Michael Onesi (YukonMike on QT) has signed with agent Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary Agency.
At first my co-editor and I thought about going straight to self publishing and trying to sell the book through the website. But a friend in the publishing world told me that would hurt our chances of finding a real publisher so I decided to make the effort and spent six weeks doing research. It was harder to write the book proposal than the actual book. But when you write a non-fiction book, a solid proposal is essential.
When I first started, I sent out four query letters before doing any research. I now realize these letters were absolutely awful.
And do some basic research on the agent – don’t send a pop culture book to an agent who only likes romance and historical fiction. You are wasting your time and theirs.
Journalists hail Four-Word Film Reviews as “brilliant” (The Associated Press), “clever” (Los Angeles Times) and “insanely addictive” (Miami Herald). Now, 2,000 of the smartest and funniest mini-critiques from this popular website (www.fwfr.com) are in a new book called Four-Word Film Reviews: The Ultimate Movie Guide For People With Short Attention Spans. It is a refreshing spin on a genre of criticism that has taken itself far too seriously for far too long.
In a market flooded with straight-forward film review guides and long works of cinematic criticism, this book stands apart because – as you can guess by the title – all the reviews are funny and four words or less. How do you sum up a film so quickly? Like this: “Not super, not bad,” for Superbad; “Heath Ledger’s clowning glory,” for The Dark Knight; “Icy Dead People,” for Titanic; “Downey surprisingly well cast,” for Iron Man; “Gory, gory hallelujah!” for The Passion of the Christ; “Rock. Enroll,” for School of Rock; and “Four? Yes. Fantastic? No,” for The Fantastic Four.
The book is edited by Benj Clews, the Four-Word Film Reviews website creator who owns the copyright on all the reviews, and myself, Michael Onesi, a newspaper editor/columnist and a major contributor to www.fwfr.com.
Harper Perennial has a surprise New York Times bestseller with Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs From Writers Famous and Obscure by Larry Smith (a book also based on a website). If six-word memoirs can be a hit, four-word film reviews can too. (Here is a link to an August 2008 Time magazine article about Six-Word Memoirs and the Four-Word Film Reviews website: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1834674,00.html )
If you are interested, contact me at (e-mail) or [my phone number] and I can send you a book proposal and a manuscript. Thank you for your consideration and I’ll end this e-mail with four words – please be our agent.