Agents are from Venus, Authors are from Pluto and beyond..ok, not really, but dawg, it's light years

Dear Miss Snark:

First of all, your generosity is so appreciated. Not many (snarky or not) would take the time you take to share your publishing world knowledge. Thank you.

Here's my predicament:
I've been fortunate to find an agent who wants to represent me in my fledgling writing career. Needless to say, I have been riding high ever since her call in October. While our relationship is young and via the telephone and e-mail worlds only, I feel like we connect well and have similar goals for my writing career -- this we did talk about, in depth. Simply, I like her. But I don't know if she's doing what she needs to be doing, and I don't know if I'm doing what I need to be doing. I don't question her ability to sell -- she's had some measurable success.

I guess I wonder what my expectations should be. She's really only had my final (after some revisions) manuscript since early December. She's told me of a couple of editors she's sent it to, but I feel like we have too much "quiet" between the two of us. I fully admit that part of that quietness is me thinking I need to give her enough time and space. Is my inexperience with an agent making me too docile? How pushy is too pushy? I don't want to be a wimp, but I don't want to be too aggressive, either. What should a healthy agent/writer relationship look like? Should I just relax and let it develop into whatever it's supposed to develop into? Any guidance will be appreciated.

Thanks. For everything.

oh boy.
This reminds me of all that talk about how men communicate differently than women. Despite the fact that most agents are girlies, I think we tend to communicate like men. "I told you I loved you once; if the situation changes I'll tell you".

Our version is "I took this on, I'll sell it and let you know when I do. Go write something fabulous in the meantime."

I have an author who emails me more than once a day just to shoot the breeze. He's funny enough that I don't mind, and we "talk" about all sorts of things. I'm also in the middle of a big negotiation for him, so I've got biz to talk about regularly too.

I have another client that hasn't heard from me in three months. She doesn't like to hear "nothings happening; rejections piling up" so I don't email her to say that.

It's ok to be ill at ease about this. It's all new. But what you need, absolutely NEED to do, is talk about this to HER. A quick email along the lines of "can you let me know once a week, once a month, once a decade" how things stand even if nothing is happening.

It sounds like she's sending your work out. It takes a while for editors to read stuff. I think you're ok. Try not to fret any more than you absolutely have to.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to get used to the idea that it's a good thing my agent is too busy doing business to spend much time holding my hand.