Lately, I’ve been reading on agent’s blogs and Twitter about a new trending topic that, well, surprised me. More and more writers are developing a “hate on” for agents and I’m not sure where this is coming from.
It doesn’t make sense. Sure it’s frustrating to get rejection after rejection after rejection, but it’s the name of the game. It’s just the same with publishers, but people aren’t taking their frustrations out on publishers. Nope, just the agents who get caught in the middle.
An agents job is to find manuscripts that the publishers are looking for and passing it along, amongst countless other things that blow my mind. I actually kept my Tweetdeck open last week for “agents day,” which was where all the agents on Twitter tweeted about what they did during the day.
It was ridiculous. Most of them were reading queries before work, on their way to work, after work (notice the trend? It’s all on their personal time.) The same goes with non-client mss (those coveted partials and fulls), all done on their personal time.
Then they spend their actual work day doing client stuff, negotiating contracts, editing manuscripts, submitting, talking with editors, the list goes on and on. Most stayed well past what corporate America would consider closing, just to go home and read more MSS and queries.
Now, the “haters” are popping out of the woodwork and, what seems to me, attacking these people because of their job. Most of it I think is the rejections they are getting. Instead of taking a look at their own work to try and see if they can improve it, they’re venting their frustrations on the people they see as the reason they’re not getting published.
They complain when an agent responds too quickly or not quickly enough. They complain when the get feedback or just a form response.
It seems that there is no pleasing these people.
Some make some good points that I’ll admit have crossed my mind a few times, but you know what, writing hateful things on your blog, or worse, emailing or phoning the agent in question to “chew them out” is not the way to handle it. Please refer to my blog posts of the previous two days to help you with what you can do.
Yes, agents are picky, but they have to be. If they pick up something that doesn’t sell, they don’t get paid. Nobody wants to work for free. And yes, some are jerks, but again, if you don’t like it, go somewhere else. There are tons of agents out there and most are awesome.
Most spend countless hours helping ‘newbies.’ They post blogs about writing, how to submit, what they’re looking for, what they aren’t looking for. They offer mss or query letter critiques, they post on Twitter the things NOT to do. The list goes on and on, my friends.
Is publishing flawed? Probably. Are good people getting missed because of those flaws? More than likely, but this is the system we have to work with, so you need to learn to “work it, baby.” (If anyone knows what this is from, please comment I’m interested in finding others who loved this and I may just give something away to the person who answers correctly HINT: If you read my story Maid Of Honor, you know the answer.)
Now, enough of my rants. Next week, I’ll go back to writing tips.
Monday’s Post will be on hints for a successful self-edit of your MSS.