We've all heard about "the talk" you have with an agent when you're considering an offer of representation. What about the talk when your stuff is ready to make the rounds of publishers?
Could you kindly outline any suggestions about what to ask the agent about submission strategy, such as: how many will you submit to initially? Will you modify approach based on initial feedbac? How many total and when will you give up? How will you inform me about responses? Etc. Does that about sum it up? Any other snarkiferous suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Ok, hang on to your hats, this is going to generate a shitstorm.
Your agent, who let's all just assume, knows what she's doing, will send your stuff out. Asking about submission strategy, numbers, how I'm going to do it, and all that other stuff, makes me nuts.
It makes me nuts because it's like a committee where everyone has input of equal value, and there's a vote at the end on what to do. That is not the case here at Snark Central. It may be the case at other places. I'm not going to tell you how to dangle your modifier; you're not going to tell me how to dangle my fetching project du jour (even if you wrote it).
Just let me do my job and judge the results. I'll report back with an offer, or after a month, which ever comes sooner. I'll always tell you where something is; I'll tell you what editors are saying if you ask. Parsing out what those editors say is a waste of time, but doghelpme, almost every client wants to do it. No is no, for whatever reason. Move on.
My experience is that people who want to be involved every step of the way are a BAD fit for my agency. If you think this is how you'll be, you need to find out BEFORE you sign with an agent. If I had a conference with every client before I started sending his her work out, I'd lose a work day a week. Honest to dog, wouldn't you rather I DID the work than talk to you about it?
We've had forty rounds on this subject earlier on the blog. It's simply a matter of style. Some agents love to yammer with clients about strategy. Good. Sign with them if you want that. Some agents prefer to bathe their clients in neglect until they get an offer; that's me. I'll tell you that upfront. I'll even make you say it's ok. You don't have to like it, but you do have to live with it.
Now, the proviso here is that your agent knows what she's doing. No agent should EVER refuse to tell you where your work is. EVER. No exceptions. If you want cover letters, and rejection letters (or notes) you are entitled to get those promptly.
I will send you every letter you want, and I'll mail you rejection letters till the cows come home. I just don't want to engage in endless conversation about it. Writers obsess about this stuff and it's extremely tedious and a waste of time for me.