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Research Tip Tuesday

For our first research tip, I've pulled one from the comments that should kick things off hilariously. I give you the author of THE BOY WHO WENT APE, Ben Watson, who gives us some please-don't-really-do-this advice:

"I say if you're uncertain how reputable an agent is, search through their garbage cans. Do they recycle? Are there any plastic bottles in there? Too much paper? How's their diet? Getting enough fiber? Can't have your agent keeling over in the middle of negotiations. Big drinker? That could be good or bad. Social drinker, good at mixing with clients, private drinker-bad because there missing all those tipsy editor parties where publishing inhibitions are lowered. Lastly, coffee grinds? Let's hope so. They'll need some nervous energy to keep pushing that manuscript. No tea drinker is going to be aggressive enough.

So yeah, check their garbage."

Well, er... thanks, Ben! You didn't expect me to leave that languishing in the comments did you?

Make sure you check out Ben's fabulous blog, I, uh, think I killed my muse, everyone! And if you want to see your own research tip featured, go here. Next week, a query tip!


  1. Ben's blog sounds hysterical. Thanx

  2. This is EXACTLY what I needed-- to see the path to publication in a more humorous light. Thanks, Ben.

  3. Thanks for the link! Ben's blog sounds hilarious. :D

  4. Ha and double ha! (Secretly cringing at the thought of anyone going through garbage....ewwwww)


  5. Ben IS hilarious. I follow him, but missed that comment, so thanks for sharing!

  6. I definitely recommend Ben's blog! And I always enjoy his comments. I think this is by far my favorite though.

    Thanks Ben!

  7. Ben cracks me up =)
    And I wouldn't put the garbage thing past him...who is his agent? =)

  8. I flew to NJ and sifted through Marietta's garbage, which may or may not have creeped out the Zacker family, hopefully they were not home. I found no rat traps or rat poison, so that was good. I did however find the Nov. 2008 issue of Rat Fancy. That concerned me. Who would toss away such a winning issue? I mean they interviewed Ratatouille for Pete's sake! What gives?? Ha, ha!

    Kidding aside, agent research can be tricky. It's hard to get to know someone's true personality online. Blogs help for sure (like yours)! I feel very lucky that Marietta and I really hit if off. We have a similar sense of humor and she's just one of those cool people who "gets it". TIP: If you query her be prepared for a wait. She got swamped after SCBWI in LA! Good luck to all who do!!

    xoxo -- Hilary

  9. Hilarious, Hilary! And you're always full of great advice. It's definitely hard to get a good feel for agents online. So important to interview them well (rather than picking through their garbage!) if they offer.