Friday, July 18, 2008

Where Are We Again?

Well, there is nothing like a blast from the past to remind us, in our tenth year, of our humble origins. How could we forget?

Anyway, I won’t go in great detail to relate what’s been happening the last couple of days except that someone has been bugging us because our mailing address and phone number are not posted on our Web site—yet again. It looks suspicious, says this voice, like we are ashamed of where we’re located.

So, we’d like to take a poll. It’s right over there on the right side. We’re curious as to how many people don’t know where we are. We’ve pretty much become, over the last decade, used to being referred to as “Wylie-Merrick? That’s that agency in________.”

That’s all for now. We have an appointment to get to.

Best,

Sharene

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't think it really matters where the bricks and mortar are located. The critical element for a literary agent is their knowledge of the market, their relationship with editors and their ability to appropriately place the work they represent.

Wylie-Merrick's track record and reputation prompted me to query them on my recently completed MS. And even though Robert declined, my communications with him were nothing short of professional. I wouldn't hesitate to run a different project by him.

His midwestern sensibilities tend to inspire a certain confidence.

--F.P.

Scott Jensen said...

Where's the option "On a secret floating island aimlessly wandering the Seven Seas which is hidden by a permanent fog and protected by a horde of angst-ridden vampyres"?

ken said...

If it "doesn't matter" where you're located, why not post the address? In the scam-a-licious world of publishing, transparency would seem the best course for reputable endeavors.

Wylie Merrick Literary said...

Ah, but scam-a-licious rears its ugly head yet again. But alas, we stopped taking snail mail queries after 9/11 and found it not only saves us time but saves writers money to submit via e-mail. We’ve found, in the past, that posting our address on our site (it used to be on our splash page which you had to click on to enter the site) caused a large increase in snail mail queries, so these days we hide it so deeply that you actually have to go Google to find it (go to Google—you know that popular search engine—and type in Wylie-Merrick Literary Agency). I know how badly writer’s cramp has crippled those magical fingers, but it’s only a few keystrokes.

It seems no matter how much we discourage regular mail queries, if our address is on our site, we get tons of them. What usually happens is played out in this scenario:

With a big sigh, John J. Doe stacks the pages of his newly finished manuscript, takes a deep, deep breath and immediately begins his search for an agent to represent his masterpiece. He’s heard that research on the internet is the way to go, so he types “Literary Agents” into his trusty Google search engine. He clicks on every URL that pops up and stays there long enough to copy and paste the address of each agent into his handy database. Later, he does a mail merge and sends out a hundred queries.

At his next critique group meeting, he lets his critique partners all know how easy it was for him and passes his list around, and the vicious cycle continues. And so far it's only cost him a few thousand dollars and about thirty minutes of his time.

Wylie Merrick Literary said...

To add to what we've said below: Writers, or people in general for that matter, don't dig very deep for information and definitely don't check their sources--and scammers love this fact.

Anonymous said...

You two will be in the Quad-Cities (Davenport, Iowa) in June for the writing conference, and I'd like to talk to Sharene about possibly doing a presentation on LGBT literature as part of the community-wide celebration of Pride Month. I'm sure you'll busy during the conference, but wanted to see if you'd consider coming into town a day early, maybe? My committee doesn't have much of a budget, but I thought since you would already be coming this way, that we might be able to work something out.

This request does not have to be posted as a blog comment. Thanks, Ruby Nancy ruby@rubynancy.com 563-391-9069

Rafi said...

Kokomo? hehe, I grew up in Columbus! Of course, I've been in California for the past 30 years...