, but if you save your document with a rich text format file extension (.rtf), any of our agents will have access to your work and it will probably be read sooner because of it.

Artwork, if submitted electronically, should be seperate from the text and be attached as a .jpeg file.

If you would prefer to submit your work in the printed version, feel free to use the guidelines above and print only on one side of the page. You may insert artwork with text as long as it has coinciding page numbers. (More than one of us makes the decision to represent and we just hate misplacing parts of the manuscripts or getting them confused due to lack of page numbers).

It is important to put the words "Requested Material" on the outside of the envelope so that your work will be placed ahead of the slush piles. Please send this material to The Awaticka Literary Services Agency ATTN: Senior Agent : Veronica Coldiron 1911 Dell Drive, Columbus, GA. 31906. Make sure to include a cover letter, and brief bio like the one you've placed here in your letter.

We prefer electronic submissions as an attachment as they are read quicker and accessible to more of us, but realize that some people have limited access to the computer or internet and so we have absolutely no qualms with physical submissions.

Thanks so much for your time and attention. We look forward to receiving your material and have a beautiful week!

Sincerest best wishes,

Alright. I'm suspicious for several reasons.

1. They answered me the very same day... only a matter of hours after I submitted.... how could they have done so if they were so busy?
2. They spent an entire paragraph explaining how they weren't going to accept new clients 'cause they were small and very busy, but thought they just might give me a go. I mean, I know my stuff is good, but my query can't have been that good.... could it?
3. 'your name' was written as all one word.
4. She spelled 'separate' incorrectly.
5. Why aren't there agent bios listed on the website?

If this is genuine, I might be happy... but there's just something telling me it can't be. Have I read too much Writer's Beware?

If anyone has had any experience with Awaticka Literary Agency at all, I'd be delighted to know how it went, and if you have any advice for me at all.

Those who have been approached by an agent can also help me out here. Does this letter ring true to you?

I'll save responding to Awaticka until I can discern more. Until then, I shall ceaselessly curse myself for that stupid bloody typo! GRARGH! (That was 'gr' and 'argh' squished together, in case you were wondering. It was deliberate. I swear.)


Tom. said...

There's a presumably (hopefully?) apocryphal story of a very successful professional who decided that what he wanted, more than anything else was a book with his name on the cover.

So, he jotted down thousands of words of banality, and sent it off, knowing that his existing fame would be enough to get it published. (I'm assuming he'd never head of ghostwriters.)

When someone equally famous saw his manuscript lying about, and asked to see it, they were surprised to see an endless supply of typos, misspellings, grammatical errors, and everything else a writer tries to avoid.

His friend asked how much work he had had to put into it to straighten it out from the first draft, to be told, that's not the first draft, that's it, completed, first time, and any errors are what editors are for.

One rule for them, one rule for others, I guess.

S.M. Carrière said...

Hah hah hah!

Of course there different rules for rich and famous, and the rest of us!

Enter any anti-bourgeoisie sentiment here.

Anonymous said...

Dear S.M., I have a good friend who has been accepted with that agency and he's pleased so far. They have at least gotten his manuscript read by 2 major publishers. Although he has been rejected by them, he says his agent has told him she will do whatever it takes to get his manuscript published. I too was thinking of submitting a query to them. If I get a similar letter back the same day, I'll let you know. Hope this has helped you. C.B.

S.M. Carrière said...

Hi C.B.!

Thanks so much, it does help me. Also, as I explained in a later post, I have discerned with the help pf Ms. Strauss at Writer's Beware that this agency is indeed legitimate. They are, as yet, young and without any sales. Of course that doesn't mean they won't sell in the future.

I was distrustful at first, as they seemed waaay too keen. That said, I really did like the sense of humour on their website, and I do hope that they will get their names out there soon.

I also received a rather strong defence of Awatika from someone who is currently represented by them... in which I was called "over confident" and "sure of myself" (honestly, did you even read my blog?), so I'm aware that many authors are quite pleased with them....

I'm just not sure they are right for me.

So, thanks for the help C.B., and do keep me posted!

Good luck!