Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Do Not Want

One thing that discourages me is reading the "New Deals" mailings from Publishers' Marketplace. So much of what's sold sounds so dreadful to me!

A lot of this is just the required format, which requires that the pitch line for the book, information on author (and previous work), publisher, agent, and terms of the deal all be shoehorned into a single paragraph, preferably containing only once sentence.

The experience has brought to my attention certain phrases that automatically turn me off. This puts additional pressure on me when writing queries, as I am now consciously avoiding them. If I'm sick to death of hearing these phrases, I think, an agent or publisher with taste similar to mine presumably is even more so.

For the record, if you try to sell me something and find yourself saying:
"...only to find..."
"...changes everything..."
"...nothing will ever be the same..."
"...fight to survive..." (or against tyrranny, or to regain, or basically any generic fight, battle, or war turns me right off)
"...not what he/she/it/they seem..."
"...learns that..." (Okay, this one is contextual. If the protagonist learns that his mother is a robot, I'm cool. If he learns some big philosophical point like how to feel truly alive or that risk is necessary or some damn thing like that, don't tell me about it in the pitch!)
"...little realizing..."
"...all while..."

You've already lost me.

Fortunately for you, as a consumer I'm on the wrong part of the bell curve for marketing success. In fact, if I can tell you're trying to sell me something, you can't sell it to me. I immediately don't want it. I want to go in to a store and find what I'm looking for, on my own, thankyouverymuch.

No wonder I have such a hard time selling perfectly good stories!

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