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 One way to annoy an agent

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Dick Stodghill
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Dick Stodghill

Number of posts : 3795
Registration date : 2008-05-04
Age : 94
Location : Akron, Ohio

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PostSubject: One way to annoy an agent   One way to annoy an agent EmptySat Aug 16, 2008 7:41 am

Here's one thing that spells doom when querying agent Philip Spitzer, who has been in business in New York for 39 years:

"...I am astonished by the number of queries I receive from writers who address me as 'Philip' as if they knew me. Very unprofessional. And, in general, an extraordinary number of queries are simply carelessly written; and, as they say, you only get one chance to make a first impression."

From the agents & editors column in The Third Degree, the monthly newsletter of Mystery Writers of America.

Spitzer also believes having an agent in New York means a lot. "I think it is still very important to meet face-to-face with as many editors as possible."

Perhaps it is the "casual" approach that many people feel is just fine, but it is hard to imagine calling someone you don't know by their first name.
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Shelagh
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Shelagh

Number of posts : 12625
Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : UK

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PostSubject: Re: One way to annoy an agent   One way to annoy an agent EmptySat Aug 16, 2008 8:18 am

It is equally astonishing that agents reply to emails by addressing the recipient by first name and signing with a first name, yet expect to receive a formal reply. It's all very confusing.

I would also be interested to know how many authors Mr. Spitzer has signed up who sent unsolicted material.

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One way to annoy an agent 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ One way to annoy an agent 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ One way to annoy an agent 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ One way to annoy an agent 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ One way to annoy an agent 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ One way to annoy an agent 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©️Shelagh Watkins
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10721
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 80
Location : Germany

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PostSubject: Re: One way to annoy an agent   One way to annoy an agent EmptySat Aug 16, 2008 9:31 am

I wouldn't think of addressing anyone I didn't know by their first name. And I resent it when people I don't know call me by my first name. I respect the people I address and expect the same. If I talk to a Doctor, I refer to that person by his/her title. My title is "Mister." Once an introduction is made and the person requests to be called by his/her first name, then it is acceptable.
Now I do expect to be jumped on by these comments, but jump away. It is the way I am and I will not change my standards.
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lin
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lin

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Location : Mexico

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PostSubject: Re: One way to annoy an agent   One way to annoy an agent EmptySat Aug 16, 2008 10:07 am

I use formal address in initial contact. If somebody replies with their first name, I reply to that in kind.
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Dick Stodghill
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Dick Stodghill

Number of posts : 3795
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Location : Akron, Ohio

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PostSubject: Re: One way to annoy an agent   One way to annoy an agent EmptySat Aug 16, 2008 10:23 am

I don't know the answer to Shelagh's question, but he represents a number of leading American mystery writers including Jan Burke, Michael Connelly, Ken Bruen and Jonathon King.

The MWA now has a program offering aid to mystery writers who have been dropped by their publishers or have had their series cancelled. Both seem to be happening more and more often.
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Pam
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Pam

Number of posts : 1790
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Age : 53
Location : Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

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PostSubject: Re: One way to annoy an agent   One way to annoy an agent EmptySat Aug 16, 2008 3:22 pm

Jump all over your comments Abe? For good manners? Perish the thought!
pirate
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Malcolm
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Malcolm

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PostSubject: Re: One way to annoy an agent   One way to annoy an agent EmptySun Aug 17, 2008 7:41 am

No wonder he didn't answer when I began my letter, "Hey, Spits." Very Happy

The web has been part of the casualisation of America, but starting out with a first name in a query is a bit much.

Malcolm
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zadaconnaway
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zadaconnaway

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PostSubject: Re: One way to annoy an agent   One way to annoy an agent EmptySun Aug 17, 2008 8:58 am

I heartily agree. I like your "Hey Spitz" comment Malcolm. It is never acceptable to address someone you don't know by their first name only, in my opinion. As Mr. March pointed out, it is a matter of respect. May I call you Abe, Mr. March? Laughing On these boards, we become familiar with each other, establish friendships, and I easily slip into first names. Except with Betty, who will always be 'Wooffer's Mom" in my mind! Laughing
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

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PostSubject: Re: One way to annoy an agent   One way to annoy an agent EmptySun Aug 17, 2008 9:24 am

Zada,
as was often mentioned, people on this board are family.
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zadaconnaway
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zadaconnaway

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PostSubject: Re: One way to annoy an agent   One way to annoy an agent EmptySun Aug 17, 2008 9:31 am

I was just being smart (or so I thought!). I imagine if you were offended by me calling you Abe, you would have called me on it long ago! One way to annoy an agent 704672
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lin
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lin

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PostSubject: Re: One way to annoy an agent   One way to annoy an agent EmptyThu Sep 25, 2008 9:13 am

So much for how to annoy agents. Let's start a long list of ways they annoy US.
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Domenic Pappalardo
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Domenic Pappalardo

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PostSubject: Re: One way to annoy an agent   One way to annoy an agent EmptyTue Apr 28, 2009 7:01 am

I do not address an agent by their first name, but on the other side of the coin...are we not the customer?
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