STATUS: I’m making headway in my client reading. It really is strange how clients all seem to submit stuff within days of each other. How do they do it?
What’s playing on the iPod right now? BLACK COFFEE IN BED by Squeeze
All agents will tell you that our time is valuable but here’s what is interesting. It’s not valuable in the way that most writers probably think.
It has nothing to do with ego—as in “I’m such a big shot agent you’d better not waste my time.” (Although I imagine some agents might feel that way!)
When I say my time is valuable, I mean it in the sense that there is never enough time to accomplish all that needs to be done to be a good literary agent. There are only so many hours in the day to give clients good service, to respond to queries and sample pages promptly, to address contract or royalty statement issues, or to simply negotiate a new deal with an editor, or to ______ And then fill in the blank with a hundred different possibilities.
Nope. There’s never enough—even when I find myself working 12 or 13-hour days (not unusual by the way).
So when I say my time is valuable, that’s what I mean. And I’ll tell you what agents appreciate. If I have your full manuscript and you’ve decided (or are about to decide) to sign with somebody else, please tell me right away.
I can either read immediately or if the decision has already been made, I can wish you Godspeed and a quick sale.
But if I read quickly, and let’s say I took the weekend to do so, because I don’t know that your decision has already been made and I find out on Monday that I took 6 hours to read your full but you’ve already signed with someone else…
Hum…I don’t have happy feelings because of the problem with time; there is never enough. All I can think about is what I could have gotten accomplished in those 6 hours (or whatever) that I spent reading a-no-longer-available manuscript.
Let’s just say it doesn’t have me whistling “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”