Jogging the memory banks – help a gal out…

I talk to A LOT of authors. If you personally pitch to me (or anyone) and are invited to submit, then it’s a good idea to consider that we won’t remember you. I know, that sounded really rude, didn’t it? It’s not because you’re forgettable but that we simply talk to a ton of people.

Let’s put into perspective. Say you travel to about six or seven conferences a year and talk to literally hundreds of authors. Then let’s add in about twenty local appearances where you talk to dozens more. And just to make things really fun, let’s say that you also meet dozens more on social media. That adds up to a lot of people and a lot of stories, right? Given that, do you think you’d remember Jane Author or their title if they write to you two, three, five months later? Mind you, you’ve also been reading all the queries and submissions that come to your inbox every day. Now – do you really think your memory goes back that far? Be honest…

I rejoice when I remember where I parked my car.

So as a public service reminder, let me suggest that whenever you contact an editor (or agent) you met at a conference or event, ALWAYS reference who you are, title of your book, and a quick line about the plot. A title or author’s name isn’t enough. This doesn’t have to be a long diatribe – keep it short and simple:

Example:

Hi Lynn, I met you at the Pacific Southwest Writer’s Conference, and you invited me to send me a partial of The Case of the Inverted Bellybutton – a story about a beagle who solves mysteries…

One sentence will jog my memory, and we can go from there. Yay.

I’ve been to three major conferences in the past six months, so I have a lot of authors contacting me about sending their queries. I’m struggling because most were under the impression that I possess a steel trap memory, so they failed to give me any reference other than their name and the title of their book. Le sigh…a mind is a terrible thing to lose, yet mine seems to flopping around on some freeway underpass.

So help a gal out, willya? Give your full name, how we met, title of your book, and a brief sentence of your plot. It’s simply the polite thing to do.

2 Responses to Jogging the memory banks – help a gal out…

  1. NinjaFingers says:

    I would add one more thing.

    If you’re sending a partial or a full hard copy to an agent or publisher who requested it, write ‘Requested Material’ clearly on the outside of the envelope.

    Otherwise there’s a very real risk of something being round filed unopened by an assistant who only knows that they don’t take unsolicited manuscripts.

  2. Marisa Birns says:

    Wise words. Story about beagle solving mysteries sounds good. Hope beagle knows how to make margaritas. 😀

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