Ping Wrong

Miss Snark,

I'm sure it varies for every agent, but when do authors' pings for updates on ms status shift from reasonable to annoying? Mine told me several weeks ago that she'd pass on news when she had it, but nothing since. Should I ping her again, or just get on with my job (the sequel) and let her get on with hers?

And, dare I ask, how often does "lollygagging" by an editor mean that an ms really is getting passed around internally?

You're in the running for Client Most Likely to Be Voted Off The Island if you keep "pinging" your agent. She told you she'd let you know when there is news. Absent irrefutable evidence she is dead, drying out with Miss Snark at the sanitarium, or entering the convent leave her alone.

I have a client who does this. It drives me crazy. I have nothing new to say, and nothing of substance to add to the last update. The unspoken question is "why aren't things happening faster" and the honest to god answer is "hell if I know".

I have a vested interest in selling your project. I'm going to be stealing Killer Yapp's kibble for holiday hors d'ouvres if I don't sell stuff, so just let me do my damn job, and YOU go write.

You'll be the second ..no third...to know when we get an offer. Me first, then a relieved KY, then you.

And no, it doesn't mean it's getting passed around the office. It means the editor took too much to read, had a sudden increase in workload when another editor moved to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, or got inundated with projects HER boss told her to look at right away.

This harangue does not mean your agent goes months without speaking to you. I update clients once a month minimum, just to keep in touch even if nothing appears to be moving. There is a big distinction between "pinging" and "staying in touch". Don't confuse one for the other.


Rick said...

Thank you, Miss Snark - I'll just push on with the sequel.

Anonymous said...

Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, has positively divine, cheap spas. I'm talking mineral hot springs pools within your motel room, inexpensive massage therapy, and all kinds of other fabulous services. No, the accommodations are not 5-diamond, but, surprisingly, mineral hot springs pools don't know this and don't care. Miss Snark, you really should come on out to my neck of the cactus woods and visit for a spell. I'm sure after the holidays, you could use some pampering. And Killer Yap is welcome at most of the local accommodations. Heck, there's probably someone who would be delighted to give him a doggy massage.

Anonymous said...

I was recently reading a thread on a writers' discussion list, and this very subject came up. I was astounded how many people told the other member "the agent works for you, and you should hound them to death about selling your manuscript!" This writer had been waiting all of SIX WEEKS for some communication from her agent regarding her manuscript! Give me a break. I hate it when writers behave so boorishly because it taints all the rest of us.

Miss Snark said...

There is a long rant on "the agent works for you" buried in the Snarkives.

Anyone who pings their agent often enough to be a problem is going to discover the joys of being unrepresented, at least here.

You'd have to be selling a LOT of books for it to be worthwhile to put up with that.