MUSINGS OF A STORY MERCHANT

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What Is the Protocol for Writers Emailing Their Managers & Agents?

EMAIL

Can’t Live With It, Can’t Live Without It

What Is the Protocol for Writers

Emailing Their Managers & Agents?


Email is the major time-devouring dragon of our times. We all know its advantages, but its disadvantages—inundation, infinity, etc.—so often outweigh the advantages that many execs end up discontinuing personal responses in favor of handing all email off to assistants. If we spent all our time answering email, there’d be no time left to develop or market your projects—which is our priority. If you don’t want to end up completely out of touch with your rep, consider the following protocol:

1) Don’t send your agent or literary representation more than one email every couple of weeks. If you have that many needs, you will end up on his “life is too short list” before you know it.

2) Consider getting your questions answered another way (from a third party, by calling or emailing the rep’s assistant, from a book, from the Internet, etc.).

3) Keep your emails short—no longer than three lines max. The people we email daily (buyers, financers, publishers, producers, studios, agents, lawyers) normally communicate in tiny bytes—2 or 3 words!

4) Don’t put more than one subject in an email. This causes “time block.” Can’t answer the entire email until we know the answer to each question so it goes into the “later” file immediately.

5) Don’t email unnecessary follow-ups, like “thanks.” They just add to the burden.

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