"Getting to Know you...getting to know all about youuuuu"

A Snarkling looks at her date book:

"I have several clients I've never met whose work I've sold." How common or uncommon is this? Should I want to do lunch with my agent--or is it simply an excue to go to Manhattan for the day? Has the whole biz become more depersonalized with the internet and email? Heck, there are friends that I don't talk to on the phone as much as before because of email and IM

Miss Snark loves you but you aren't going to lunch with her. First, lunches are reserved for editors with big fat expense accounts who are going to buy your work. Second, Miss Snark is working if she's not lunching.

If we are going to sign contracts, meet editors, or otherwise WORK (or celebrate a big success) then ok. But just lunching to chit chat, meet and greet, is hugely inefficient. I've done it, particularly with clients who are older, and used to a more genteel business climate, but I don't like it. I'd rather work on your behalf than eat lunch.

And it's very common to have clients you've never met.


Anonymous said...

Miss Snark, I agree. I recently signed with an agent, but have no desire to meet and munch. I'll let him do his job, which is selling it, and I'll do my job, which is writing it.

ali said...

I actually find that very comforting :). Meeting people requires things like being presentable in public. Who's to know what you look like over the phone?

kitty said...

Did you ever see one of your clients for the first time in their author photo on the dust jacket and were totally surprised because they didn't fit your image of them? If so, how?

Anonymous said...

I -heartily- recommend that all writers get to the city for the express purpose of lunch with their agent. In my experience, at least, it's tremendously important. You have a fairly intimate relationship, one you hope will last for a good long time, and meeting in person is an important step--or was for me.

And lunch (or breakfast, or coffee--doesn't have to be long) with a client -is- work. This is the core professional relationship for a writer, and I'd expect every agent to understand that.

I can only speak about my own experience, with three agents. Meet them. Meet any editors you're working with, too. I didn't, and when the editors moved to another house, we had absolutely no real relationship. At least if I'd spilled coffee on them, they'd remember me!

Liz Wolfe said...

OK. No lunch, but we're still on for the Oscars and Mr. Clooney's after party, right?

Anonymous said...

But what about agents/editors wanting to meet writers to assess their mediagenic qualities? Making sure that your client doesn't drool could be important before an Oprah appearance.