STATUS: Today was as exciting as a root canal. Accounting. Need I say more? Still, even if there is a bookkeeper involved, one must balance the books and ensure everything is in order.
What’s playing on the iPod right now? MONEY by Pink Floyd
(Funny how this works sometimes. I swear; it’s really what is playing right now.)
When I was at the RWA conference last week, an author came up to me and disclosed that she wanted to leave her agent and would I give her some advice.
And I’ll tell you that when an author contacts me with this thought in the mind, I always ask this question first: “Have you spoken to your agent about your desire to leave?”
Why do I ask this? Because the answer has always been NO and I always counsel that an author thinking of jumping should have a heart-to-heart talk with the agent before doing so.
Now, this is working on the assumption that the agent has done his/her job. In other words, the author hasn’t just discovered that the agent is a scammer. This also rules out any agents who might have acted illegally or fraudulently. Obviously if this is the case, a heart-to-heart, to put it simply, is rather unnecessary. High tail it on out of there.
But I operate in the world in the same way that I would want to be treated. Karma and all that. If one of my clients were thinking of leaving, I would certainly hope that they would give me the opportunity to hear what the problem is and allow me time to fix it, which is why I always counsel the author to talk with his/her agent first.
I’ve not landed new (and very desirable) clients by providing this type of counsel, but I sleep well at night. And who knows, ultimately the break between that author and agent might be unavoidable and they can certainly come knocking on my door again.
But they have to know that I’m going to ask them if they had that heart-to-heart first…
Now if the author has already formally made the break, that’s a different story. They aren’t asking for counsel. They’ve already made a decision.