STATUS: I can’t believe it is already 5 o’clock. Do you ever have those days where you start working and then realize you’ve missed lunch by a long shot? Sigh. All good stuff though.
What’s playing on the iPod right now? EAT FOR TWO by 10,000 Maniacs
Here’s an axiom to live by. Don’t pay a service to do your agent research when you can find out most of that information for free just by spending some time on the internet.
Or at the very least, pay the $20 fee for one month’s subscription to Publishers Marketplace and truly get the insider scoop on what is selling, by whom, to whom, and generally for how much. It will only cost you twenty bucks and you can rest assured that the info is fairly accurate (or close enough for your purposes).
Here’s why I feel like ranting. There is a research service out there that prides itself on offering accurate reports that they will then share with paying customers. Now I like the entrepreneurial spirit and pretty much commend that in anyone but according to this company representative, they will only accept/verify information by talking with the agent directly.
In a way, that makes sense. After all, the source would know the best but I don’t think that’s the ONLY way to gather accurate information—especially when the conversations go along like this.
First Call from Research Service
This was actually several years ago but it stands out clearly in my mind and here’s why. The owner of this business rang up to tell me about the company and then to ask me about my current client list. All information I’m happy to share.
Until he asked me when Diana Gabaldon had left my agency.
I know this will come as a big shock to my blog readers but I’m not, and have never been, the agent for Diana Gabaldon. I do have delusions of grandeur but I don’t ever ask anyone but Chutney to share in them.
Not to mention, Diana’s agent is a guy—and she’s been with him for years and years—long before I was even agenting. Makes you wonder to whom the thought he was talking.
That’s okay. Mistakes happen. When I asked to see my report and to verify the information contained therein, I was told that was not company policy. So, what I’m saying is that my report from this service might say that Diana is a former client of mine. Goodness, I hope not.
This happened a year or so later. Same person called to get information about my current sales. Most of which is public knowledge on my website and on Publishers Marketplace—the general info anyway.
For this call, this person insisted that I reveal the dollar amounts associated with my deals. A little surprised, I said I couldn’t divulge that info—that it was confidential (except in the general terms outlined in deal lunch and approved by the author before announcing). I was then subjected to tirade about how all the other agencies share that info (which I rather doubt but whatever). I politely suggested that he simply contact those authors and ask them about the deal as it is their info to share as they please.
I was hung up on.
Happened quite recently. This time the call came in on a Saturday. I wasn’t at the office. What in the world would I’d be doing at the office on a Saturday (besides doing my accounting upgrade but we won’t go there). If this person would like to speak to me, why not call during business hours when I’m actually around?
To this day, I have no idea what my agency report from this service looks like. Let’s hope it’s accurate but I’m not feeling overly confident about it. This leads me back to my original point.
Why pay for something that you can find out for yourself, fairly accurately, and in most instances, for free?