Pub Rants

Tis The Season?

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STATUS: It’s cold and rainy in Denver. So blah after our gorgeous weekend.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? STEAMROLLER by James Taylor

And I’m not talking about Halloween. For some reason, toward the end of the year, we always get an onslaught of queries from previously published authors who have left their agent (or are thinking of leaving their agent) and are looking for new representation.

I’m not kidding. We’ve literally gotten at least 10 of them in the last week. All of these queries have one thing in common, the author is dissatisfied with where he/she is in currently in the writing career.

And I actually probably know why. Most of these queries are coming from what I would call solidly midlist authors and let me tell you, the market is particularly tough on midlist authors right now.

1. Editors aren’t buying option material. Fact.
2. Editors are letting go some long-time midlist authors. Fact.
2. Sales are down significantly from this time last year. Fact.
3. Editors want to see at really amazing proposal to buy a new book from an author with slumping sales. Fact.

But is it fact that the author’s agent might be to blame? That’s the question. And maybe the agent is,I really don’t know (as it depends on individual particulars), but I do sometimes think that authors buy into the idea that something NEEDS to change so maybe the easiest thing to do is change agents.

All I want to say is that this might not be the right answer as it seems to be the season for these types of queries and it happens around the same time each year…

35 Responses

  1. Paul Greci said:

    I’m guessing that it is probably painful to be in the author-position you describe. It is yet another reminder that there are no guarantees when it comes to writing. I met a writer who was cut loose (his words) from his publisher after a dozen novels. He is now with another house and has recently published another book, but the cut took him by surprise.

    My YA novel will be out on submission soon. I have high hopes and all the confidence in the world in my agent but at the same time know that nothing is for sure.

  2. Ryan Potter said:

    You know, I’ve been wondering how common it is for agented writers to do exactly what you’re talking about – going for the agent switch. It’s interesting how you mentioned that it’s kind of a seasonal trend.

    Personally, I’m thinking that if a writer is lucky enough to have a reputable agent (luckily, I’m in that category), then any period of “hard times” probably has a lot more to do with the quality of the writer’s current work as opposed to any lack of on the agent’s part.

    From my experience, a good agent is always looking to make a sale, but that’s kind of hard to do if said agent isn’t representing quality writing.

  3. DebraLSchubert said:

    Interesting post, Kristin – especially the part about it being seasonal. I’ve got many fulls and partials out right now, and I’m hoping to move to the next step in my career i.e., finding the “perfect” agent. It always worries me when I hear these stories. Fortunately, I know of many happily agented writers. I hope to be one of them soon. 😉

  4. C.D. Reimer said:

    Haven’t the royalty statements been coming in from the past month? I can easily imagined a writer looking at his royalty statement, realizing he’s not making enough money, and blame the nearest person for his predicament. Of course, the nearest mirror is often covered.

  5. Kathleen said:

    OT for this post, but I was wondering if you’d be able to post something at some point about Gail Carriger’s Soulless – how did you shop it around, etc.

    I am interesting b/c I am reading it and it is SO GOOD, and I am quite intrigued about what kind of response it received from editors on submission.

    If you can’t or don’t want to post anything, that’s cool, I was just wondering! Thanks.

  6. Annie Jones said:

    Interesting. I know a lot of midlist authors are in this spot, myself included. Was planning on waiting until the first of the year to agent hunt again and this post came at just the right time to convince me that’s a good idea.

    Oh, I also have to say that changing agents is anything but easy, though. It was a gut wrencher for me to part with my agent of 14 years (!)and sometimes I still feel like the grubby ol’ mop in the Swiffer ad, unwanted, casts aside, hanging out with sleezy 70s DJs listening to bad music…

  7. ann foxlee said:

    Crimony, my browser jumped and I left this comment in your post from yesterday, sorry!
    Here it is in the proper spot:

    I suppose I could understand if the writer and agent didn’t have a great relationship to begin with, and in that case, perhaps a change might be beneficial. Short of that, it just seems rude to bail on someone like that.
    Maybe it’s because I’m a good midwestern girl too, but unless someone has really wronged you, or you’ve given them a chance to do their best and they’ve obviously slacked off, it’s just not nice to do that. I’m sure some would say ‘nice, schmice’ when they’re worried about their careers, but does it really do them that much good to switch to another agent when the market is to blame? Seems like it could cause word to get around that they’re fickle or difficult to work with, which would only make it harder to advance.
    Sigh. Some people just don’t think ahead very well…

    By the way, been reading the blog for a while now, and finally bothered to get an account so I could post 🙂
    Thanks for all the info, especially nuts and bolts things like royalty statements, which no one explains. If I am eventually published, I feel like I’ll have a much firmer grasp on this sort of stuff!

