Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What I Do All Day

Have you ever wondered what a literary agent does all day?  Think we just read and search for wonderful new authors?  Think again.

Today I spent close to an hour filling out a form 8802 for two clients.  This is the form that lets them get a form 6166, which will let their Spanish publisher only deduct 5% income tax from their whopping 300 Euro payment instead of 24%.  Paid the fees online and emailed the form to the clients to complete and fax to the IRS.  Now I get to wait 45 days for the response.

I emailed a client some supportive (I hope) thoughts on his mother dying.

I followed up with a film agent/manager.  Possible lunch in LA to come.

I logged receipts on some submission follow-ups so that when the editors claim not to have heard from me, I have proof they opened the email.

I pulled the trigger and authorized an Australian web firm to redesign the TZC website in Joomla.  Will be adding eQuery form so that I can put an end to accepting paper queries.

Emailed old high-school friend who is now a graphic designer about fixing logos for TZC and my other company.

Spoke to the wife two or three times about how much of each bottle my son is drinking.  Consulted with nanny on baby’s eating, sleeping, and, of course, pooping.

Went to the Postal Annex and picked up mail.  Bought bananas, lettuce, and fudge-covered grahams.  Don’t tell wife about the latter.

Remembered mail in trunk of my car.  BRB.

Received one full ms from author saying he was “inclosing” per my request.  Hopes for next best-seller quickly faded.

Received another full ms with SASE into which ms would never fit and which I will never use because we don’t return full MSS because PO won’t accept such a big package with stamps.  Total waste of expensive stamp and large envelope.  Though, if I take him on as a client, I guess I can send his rep agreement in it.  Pretty sure it is 10-point Times Roman.  Good thing I’m seeing the eye doctor tomorrow.

Received a THIRD full ms (holy crap!) that author says is mine exclusively (though I did not ask for it exclusively).  Looks like 10-point Courier New.

Pondered why I bothered to put MS formatting guidelines on website and note in request letter to go look at and use them.

Wife called to ask how to open gas tank on her new car.  I had no idea.

New ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY and KIPLINGER’S PERSONAL FINANCE in the mail.  First tip in KIPLINGER’S:  “Don’t waste your money on magazines that have no meaningful purpose, like EW.”  Ah, irony.  Yes, I’m kidding.

Holy crap!  Adam Lambert is GAY!???

Miss California is fired.  Alas, Trump didn’t do it himself as he is apparently allowed only to say “You’re fired” on THE APPRENTICE.

More irony but in no way funny:  Pro-life group wants to buy clinic of doctor who was shot dead by pro-lifer.

Guard gets killed by white supremacist at the US Holocaust Museum.  The alleged killer was James Von Brunn, 88-years-old.  So much for getting wiser as we get older.  Apparently this guy just got more pissed off.  Irony is that I’m pretty sure that guard wasn’t Jewish and that the killer apparently wrote a book called KILL THE BEST GENTILES.  Non-Jewish guard working at the Holocaust Museum?  Well, buddy, looks like you got your start.  Too bad we can’t gas you and cremate you.  Now THAT would be irony.

Got what I believe is the ELEVENTH copy of the Google Class Action notice, this time for a dead, former client.  Please Google, stop sending these and stop your stupid scanning program and just spend the money on literacy.  It would be a better cause.

Wrote a letter to a client who is completely MIA.  Work email bounces and home phone number seems to be a fax line but won’t accept a fax.

Double-checked that publisher got the cover fixed on Amazon for client’s book.

Followed up with another publisher about an egregious act involving contract amendment and royalties.  Still waiting for them to fix that.

Followed up on D&A payment due client; over a month has passed since delivery of the ms.

Followed up with local comic-book publisher about lunch meeting.

Email in-box now has only 56 emails in it.  Not bad.

Still need to process the new submissions, read the query that came in today, and by then it will be time for the nanny to go home and me to take over.  Whoo hoo!





Brandie said...

Mr. Zack,

In regards to your comment "Pondered why I bothered to put MS formatting guidelines on website and note in request letter to go look at and use them."

I've been looking over your website and find no obvious links to the manuscript guidelines. I would have expected to find a link under the submissions page, but all I see are "What We're Looking For" and "How To Query," neither of which is the manuscript formatting information. I also see no obvious link on the FAQ page, sidebar or topbar.

Maybe I'm just blind. It happens sometimes. But the only way I found your manuscript guidelines was searching through old blogs. I'm not sure how many people would put that much work into find the guidelines. Perhaps if you updated the Submissions page, it would cut down on the number of bad queries you get?

Andrew Zack said...


There's a link smack-dab in the middle of the How to Query Us page and also in the sidebar from that page and other pages on that same level.


Brandie said...

Okay, I did miss that. Somehow I got that link confused with the link to your .pdf on how to write the perfect query letter. I assumed they were one and the same.

My apologies.

HemlockMan said...

My agent has 35 clients. He has to listen to most of them whining. I can't imagine the stress of that, and try to act accordingly.

Chris Dracoules said...

Ah crap, I did write ‘inclosing.’ Damn it Jim, I’m a doctor, not an English Major. I know, I know, you don’t have to be an English Major to know the proper usage. The sad part is that I am an English Major. My only defense is that I was just so gosh darn excited, but your wit has chastened me and I throw myself down on my sword. Well maybe not the sword, not yet. Maybe the butter knife for now just encase (hahaha) you like the ms.

Hey, at least it’s 12 point.

I can already see your response,
“Time for the sword” or some such…

Form-6166 said...

You don't have to wait for 45 days to check up on the status of 6166. After about 10 business day it should be in their system and you will know if tere are any issues or everything is fine.

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