At the 2010 SCBWI Summer Conference, Ginger Clark, literary agent for Curtis Brown LTD, spoke at a breakout session entitled "How to Approach Agents Without Scaring Them Off." This blogger enjoyed the session. I am grateful for Ms. Clark's time. Here are some tips:
- Don't follow an agent into the bathroom.
- Don't follow an agent into the pool.
- Don't follow an agent to the gym, especially if the agent is working out with another agent, and pitch your project.
- If an agent is at a bar and engaged in conversation with another person, do not approach the agent and pitch your project.
After a long conference, an editor returned to her hotel room, entered her bedroom and found on her pillow - a query letter. Can you say creepy?After recounting these episodes, Ms. Clark addressed the assembled group and said, "I'm sure none of you would do that."
An agent entered a bathroom stall and commenced her business. To her horror, someone slid a manuscript under the stall door.
A surgeon visited a patient being prepped for an operation. Upon learning the the patient was a literary agent, the surgeon asked if he could pitch his book to her. The agent replied, "you're the one with the scalpel, you can do whatever you want."
Not me, says I.
Well...almost. In the interests of disclosure, this blogger did follow a certain publisher into the Mens' Room at the conference. However, I knew the publisher from a previous function and, as he is a busy fellow, I retreated post-haste from the urological premises upon seeing the publisher approach a designated respository area.