Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Short Review of a Short Film and the Agent Search Report


I offer you a short review of the short film, Octopodi. It’s one of just two Academy Award nominated films I’ve seen this year. Octopodi is fantastic, beautiful, brilliant, and funny. Perhaps I should climb down off of the fence to say I loved this movie. Set on the Greek island of Mykonos, the story follows two octopuses as they try to escape captivity and make it back to the ocean. Yeah, I used the word octopuses. Bet you thought I should have used the word octopi. Hah! I could have used octopi. I could have used octopodes, but I didn’t. I used octopuses. And all three are acceptable. I used octopuses because it sounded wrong. I’m feeling like a rebel today. Sorry for the digression. Octopuses are intriguing creatures, incredibly intelligent, and capable of critical thinking. Cameras in marine biology labs have recorded octopuses leaving their tanks in the middle of the night, crawling across the floor and into tanks containing smaller creatures, eating the creatures, and crawling back across the floor and into their own tanks by the time the scientists returned the next morning. Weird - and fascinating.I don’t seem to be doing a good job at talking about the movie. The bottom line is it’s a good animated short and you’ll probably in enjoy it very much.


I’ve been sending off query emails for my novel, The Spirit Guide Bar since October. I’m using the scattergun approach to the agent search. Using an online list of several hundred agents, I send off queries as fast as I can past my letter to the emails. With this method, I do send queries to agents who only represent self help authors or historical biography authors, but so what. What’s the worst that can happen? Somebody sends me a scathing letter? I’d love to have a scathing letter to hang on my mirror.

Query Emails sent 278
Rejections Received 60
Under Consideration 16
Miscellaneous Responses 2
Requests for a Second Chapter 1


Dear Bill,

My name is XXXXXX and I work with XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.

Thank you for writing to us and sending a proposal for your book The Spirit Guide Bar.
XXXXXX specializes in the representation of authors in the international market with translation rights, and our main activity is representing authors on behalf of other British and American agents, therefore we tend to take on very few authors for whom we act as principal agents.

We did feel that your proposal looked promising, however we feel that you would do better seeking an agent closer to hand – i.e. in the US . For this reason, we regret that we therefore have to decline your representation.

If you are still looking for an agent in the UK , you can find a complete list in the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook.

Kind regards,

Yours sincerely,


There is something wrong here. Rejection is supposed to make me feel bad. Those British really are polite, aren’t they?


Rick Rivers said...

Personally, I like "Octopussy". So that's who ate my canary? Can you take some time sometime to suggest how I should start with sending queries about a proposed book.

#167 Dad said...

Hi Rick,
I'll do a posting on the subject tomorrow. I really enjoy the stories on your blog. Your style reminds me of authors like Gary Soto, Rudolpho Anaya, Sherman Alexie and Charles Bukowski.

Bullshee said...

Try insulting them! They're polite about that too!

I'm gonna go through the first chapter in your latest post!

#167 Dad said...

Hey Bulshee,
You crack me up. What does it take to make an Englishman impolite? I'm guessing you might know.

I'm going to start a second blog for my short stories and exerpts...

Bluesfrau said...

They're a bunch of polite people (unlike the German mentality - I'm allowed to say that, I AM German)... for English roughness try the hooligans.