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Citation formatting is not guaranteed to be accurate.
MLA Full: "HOW TO GET AN AGENT." YouTube, uploaded by vlogbrothers, 10 February 2010,
MLA Inline: (vlogbrothers, 2010)
APA Full: vlogbrothers. (2010, February 10). HOW TO GET AN AGENT [Video]. YouTube.
APA Inline: (vlogbrothers, 2010)
Chicago Full: vlogbrothers, "HOW TO GET AN AGENT.", February 10, 2010, YouTube, 03:51,
Today, in mj's final video as a vlogsister, she finishes up her series about writing and publishing. The topic: how to get an agent. Some useful links to go with this . . .

Here is a post I wrote in which I distilled this list of don'ts:

SOME AGENTS: (This is my agent's blog)


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A Bunny
( - -)
((') (')
MAUREEN: Good morning, Hank, it's Wednesday!

[giggling off-camera]

MAUREEN: Yesss! [more giggling]

WOMAN: Here we have Maureen in the tub!

MAUREEN: It's awesome in here.

WOMAN: You can see that it has claw feet. Not her. She doesn't.

MAUREEN: I don't have claw feet.

WOMAN: Well, she's wearing boots.

We can't know that. [cut; everything after this is MAUREEN] Actually, that was Sunday night. I just wanted some proof that I had left the little room. That video was taken in Cork, Ireland, where I went for a few days after I finished the deadline, and, now, I'm back again.

But this is my last video! For vlogbrothers, this is it! Since this is my last day, I thought I would finish up my little series on writing and the publishing process since it's the, the only thing I really know about.

Many of you have asked, what's the general process of getting a book published, of taking that thing that you've worked on at home and you've gone through a period of suck, and now you've made your thing--what do you do with it? The thing that you need after that point is someone called an agent. It's getting late so I gotta speed this up and cook dinner while I make this video.

But, very quickly: What's an agent? An agent is someone who represents you in the publishing world. There are a few people who don't have agents, but pretty much everyone has an agent, and the reason is that editors usually don't read anything unsolicited, they only read things that come from agents.

And your agent does your contracts, and they send out your submissions, and they basically take care of all the businessy stuff so you can be creative and sit in your house and write and suck as much as you can--ha ha ha, yeah, very funny, I said "suck" again. The way you get an agent is you write a one-page document called a query letter. It has to be clean, flawless, and fascinating, 'cause it's your only shot to get their attention.

I'm not gonna lie to you, getting an agent is kind of hard. I just wrote to my agent and asked her, "How hard is it to get an agent?" and she said, "Well, last year I got thirty-five hundred query letters. From those thirty-five hundred query letters, I took two clients." Now I realize that may seem very daunting, but I've always told you it's a business, and that's part of the whole I-don't-think-you-should-publish-when-you're-fifteen-years-old thing, because this crap takes some adjusting to, and you have to have an arsenal of facts so that you can deal with the business side of it, and also, again, you have to practice writing for much, much longer.

Now there are lots of people on the internet giving you advice on how to write these query letters, and some of the people are really really good and some of the people have absolutely no idea what they're talking about, because I don't know if you've noticed this but sometimes there is wrong stuff on the internet. Personally, the people I would listen to when looking for advice on how to write query letters would be agents. But anyway, I asked my agent for a few general tips on things you should or shouldn't do in a query letter, and here are some of the things she said: Don't have your characters write the query letter for you.

This will just make you seem crazy. Don't put in recommendations from people that they don't know, and say, "Oh, here's some quotes from people who've read and loved my book," and it's just some random people that they don't know. They're gonna think, "Why--who are these random people and why do I care about their opinions?

It's probably your grandmother." Don't say that your book is gonna make a really big movie or is gonna be the next Twilight or Harry Potter or Wimpy Kid or what have you, fill in the blank here. That's really presumptuous, and, again, it's not a reality, it's just some thing that you're thinking, which is great that you're thinking that although you should try to be yourself and not somebody else--and it's just gonna make you seem arrogant and weird. All they want is a good clear letter about the story.

Do follow the instructions, do write a really clean letter, do check it a million billion zillion times, do make sure it has no mistakes in it. Make it the very best thing that you've ever written on one page. That's it for me.

I'm done; I'm done, I can't believe I ended it so quickly, like while cooking dinner, but, uh--John, welcome back. And uh, I'll miss you guys. Come and visit me?

And uh, I guess I sign off. Hank... I'll still be seeing you on Friday, even thought I won't be here.