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  1. JCKey618
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    JCKey618 Member

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    Video query?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by JCKey618, Aug 22, 2010.

    Hi all,

    I am sending off my first novel to the first agent (who I've actually met in person before--a fairly prominent agent with over 50 clients!) and I was thinking of the idea of sending in a 60-second or shorter video of me 'pitching' my book.

    To clarify, this would NOT be in place of a quality query or good writing. Those elements will still be my best. My reasons for wanting to do the video:

    1) I'm charismatic and can make a really engaging oral 'pitch.'

    2) I actually met Amy at the Stanford Professional Publishing Course last year and one section of the course talked about the want for new authors to be willing to involve themselves in the social media movement to promote their writing. I thought sending in a video pitch will show that I am competent with the current social media tools and can engage outside of my writing.

    I met the agent at one of the faculty dinners (I was an intern and this was one of the perks, to attend the dinners) and she actually said for me to contact her when I felt like I had something worthy of being read. That was a year ago. Recently another faculty member (involved in the publication of King's first novel, Carrie) I connected with during the course read my book and said he thinks 'it is publishable' and actually referred me to the original agent. On her listing, she asks for a query letter and the first 20 pages.

    Thoughts? Should I just got traditional and do the query letter with the 20? Or if I am confident I can make a compelling pitch over video, should I include one? This is my first time submitting to an agent so i want to stand out as much as possible but at the same time don't want to ruin my chances by being 'unprofessional.'
     
  2. erik martin
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    erik martin Contributing Member

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    Most agents don't seem to like things that fall outside of their guidelines. I haven't heard of anyone having made a video query, though I am certain it has happened. If you've met the agent and got the impression that she would be receptive than you may wish to go for it. If it doesn't get you a MS request then leave it out on the next one. Let us know how it goes.
     
  3. stubeard
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    stubeard Active Member

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    It's normally best to stick to what the agent requires of you - remember, she's the one who has all the experience of the publishing industry and knows what works and what doesn't.

    However, if that doesn't work, then you can try more unorthodox methods.

    Always go for orthodoxy first, especially when an expert has already asked you what they require.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Submissions editors are under a lot of time pressure. Just give them what they ask for. They are more impressed by professionalism than by gimmicks.
     
  5. Tamsin
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    Tamsin Senior Member

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    I think they would just find it strange, and perhaps a little arrogant, maybe even desperate. Let your writing speak for itself.

    Wanting writers who are media savvy is something quite separate from what you are suggesting. There is the chance of actually alienating the agent with your 'charisma'.
     
  6. Shinn
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    Shinn Banned

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    To be honest, if I was an agent and got a video query, I would put it in the trash. Stick to the basics okay? Query letter and 20 pages of your story.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm definitely with cog and tamsin on this...

    as for including 20 pages, imo that might be considered 'pushing it' by the many agents who only want a query letter and want it left up to them to request samples or the full ms...
     
  8. JCKey618
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    JCKey618 Member

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    For clarification, the agent asked for the first 20 pages in their 'guidelines for query' submission. The submissions are over email, so thats probably why they are more open to asking for this upfront.

    Also, my apologies for having two topics on the front. Is it possible to delete this one, as I'm pretty convinced on NOT doing the video :)
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you can ask cog to lock it...
     
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