Dear Ms. Snark,
I am confused - I give up - can’t take it anymore. I feel the need to jump off the writers bridge any moment. I appreciate your advice on my early question. Now I have another problem. Gee, am I allowed to have two in one month…I will dwell on this issue later.
After reviewing several of the posts on your site, I crammed my nerves together and wrote to my agent asking what publishers had seen my MS over the last six months. She had never offered before and I had not asked before, this was the first. I know it is a huge no-no to ask what person but I thought it was okay to ask what publisher. I was gentle in my question as to not come across mean. Can you say BIG MISTAKE? I can. The response I received basically ripped out my heart. I was told it was none of my business. Her comment was that I was no different from every other author, it was all about me. She then revealed she had a more then serious lead and would follow-up on it as it was in her contract to do so. Who knew – not me as she never shared this tasty morsel before. I sent her an apology e-mail because I felt terrible after her two page attack response. She never responded. After four boxes of Kleenex and a bucket of gin I don’t know what to think.
I know agents are riddled with work. I also know agents work their tails off for their clients. Yet I don’t believe I have crossed any lines. Or have I? (1) If I had been mean that would be one thing, but my e-mail was also filled with how much I appreciated all her hard work. Do I run for the hills (2) or start looking for a new agent? (3) Needless to say, my confidence level fell under the carpet somewhere. Miss Snark, I humbly ask for your guidance.
One last tid bit - This person was my editor first – after I paid $5,000.00 to have her edit my fictional novel (80,000 words) she became my agent. Do I smell Idiot of the Year award? (4) Or is this typical?(5)
Miss Snark truly hopes this is a joke. Really. She hopes you're pulling her delicately shod left foot with a big yuk yuk yuk to be enjoyed by all.
If not, you've been scammed.
"Agents" who yell at you for asking where your work is are to be avoided at all costs. It's one of the Seven Red Flags of Scam Artists. Any legitimate agent who does so is an idiot. No exceptions.
"Agents" who charge you money to edit your novels are scamming you. No exceptions.
"Agents" who tell you that they have one lead to follow up and they'll do so cause it's in their contract are scamming you.
If you signed with her without checking the P&E list, yes you are a nitwit.
If she's not ON the P&E list, please email them post haste, tell them Miss Snark sent you, and please report this.
And if you're pulling Miss Snark's leg about this situation, Killer Yapp will track you down and explain why you are "not quite right".