I Promise You Won't Learn A Thing From This Blog

The official blog for author Ashley Chappell. Check back every week for a few laughs at my expense or, if you know the love-hate process that is writing, commiseration.

Friday, January 17, 2014

How the Brits Bag Literary Agents.... Really!

I think the wires keep her head on.
My guest today is the lovely Alex Tanner from all the way across the pond! Alex writes gritty psychological fiction including the recent post-apocalyptic PARADISE INCOMING, the dark short COFFEE, and the upcoming TEQUILA BARTENDER. She also happens to be one of my favorite smartasses in this upper hemisphere and she's sharing her best 'tips' on how to sell your book to an agent/publisher.

I'd really like to emphasize again that Alex hails from the UK. Why? Because I'm also daring all of my American readers to try NOT reading this in a bad English accent now :-)


The Snarknado Guide to Query Letters

If you’ve written a million letters to agents or publishers, but keep getting ignored or rejected, worry not. The time of your success starts now. Read this guide and if you don’t get published within a week I will eat a selfie of Justin Beiber.

1. It’s very important that you write your letter on My Little Pony paper in gold glitter pen. Because nobody embodies ‘self respect’ like a Brony.  

2. Start your letter with ‘hey bro’, because agents and publishers love to be called bro. If you want to sweeten the pot further, sketch two hands doing a little fist bump in the corner. 

3. If you don’t have a book yet, just use someone else’s. Preferably choose a dead author’s work, like Shakespeare, he can’t sue. 

4. Don’t bother laying out the whole story. They’ll figure it out when they read it anyway.  

5. Spell everything wrong. I mean it. Are you in America? Use British spelling, they’ll love it! Better yet, switch your font to Chinese. They’ll love trying to translate it. 

6. If you’re hot be sure to attach a bathroom selfie where you ‘accidentally’ forgot that pants existed. If you’re hairy chested, shave ‘publish me!’ into your chest. 

7. Throw random punctuation at that letter like you’d throw confetti at a bride. It! Will, get; you-noticed? Trust me IMMA RITER. 

8. Attach a letter from your mom encouraging the publishers to go ahead with your proposal. If she thinks you’re awesome then you must be awesome, right? 

9. Once you’ve sent your letter, send an hourly email to find out how you did. Make sure you phone right after too, just in case. 

10. If you get rejected, send the publisher continuous Vines of you sobbing into a bowl of potato chips until they change their mind.

Okay perhaps not. Think of this as a ‘what not to do in the name of all that is holy’. If you see someone about to follow this guide, sit them in a corner and feed them chocolate until they slip into a coma.

It’s for their own good.

But hopefully, if you’ve been slaving away writing letters and proposals with no luck, this at least made you smile!

You can buy my debut novel Paradise Incoming at Amazon, or from my blog over at www.thegeekmemoirs.com


  1. *snorts* I love this!

    1. Anonymous9:27 AM

      I remember you saying in your post about query letters and I got inspired and wrote this hahaa ;D


    2. I know! I laughed my head off when I first read her guest post. It REALLY makes me want to go to a pitch session and try them all at once :-)


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