  8. ann foxlee said:

    To Annie Jones (and others who may be changing agents):

    I don’t mean to suggest in my post that no one should ever change agents– on the contrary, if someone has agonized over it as you have, and feels they have cause to do so, then both parties may actually be better for the change and the fresh perspectives.

    Anyway, best of luck to you in your agent search 🙂

  9. Gordon Jerome said:

    This phenomenon is predictable. No one can afford to print books and try to sell them. The very big names who’s works sell as predictably as a Big Mac are always going to be published and printed. But midlist? Really, why bother?

    My prediction stands: In less than ten years all fiction will be initially published to e-book, and only the big authors will be printed and then only in first edition hardback.

    What may be more interesting is that an author may choose to be their own independent publisher, and as their books sell, even on a small scale, they may have their line bought out by other publishers to the tune of some big bucks.

    Books are too expensive and they are now unnecessary, at least in the case of fiction. Returns, print runs, shipping, distribution, all that costs big money. And in this economy, it’s even more apparent.

    I know, you think novels will always remain in print. But look at how cell phones changed how we communicate.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that digital publishing is the only way to ensure your book will last and be available. Paper degrades, digital files will remain until the human race can no longer make electricity, and then it won’t matter anymore.

    All I’m saying is the art of fiction may now need to incorporate the craft of independent publishing as well. I mean, look at poetry.

  10. Anonymous said:

    I’m going to stick up a bit for the authors here. I’m a very social writer and know tons of authors and it’s been my experience that when an author leaves an agent it’s just the most wrenching experience ever and they really go through a lot of soul searching before they take the plunge.

    I know when I left my agent it was because she made me cry almost every time I talked to her, simply because she wasn’t a particularly nice person and hated to answer questions.

    Agents like Kristin, who are are really nice don’t realize that they can often be the exception to the rule. In the last month, I’ve had three friends leave agents. One left because her agent said her new book was so awful her career was over. Another left because her agent took five months to read her new manuscript. Yet another left because she want getting her royalty check. Despite these problems, these authors were gnashing their teeth over leaving.The decision wasn’t made lightly at all.

    And for good reason. It’s really hard to find a new agent even if you’re published. No author would undergo this very humbling process if their situation wasn’t just awful with the old agent.

    If there are authors who leave agents, hoping to trade up I’m pretty sure they’re in the minority as I’ve never met one.

    Anyway, maybe those authors should consider using a pen name because it sounds like to me from this blog that agents, rather than being pleased as punch to hear from previously published authors, see them as damaged somehow. What a shame. Good to know though.

  11. Allison Brennan said:

    I’ve heard the mantra that e-books are going to all but replace print books since before I was first published in 2006. E-books are simply another format. The sales for e-books will increase. Print books will likely decrease. But there will be a balance and there will still be print books. Not everyone likes to read on a computer. I hate it. My kids–teenagers–hate it. My mom would never do it. That’s three generations who prefer print books. My e-book sales are just over .1%. That’s not 1%–it’s POINT ONE percent. They have grown a teeny-tiny bit (from .05% to about .11 percent of total sales) from my first book to my most recent that I have a statement for. Ironically, I’ve sold about as many ebooks of my first book as my last book–meaning (IMO) that ebook readers “discovered” me with a specific book, then bought my backlist because they prefer to read electronically.

    Hardcover is a completely different story–but print books come in many formats.

    I’m a writer, not a publisher. I don’t want to publish my own books. I don’t want to hire an editor, an artist, or a publicist. I don’t want to turn my website into a merchant site. I don’t want to spend as much time promoting and selling my books as I do writing them.

    As far as leaving agents, I’ve had the same agent almost from the beginning. I had a different agent before I sold, felt that she wasn’t right for me and terminated the relationship before I sold. That was a hard decision–I mean, we fight and work our butts off to get an agent and then to leave before success? Well, I did it. Found my agent, she sold my book, and I’ve been with her ever since. I know people who have come to her and left her, all for different reasons. Every author and every agent is different and we can’t possibly know all the reasons why decisions to leave are made, but sometimes it’s the right thing to do for all parties involved. It’s a business relationship first, but it’s also a little personal because it’s a very close business relationship. And not all personal relationship work out.

