December 01 2009

On Agents …

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**Warning** Some of you writers may not like this…

***Double Warning*** I may regret posting this…Though my opinions usually are pretty low key…

****Triple Warning**** Ok there isn’t a triple warning, but a double warning seemed kinda boring!

I read AWESOME agent Rachelle Gardner’s post today, ‘The Power of Words‘. It’s a wonderful post!!! It just goes to show you what a wonderful and considerate agent she truly is. Though not all agents are super wonderful and considerate, I think we as authors tend to forget that they are people too.

OMG What!?!?! Agent’s are people?!?!?! You mean they are little robots at the end of the email tunnel sending out monotonous form rejection letters just to make us feel bad and crush our dreams?

Not even close.

Here’s how it is for a writer. (And let me tell you…it sucks!)

We spend months to years writing a book. We put blood sweat and tears into it. Our hearts get poured out onto the page. We laugh and we cry with our characters. We fall in love with our stories. We spend hours upon hours gagging over editing our poor sentence structure, prepositions, adverbs, punctuation. We try our hardest to show when we are telling .(Even if we barely know what that means!) We remove all our was’s, thats, hads, justs, and every other word including very and surely just to appease our readers.

Needless to say, these books are our lives. Some of us spend more time with these stories than we do our families! (Of course I would never do that because that would be wrong and over the top and completely inappropriate…especially on holidays! I’d never write on a holiday!)

Then the moment of truth comes. We write our query, our synopsis, our outline and our elevator pitch. We are ready to sell this book!!! Am I wrong? And the same goes for the query as goes for the manuscript. All of the editing and blood sweat and tears spent on the manuscript gets doubled on the query letter.

AND THEN… we send it out!

AND THEN… we get a form rejection, and another, and another, and maybe a request for a full or a partial, but that turns into a rejection and then another form rejection and another form rejection and and and… you get the point.

It sucks!

We are defeated and we want to quit…but we don’t. We just do it all over again with a new story until it happens for us. An agent picks us up and we sell our books and we are in heaven…(Though it doesn’t even really work that way does it? Well unless your name is *cough* Stephanie Meyers *cough*)

With me still????

But here is how I see it from an agents perspective, and I could be totally wrong….this is just an opinion….

Agents wake up in the morning to mounds of emails. Queries full of blood sweat and tears and each author’s hopes and dreams sitting in each email waiting for that agent to make their dreams come true!!!

Hundreds upon who knows how many dreams to make come true!

Let’s be realistic friends….they can’t make all our dreams come true.

And goodness knows probably only 1/3 of those queries are formatted correctly and follow the agency guidelines. And out of those probably only 1/8 have a personal tone to them and haven’t been sent to a email group listed “cool agents to submit to”. And just look at all of us submitting. Do you think everyone one of us has a publishing worthy manuscript??? (Well of course I do, and I’m sure you do too, or you wouldn’t be reading my awesome blog! These agents would be better of surfing our blogs to find us!!! Right?!?!) Doubtful. We are all full of ideas and we are all great writers. But that doesn’t mean we are all publish worthy.

And how many of those do you think are first time authors!!! How many queries have I sent out with “This is my first novel”??? Um yeah…well looking back at my first novel, though I love it, it kinda sucks. I didn’t know what I was doing.  And I’m sure numerous queries are similar.

Then on top of that think about how many queries are absolutely dreadful. We know they are out there. Heck it could have even been mine!

Would you want to be an agent?

Just think about ALL the rejections they have to send out. We do complain because it seems they send out too many, I know we do. But how do you think they feel when they send them out? Do you think it goes like this???

Agent, “I love sending out rejections left and right today. I just love crushing people’s dreams!!! This is so fun. LALALALALA! Crushing dreams is fun. I love my job!!!”

Again…doubtful!

And then on top of that they have to read manuscripts and deal with the clients they have and and and….I don’t know about you but it takes me at least two days to read through my own manuscript. Imagine having a crap load of them sitting in your email, all of which are awesome but you can only choose a few out of that bunch because publishers just don’t want to publish unless they are super freaking awesome! (Like mine of course…….right? RIGHT!!!!)

THEN on top of that they have to read blogs and comments and tweets about how we think they suck. How we think its rude that once in awhile they gripe about their job. HA! How often do WE gripe about OUR job on twitter and blogs and comments? Goodness let them vent once in awhile!!! In my opinion I think their comments are funny, even if they are occasionally inappropriate. Those are the comments that show me they are human. Those are the comments that make me less intimidated by them. Those are the comments that make me sit back and smile and think, “Crap, being a writer sucks, but being an agent sucks WAY more!!!”

So maybe…at least during this holiday season…we can give agents a break. Maybe even be thankful that they are out there fighting FOR us, not against us. Or heck, be thankful we aren’t them! At least we get the fun part!!!

Just saying….

Now bring on the comments of anger…I know they are coming 🙂 I can handle them! (I think….)

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