STATUS: Getting ready for the London Book Fair so both Sara and I are working rather long hours.
What’s playing on the iPod right now? THE FEAR by Lily Allen
I realize that I’m probably just about to express an unpopular opinion. Basically I simply raised an eyebrow at the whole agentfail extravaganza at the Bookends Blog.
I’m sure it’s cathartic to get out all your annoyances and grievances against agents but for the most part, it’s a waste of energy and time.
For the agents like Jessica, Janet, Nathan, Jennifer, Lucienne, Nephele, and Deidre who blog (and sorry I can’t name everyone), you are preaching to the choir. We ALREADY do everything we possibly can to reply quickly to queries and sample pages (even fulls!), to help writers, and to really be resources for those who are looking to get published.
Despite all that, I’m sure we all still have disgruntled writers out there who have a complaint against us because we never received their query or our response got caught in their spam filter and it was never received, etc. The list could go on.
We simply don’t have enough hours in the day to make sure all communications get through where queries are concerned because that, quite simply, is so low on our TO DO list, it barely registers.
Although I know that it feels like the world to you writers as you navigate the seemingly unfriendly waters of getting an agent, finding a publisher, etc.
I get that. But we are only X number of people with X number of hours in the day and even now, we are working easily 10, 12, sometime 14 hour days or more. (And yet, I still manage to squeeze out 15 or 20 minutes to write a blog entry—time away from my hubby and Chutney who are right now doing something fun together like snuggling on the couch while I type this. I do it because I’m committed to educating writers.)
And those agents who you are really complaining about—those who don’t ever respond to queries, who take 6 months to get back on sample pages, who ask for an exclusive and then hold your full manuscript ransom for X number of months, they are not reading agentfail. In fact they are not blogging or even reading blogs most likely.
So despite the big outpouring, I seriously think that very little will change. So I’m glad you had the moment of catharsis but could you have taken that same time and energy and sent out 20 queries instead? Revised your opening chapters? Get critiqued on your query letter?
Be proactive folks. Not reactive. That’s how you play to win.