International Agent & Editor Pet Peeves

It turns out agents of all nationalities
have similar pet peeves. A panel of
agents spoke at the WFF here in Italy
and were asked about their pet peeves.
Here is what they had to say:

Sabine Schultz (editor, Tea, Italy): “The biggest reason your book won’t get published is because you didn’t write it. You must write. “I get queries saying ‘This is the first draft, and there is much I want to change, but I just wanted to see if you are interested.’ “

Loredana Rotundo (ARR Literary, Italy): “Don’t tell me you’ll be on bestseller lists. Lack of humility is a red flag. Forget instant stardom and be happy with whatever happens.”

Judith Ann Miramontez (Book Cents Literary, US): Avoid sad, sappy statements about your personal life.  It’s not professional.

Leah Hultenschmidt (editor, Dorchester, US): Don’t bind anything with staples or anything else. She wants unbound, single-sided, double-spaced, numbered pages. “Also, when I ask for three chapters, don’t send chapters 5, 14 and 23 because ‘they’re the good ones!’ “

Georgia Garrett (AP Watt Literary, UK): She hates reading a partial overnight only to see an e-mail the next day from the author saying “WAAAIIIT! Here is the NEW draft!” It’s not a pet peeve, but she reiterated that it does help when you start a query with a sentence in the vein of “Because you represented such-and-such work, I think you would be a good fit for my book.”


The book festival here in Matera, Italy
is a big to-do, and these panelists
were sitting down to be filmed for TV.

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5 thoughts on “International Agent & Editor Pet Peeves

  1. Susan

    It’s amazing that we hear the same advice over and over again from agents and editors…as though 95% of writers don’t research, don’t study about submissions, don’t listen to advice, or think that for some reason it all doesn’t apply to them. It must be terribly frustrating for editors and agents to find the same mistakes being made, day after day.

    Anyhow…I’ve GOT to get to this festival someday!
    Thank you for reporting on it!


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