Thursday, February 15, 2007

Special Cases of Address

Dear Rejecter,

Another question. In the submission guidelines for a few of the agencies I want to query, their website says, write to the "Submissions Department", instead of any particular agent. In such cases, is it ok to write "Dear Agent" in the query letter, because I don't know which agent to address? Or, if I do get to know the name of a specific agent, is it advisable to write to her (and thus ignoring the submission guidelines)?

In this particular case, it is okay to write "Submissions Department" and not "Dear Agent." In most cases, however, the submissions department is usually defined as the corner of the agent's desk where the pile of mail was dropped in a rush to get to the phone.


Richard said...

Gee, I don't know. I think I would prefer to go with something like:

Dear Esteemed,

It is no doubt that my writing to you comes as a great surprise. Yet, if I did not act so swiftly and abruptly, the propitious moment of opportunity should pass us by. My name is Mango Tango, a scribe of 50 years. By day I am an honest loans officer in the national chartered bank of Oxswana; by night I am a dedicated scribbler, penning away the most momentous story of our time.

It is strange how circumstances alter our plans and change our focus. The whole time I worked on this novel, I could think of no one but myself, of the glory, the fame, the money, and the power the publication of this novel should give to me. However, a few years ago, a missionary brought to me the Good News and I converted. Wholeheartedly accepting the beautiful gift laid out for me. From that day forward, I pledged to donate all the earnings of my novel to helping others. Unfortunately, a sad twist of fate finds me with a terminal illness and without the strength to publish my manuscript.

Yet, through prayer, I have been delivered to you and now you see how beneficial this encounter is to both of us. I shall give to you the exclusive rights to publish my book, knowing in the fullness of my heart that you are a good and decent person who will stop at nothing to ensure this manuscript and its proceeds are not denied this world. Of course, you shall be rewarded and permitted to take a generous portion of the sales for your trouble.

Hmmm ... maybe it should be sent ALL CAP.

Anonymous said...

Definitely ALL CAP. :)

Word verification: ibuxm -- no lie. And maybe I am, but how does Blogger know that?!?

Unknown said...

I find that agents really respond well when you send your queries titled, "Dear Incompetent Asshole:"

Starting it out this way, they can't help but feel the force of your personality right off the bat.

Knowing a prospective author has spunk establishes an irresistible "Agent Knee Jerk," reaction, which means they call you back right away with an awesome offer of representantion.