  12. Cam Snow said:

    The question the author should be asking is “Why am I mid-list and what can change that?” Authors need to remember that there’s only one CEO at every company and one superstar on most sports teams – there are only so many people that get lucky enough/are skilled enough to become “top-tier”. If they are writing their best work, then they have a decision to make – keep on grinding out a living as is or make a bold move.

    Changing agents is one of the moves, and maybe if you get the write one she could sell you to bigger houses, get better deals, more hype, etc. Maybe not. I would suggest to the author that there are other steps they could take as well to try and make their next work a better seller (let me know what you all think of these ideas):
    1) Take some of your older novels that aren’t moving and GIVE them away as e-Books to try and create some buzz for your NEW novel. If the publisher has any returned copies around, try and hand them out for FREE around town, etc. Anything to create interest.
    2) Try it under another name. You’ve got your fans that keep you midlist, so you make sure that the info “leaks” that you have a new novel under a different name, but you don’t make it too bloody obvious. Maybe you pull in some new readers who will think they are taking a chance on someone new.
    3) Write another of your “standard” novels and then make it edgy – use harsher language, make the characters harder, the situatiosn more intense, etc. Maybe it flops, maybe it propels you… remember you’re trying to become something other than mid-list.

    In the end, authors need to remember though that there are now something like 10 times as many works published in any year as there were in 1990 – the number of eyeballs and the number of dollars spent have not expanded with that supply. Being mid-list is probably actually top 10% in the grand scheme of things

  13. Anonymous said:

    Allison – I think the point is, eventually e-readers will get cool enough that people will be okay with them. Anyone who thinks print books will last is kidding themselves. Both my parents who are 65+ want Kindles for Xmas and refuse to buy real books anymore. It’s going to be a good thing, it’s just going to be a painful transition. It may not even happen completely in our lifetime, but it will happen soon after.

  14. Hannah said:

    Got to disagree with you on one of those points there Gordon – if you want your books to last forever the very thing to do is to get them published. There are still books and writings around from thousands of years ago which we can read, albeit with difficulty sometimes. Whereas digital files from even just a few decades ago are already being lost because technology moves too fast.

    I’ve got a whole stack of floppy disks which contain unique digital information – very soon I’ll have no way to access that information as computers aren’t being made with the faculty to take floppy disks. Equally, the information I’ve got on an old, Windows 95 computer is probably going to get harder and harder to access from any other computer, as the files are incompatible.

    And books are much more resilient than technological devices – drop a book in the bath and it’ll come out not too much worse for wear, and certainly still legible. Drop a computer or a hard drive or indeed a Kindle in the bath and it’s bye bye book.

    I agree that there will be much more of a move to digital publishing, but I would never say it’s the only way to keep your book available.

  15. Anonymous said:

    Are you saying that unpublished authors should wait until the new year to submit to agents/editors? I was just getting ready to start submitting my manuscript. Should I wait?

  16. Ann Lethbridge said:

    It’s amazing how almost every discussion these days flows into the e-book’s are coming – “man the life boats” or – “join the crusade” points of view or the more balance pov set out by Allison.

    I’m trying to keep an open mind, but I still want an editor, rather than to be self-published, editors make books better, and I still want an agent, because agents do the things I don’t want to do, like read contracts and sell new books and they do them well.

    What Kristin said about this being the season for mid-list authors to
    jump ship is interesting. It says something about human nature still being tied to the seasons in some odd way. Perhaps it is a “trees shedding leaves” phenomena, like the “crazies always come out at full moon” thing. Or, after a summer of hope, people are seeing the winter of despair ahead.

    Tongue firmly in cheek.

    I do hear lots of comments about agents and authors not matching in their ideas of the best way to approach the sale of a particular work and parting company. It may even be a control thing. Once a work is in the hands of an agent the author might feel they have lost control, and for some that is a struggle.

    My philosophy has always been, if no one wants this book, then fix it, or move on to the next one and try to make it better.

    I am very happy with my agent, by the way, but am pretty sure I am nowhere near mid-list yet.

    Great post. Very thought provoking.

  17. Anonymous said:

    I’m with Anon 9:06 — Writers rarely leave agents willy-nilly and more likely it’s usually after being treated quite badly over the course of months and months (as was my case, too).

    It is easier, though, to blame those pesky writers though, isn’t it? Until you’ve been there, you have no idea how much crap you’ll take just to get along and how someone who isn’t really “for you” anymore can drag you down.

  18. Rachel Aaron said:

    Quick question:

    Are these all authors in a particular genre? Or are they authors from all over?

