Thursday, July 05, 2007

A word of advice

If you are one of the people who has gotten an e-mail from one of my two interns, asking for you to send a snail mail copy of your novel, please do not address the package to the interns. I am the one who lives here, and my poor postman is getting confused. Please address the material to:

Jenny Rappaport
L. Perkins Agency
15-9 Interlaken Court
Freehold, NJ 07728

Thank you.


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Do the interns ask that packages be addressed to you? In most businesses, you just address the package to the person with whom you're speaking.

Of course, publishing isn't *most* businesses, but that doesn't mean that in the adrenaline rush of "Holy &#$%, she wants it!" authors stop to think, "Hey, this isn't most businesses, so I'd better address it directly to Jenny."

Blame it on the adrenaline.

grrluknow said...

If you reject a partial, do you ask your interns to send a rejection to the author? Or after a certain time period, should the author assume she has been rejected? (I wanted to ask because I've seen lately some agents who say they will respond to an author's query only if they are interested in seeing more. I don't know if the same applies to partials.)
If this is an inappropriate question here, I apologize and please disregard it. Thank you.

Jenny Rappaport said...

Not an inappropriate question at all!

Never assume you're rejected, just because you haven't heard from me. And my interns have been sending rejection letters to each and every query and partial that we pass on--about 70 or so went out last week.

Jeff said...

I'm confused now...back in April you turned down a query that I sent (quite nicely, I might add). I thought that was that, but then at the tail end of June I received an email request for a partial from Michelle McGivern. Since I had been previously rejected I addressed the submission to her, thinking she would be the one to read it.

Jenny Rappaport said...

Jeff, I can understand how that can be confusing, and I do want to apologize. Most likely what happened is that you sent two queries, either snail mail or e-mail, and the first one got processed, and the second didn't. Thus, when Michelle went through some of my queries last week, she found and liked the second query, and convinced me that it was worth it to take a look at.

So, through a circuitous route, for which I apologize, since we're still getting the kinks ironed out... I have your partial, and I'll be happy to consider it. Michelle or Holly (the other intern) will probably read it first, and then, as is standard procedure with my interns, we discuss it together, and I read the ones that pass the first read.

Pretty much how it works in most of publishing. =)

Jeff said...

I did send you an email query way back when (August of 2006 to be exact), but never got a response. I decided to try again in January with a snail mail query.

b.r. stateham said...

Ah, now for the $64 question; If you have not been rejected, and if you have not been notified as to being accepted, AND weeks have gone by since you have had any communication . . . .

. . .how do you get out of this limbo of wondering what the heck is going on?

Anonymous said...

Uh oh. Too late, lol. Sent something out a few days ago with L. Perkins Agency as the heading, and "care of" one of your assisants since the email said "please send to me at L. Perkins..." Hope the postman delivers it! Good to know for the future, though.


Keith Y said...

Jenny, if I may ask, what is the difference between the query and a requested submission from the BEA Pitch-slam? I'm guessing that the BEA route amounted to a query, and that the submission from BEA is what you are calling a partial. Is that right? Also, with the pitches you accepted, are you reading those directly because of the interest you expressed?

Jenny Rappaport said...

A partial requested at a pitch session, such as the BEA pitch slam, counts as a partial. There is no difference between it and a partial I've requested via e-mail. You just got the request in person. =)

Contrary to popular belief,I don't ask for all the novels that are pitched to me in person.

Keith Y said...

I think that such a belief come from the fact that you're very engaging during the pitches. :)

quietly writing said...

What is your current response time on queries (not requested material)?

Anonymous said...

SEnding a requested full out tomorrow, addressed as follows:

Big Deal Agency
attn: Underling who will read it
via Correct Address

The email asking for the manuscript was very specific about the address.

Question: Do I address the cover letter to Ms. Big Deal or Ms. Underling? Help!

kathie said...

Wow! You're flying through those queries--sounds like you've got some stellar interns. Though you need these people to assist you, it must be nice to offer them something so valuable at the same time. The collaboration must be awesome.

--E said...

You do know that you are about to get a whole bunch of stuff sent to you that you didn't actually request, right? Sure, your address is a matter of public record, but no sense making it easy for the loons!

Jodi Meadows said...

B.R. Stateham,

Dude, just wait. I have some advice for you.

A) Never pester an agent on her blog. I promise you it won't help.

B) The publishing business is slow by nature. Glaciers move faster. The fact that there's any communication whatsoever (thanks to the time distortion between our reality and theirs) is a miracle.

C) Never pester an agent on her blog. I realize I already said that one, but I totally mean it.

Pestering on the blog looks unprofessional and, as Miss Snark would say, nitwitish. Don't be a nitwit! Here's what you do:

Pestering should be done in business emails without any hint of an entitlement gnome. The emails should be short, professional, and spaced months apart. Remember that agents have other business that, despite what prospective writers believe, is more important than getting through the pile of submissions. Slush and submissions don't feed a kitten, only selling!

I only write this because I've seen a few of your comments on here with thinly veiled "geeze, come on!" tones. I'm not Jenny, nor do I play her on TV, but if I were, I'd be mighty annoyed after the first couple.

Keith Y said...

Oh Jodi, now you did it, you started me thinking....What was it Moaning Myrtle said? "I was just sitting in the U-bend thinking..." After reading your comments, I started to ponder the relationship between authors, agents and publishers. I hope I don't bore you guys, but here goes....First up, Q: what is the primary role of an agent? A: To sell their client's manuscripts. Ok. All sales cycles take time, some more than others, which means the time to read submissions is limited, right? Now, let's look at Jenny (waives). Jenny goes to the BEA writer's conference and meets alot of people and, hopefully requests alot of interesting manuscripts. BUUUUUT, what else is going on that week? Only the largest publishing trade show in the U.S. Most, if not all, the major publishers are there, which, if I'm an agent, I'm networking with - hard. Soooo, back to point one - an agent's job is to sell her (again using Jenny) client's works. BEA is the best opportunity to do that on a massive scale. Post BEA, her work load must have been HUGE, and this isn't even considering the ear infection she mentioned, nor her upcoming nuptuals. (Congrats).

Second thought - regarding Jodi's 'nitwit' comment. Again, looking at this as a business, what does an agent do - present her clients to a publisher. Ok? So, if that's true, then the author's persona is a reflection of the agent. What if an agent's client is tough to work with? A nitwit, so to speak. Suppose the editors at the big publisher get tired of the author's attitude. What if the author is hard to work with and doesn't take kindly to the editor's input? That would not be good for the agent's reputation. It takes time (that word again) to build up a cache with publishers and to develop that network of go-to people. It's not something you want to jeopardize when your bread and butter comes from soliciting these people. Would you want to be Lindsay Lohan's agent? An author can't be a loose cannon!

Finally, thinking about the agent/author relationship, I would assume that, like any business relationship, it works best when the two work together to put the best face forward to a publisher. I've consulted with manufacturers and sales agents (not literary) for almost 20 years, and the number one complaint from agents is "the manufacturer hires me, and I never hear from them again until they're looking for sales figures." The most successful ones are the ones that are nurtured, where both parties communicate openly and often and work together toward the same goals. I would imagine this would also hold true for literary agents. Like it or not, the world is bout relationships, ones that work and the ones that don't. Whew. So what do you guys think? Am I right, 1/2 right, wrong, out of my mind? Looking forward to your comments.