10.05.2005

1 800 GOA WAYY


How often should you e-mail/call your agent? We've all heard the horror stories of needy clients and how much agents hate them. I try not to be one of those, limiting myself to brief e-mails and only e-mailing when I have business/news (like I'm going on vacation or am about to finish a new book and ship it to the agent).

I recently e-mailed my agent about my most recent book and where it stood with various editors. She wrote back saying that publishing is a long, drawn-out process and slamming my constant requests for updates. I didn't understand the "constant" part since the last time I'd heard from her was a month ago.

Is it her? Is it me? How often is too often?


In her misspent youth Miss Snark worked (if you could call reading Zane Gray in the stacks actual work) in a library. The head librarian, who could have posed for Norman Rockwell, doddered about the place fluffing up the books and tidying the shelves. She liked things organized and neat. She was heard to say, on more than one occasion when the books were askew "this would be a lovely place if it weren't for the patrons".

Miss Snark is reminded of this when agents behave as though this would be a lovely business if only we didn't have those messy clients.

First thing is you've got a communication problem here. You need to ask your agent how often she wants to hear from you with things OTHER than vacation updates, address changes etc. (Miss Snark will not point out this is something you want to ask before you sign on the dotted line)

If her idea of "regular communication" or "generally informed" is once a blue moon, you have a choice. Live with it, or just tell her that's not ok and continue emailing her, or...part ways.

But, this is something you need to work out directly with your agent. There is no law about what is too much and what is not enough. Bottom line: asking for updates on where your work is, even if you ask everyday is annoying but it's your right. If you're ok with a terse list in return, we're fine.

1 comment:

kitty said...

In my previous life I sold shoes. Not Blahniks or Choos but Dexter's. Most of the customers were decent people, but occasionally we'd get some yuppy scum with their evil spawn in tow. On those days I'd grit my teeth and tell boss, "This wouldn't be a bad job if it weren't for the customers."