    I’ve heard some genres, fun stuff like fantasy and mysteries, are still going strong despite the down turn. Is that true?

  19. Joseph L. Selby said:

    This post is perfect for a question I had this morning. You have a career writer. They write a book, sign with an agent, and that book is published. This is a one-off book, not part of a series. They’re writing more books. Their second book, the agent doesn’t like and doesn’t think (s)he can sell it but the author believes in it. What happens? Does the agent try to sell something they don’t believe in? Does the author find an agent who does believe in it? If the author takes the work to a new agent, does that permanently end their relationship with the first agent even if future books are more to the agent’s liking? Is it possible/acceptable for an author to have multiple domestic agents as long as they’re not shopping the same manuscript?

  20. Joseph L. Selby said:

    Oh, and for all the ebook comments, take a look at Barnes & Noble’s Nook. I just saw the announcement on Monday and I’m totally on board with this product. It’s lightyears better than the Kindle and answers one of the most frequent criticisms about ebooks, the inability to share the book with friends.

  21. LLR said:

    Statistically, a career novelist goes through three to six agents during the course of a career. It’s a challenge to find the right fit.

    Statistically, it also takes most writers about two years to fire an agent–from the first realization that there’s a problem, to the day the writer leaves. It’s not an easy decision, and during 21 years as a professional novelist, I’ve never met a professional writer who takes the decision lightly or who leaves an agent without thinking it over (and over and over and, indeed, over).

    It’s also well worth remembering that there are no formal qualifications for agents, and very little monitoring of the profession. (Indeed, there’s currently a literary agent openly operating in the state of New York who was previously arrested on criminal charges in another state for embezzlement as a literary agent; a friend of mine was one of the people who gave evidence against that agent. There are no professional standards that prevent this person from continuing to agent. That’s a good example of how unregulated the profession is.)

    Additionally, as in almost any other line of work–especially professions that require no training, no licensing, and have no standards–about 75% of literary agents aren’t good at their jobs.

    Then among those who are at least competent at their profession, not everyone is a good match with every writer.

    There are a LOT of reasons to leave an agent. I left four. One dumped me (we talked a lot about a longterm, career building association; then he sent out a proposal, it was rejected five times, and he immediately dumped me–I’d been a client for about four months; he’s still a top agent, cited often in Deal Lunch and quoted often in industry publications), I fired the other three. I am currently under contract to major houses through my twenty-fifth book, and I’ve made most of my sales myself over the years.

    I now work with a literary lawyer and do not intend to hire another agent. This is not an indictment of agents, nor do I suggest that other writers shouldn’t work with one. Most writers probably should–and the fact that career writers are out there looking or their next agent indicates that they want to work with an agent. But for me, four times burned was enough, and I find that my career runs more smoothly (and even more profitably) without the melodrama of an agent looking for the big score.

  22. Anonymous said:

    I know several authors (all midlist) in search of a career change right now, most in the situation Kristin described; options not getting picked up, sales in the genre in which they first made their name are way down (think Chick Lit, for example). Publishers are publishing fewer books, it’s true.

    So what is an author in this situation supposed to do? Some authors simply cannot see changing their genre, or trying to push themselves to write a bigger book that might break them out; they so closely personally identify with the book(s) that got them published in the first place, it seems almost like a betrayal to think of abandoning them. So – they think, instead, of changing agents, hoping that someone else will bring a fresh point of view.

    It is very hard to see, once you have reached the holy grail of publication, that what might have gotten you there 5 years ago is no longer going to make it today. That smacks of failure, even when we rationally tell ourselves that the market has changed. And to be frank, so many unpublished authors have zero sympathy for the published author who is struggling to remain so; that just feeds into the mindset that if we were good enough to be published, there’s no reason to change or push ourselves. Again – it all seems to get so personal; our identities get so wrapped up in what we’ve written.

    However, I have had an agent tell me that what was “good enough” to get an author published in the middle of the list 5 years ago is no longer good enough today. So – this brings up the other option. Which is to push yourself as a writer, shake it up, change genres, change names if you have to – write that big book that everyone seems to be looking for right now. It’s not easy. It’s not easy to think that the name, the work, that you’ve spent the last several years of your life writing and promoting, as we’re told to do, isn’t going to get you anywhere else. It’s not easy to have to write it all off and start over.

    But it just might be the only option left in these times. Because a new agent cannot help if you’re not willing to see the current climate for what it is.

  23. Vivi Anna said:

    Believe me all agents are NOT created equal. And sometimes just changing an agent can jump start a slugging career.

    The new agent may be very into the editing process while the first agent was not. The new agent may be a powerhouse in the one genre the author wants to break into, while the old agent doesn’t rep it.

    There are a ton of reasons for an author to leave an agent, and yes, poor sales just may be the spotlight needed to clarify that particular relationship as not working.

    And it is a VERY HARD thing to do, to leave an agent. It took me 3 months to work up to leave my first agent, and then another 4 months after to even think about looking for another.

    Don’t think it’s a willy nilly thing that author’s do just because. It’s a tough decision to make and a scary one to go out and look for an agent again. Because it can be just as hard to find an agent the second time as it was the first.

  24. LLR said:

    It’s also worth noting WHY most writers leave their agents. Very few actually leave because the agent is not making them a star, which seems to be the assumption in some of these posts.

    A significant percentage of writers get dumped by their agents; this isn’t something most writers advertise in their queries to other agents.

    And probably the largest percentage leave because, rather than offering the clarity of severing the association, the agent instead just loses interest and stops paying attention. An agent often consciously or absent-mindedly encourages a writer, over a period of a year or two, to decide to leave by taking eons to look at the writer’s new proposals and then giving lukewarm or negative responses; not answering the writer’s calls or emails until the second, third, or fourth prodding; not sending out the new material; avoiding or rejecting the writer’s attempts to discuss the writer’s career or strategies for improving it; etc. (I knew the writing was on the wall with one of my former agents, for example, when after a publisher canceled my contract, the agent avoided discussing my future with me, showed no interest in any of my work, was dismissive and exasperated (even insulting) when I tried to open a discussion about getting my career back on track, and was increasingly hard to contact and slow to respond. This agent did not offer me the clarity of simply severing our association, but instead created conditions that encouraged me to do it–and then, when I did it, told me what a relief it was to see me go, as that agent was now “very busy” didn’t “have time” for me anymore.” This is a really typical example of how writers wind up leaving an agent.)

    Another common reason for leaving is that the writer writes something new that isn’t in the agent’s narrow area of expertise; and rather than make the effort to expand his skills and knowledge to accomodate client, most agents typically just refuse to represent something that isn’t ALREADY in their area of expertise, and so the writer is faced with a choice between restricting her work to the agent’s needs, or else leaving an finding a new agent.

    Other people leave an agent who turns out to have been guilty of false advertising. That is to say, the services offered don’t remotely resembled what the agent described when signing the client. (I know two writers, for example, who only gradually realized after becoming clients that the agent was not, as self-advertised, a full-time professional agent in the office 5 days a week, but rather a part-time agent who was ONLY available during the hours when her child was at pre-school.)

    And so on. Like I said–there are many, many, MANY reasons to leave an agent (I left one agent, for example, primarily because I couldn’t stand the verbal abuse and tantrums anymore) that have nothing whatsoever to do with the writer feeling the agent is making her enough of a star.

  25. Anonymous said:

    I can completely relate to this post because I’m one of those floundering midlist authors trying to reinvent myself. Got dropped by my publisher and did what any author would do and wrote another book in a different genre. Agent claimed she loved it and told me she wanted to shop it widely under a pen name. But much to my dismay, she gave up on it after only a few rejections. Now I’m wondering if I should get a new agent. I don’t blame my agent at all for my publisher dumping me. But I wonder how passionate about my work she really is when she gave up on my latest manuscript so easily.

  26. LLR said:

    Also, while Kristin’s seeing a lot of writer queries from people dissatisfied with their careers, what writers see a lot of among agents either dumping them, losing interest in them, or rejecting their queries is: agents looking for the big score. Increasingly, the experience of career novelists is that agents DON’T WANT midlist clients or books; they want the next big, breakout overnight bestseller.

    After my fourth agent lost interest (shoving aside my material to say to me, “Can’t you write something like [insert name of that week’s trendy overnight bestseller here]?”), the next five agents I queried were all also not interested.

    Since this is how I earn my living, I decided I couldn’t waste any more time looking for an agent and instead needed to look for my next deal. So I went out on my own… and quickly sold three books to one house (for better money than my fourth agent had been getting me), then accepted an offer out of the blue from another house for a different project; and then accepted a lunch invitation from a Random House editor who wanted to talk about how to get me under contract (and I had to say that I was so heavily contracted, now that I was no longer encumbered by agents refusing to send out anything but The Next Big Thing, that I didn’t have time to commit to anything else just now).

    My experience is that, in their search for one book that will be a blockbuster bestseller, a lot of agents are ignoring a lot of writers like me who make a “mere” $20K-$40K per book and who work very steadily.

  27. LLR said:

    “But I wonder how passionate about my work she really is when she gave up on my latest manuscript so easily.”

    I had four agents, Anonymous, and the longest any of them ever stuck with a project was five rejections; my fourth agent gave up on two different projects (both of which I subsequently sold) after ONE rejection. My third agent gave up on a project after three rejections which, when I subsequently sold it, became my best-earning work to date.

    Again, this is not an indictment of all agents. Just pointing out–there are a lot of reasons to leave an agent that have nothing to do with an author being short-sighted or flighty.

    And if I had given up on the various projects that my own agents and agents whom I queried over the years either gave up on, rejected, or flat-out told me were unmarketable… I would have earned about $300,000 less over the course of my career than I have so far earned, and would not have won some of the awards I have won (since they were for books that agents told me were unsaleable).

    Your mileage may vary, Anonymous, but these are the thoughts that come to my mind every time a writer tells me her agent doesn’t want to keep sending out a project.

  28. Anonymous said:

    Thanks for the feedback, LLR. And I can also relate to some of what you’ve experienced. The agent I have now is actually my second agent. I parted ways with #1 when she flatly refused to send my manuscript to a brand new publishing imprint then stopped answering my emails. I sold that book myself to the imprint she refused to submit to, which is how I landed my current agent. Now I’m also shopping my latest on my own because just like my first book, I really believe in it. Good thing I love to write or wouldn’t be putting myself through this misery.

  29. Anonymous said:

    Writers often leave their agents – even when it is against their own better interest – when that writer is going through a major life trauma, like a divorce or the death of a family member, etc.

    As an editor, I’ve had at least three writers leave perfectly good agents right about the same time they’ve decided to leave a spouse.

  30. Anonymous said:

    I know several authors whose careers took off after they made several changes to their professional lives–including changing agents (though usually not limited to that.) It is a viable method of shaking up the status quo, moving a career in a new direction, injecting fresh perspective and enthusiasm into an author’s career. Kristin, have you never provided that to an author or are you just questioning the coincidence of time of year? Much happens in the fall because publishing is so shut down in the summer. Once people get back to work, so much happens…including authors trying to do their level best to keep their careers going. What crime is there in that?

  31. Allison Brennan said:

    Anon, I don’t have a problem with e-books. Like I said, e-books are another format for readers to read. I DO have a problem with piracy and the mentality that some people have that they deserve whatever they want for free. But e-books are terrific for those who like e-books. I think my e-book sales will increase, but it’s not going to happen overnight when it’s taken four years to double and still not be at half a percent of total sales. What I don’t agree with–not because I’m against e-books–is that print books will cease to exist. Maybe in 50 years. Not in 5. I work on a computer writing all day. Many people work at a computer most of the day. No matter how good the ebook readers get, it’s still not a physical book. I offered to buy my 13 year old a Kindle because she is a huge reader. She said save my money, she won’t use it. There’s nothing wrong with e-books as a format for publishing. What’s wrong is that people think that it’s EASY to write, edit, revise, market and publish a book and that anyone can do it, and e-books make it “easy” to publish. There still needs to be quality control, and right now that’s with publishers–both print and e-book publishers who edit,

  32. Anonymous said:

    Every author I know who has left her agent has found a better agent and really helped her career. My friends have left their agents for various reasons. One made her revise everything to death, even though her work didn’t need it, refusing to send her work out until it was perfect in his mind. (Her new agent sent the “imperfect” manuscript out a week after he agreed to represent her. It sold at auction.) One claimed to have sent her second novel to the editor who’d bought her first novel, but actually never did. One was completely unresponsive to her calls and emails.

    Let’s not assume writers are selfish ignoramuses who blame their agents for their own problems, okay?

  33. Anonymous said:

    I assume Kristin has midlist authors on her list. I wonder how they feel about this post. If I was one of them I wouldn’t be feeling too valued at the moment and would be wonderfing if my place in the stable was secure.

  34. Jill Kemerer said:

    Thanks for sharing this. I’m a fact nerd and enjoy reading weird author trends. It’s easy to be dissatisfied with anything and everything in these economic times. Unfortunately, the blame gets misplaced too often.

  35. Gilbert J. Avila said:

    What keeps me away from e-readers is not knowing which ones will end up in the elephant’s burial ground next to Hi-Def dvd players and Betamax machines.

    Jack–What are Healthmate air purifiers doing here????