Just a reminder. Tomorrow is the last day of the Greedy giveaway.
Okay, down to business. Writers, if you have an agent and you have a question about subbing, there is a very simple solution to the problem. A wonderful solution that un-agented authors don’t have the luxury of. It is simply this: Talk to your agent.
I can’t tell you how often I see agented authors asking questions on Absolute Write that their agent would be better positioned to answer. Just yesterday I saw three different questions where the answer was “talk to your agent.” Things like, “I have a list of editors we’re subbing to. What books did they edit?” (Your agent should know this before subbing). Or “My old agent had this clause in their contract, so what does that mean for my newly revised novel now that I have a new agent?” (Hopefully, the new agent knows what this means since she has to deal with it).
I think that once you are agented and/or published, there are so many great questions or experiences that a writers’ community can answer and share. Frustrations over the next step, sounding boards for your next book, worries over revisions that seem hard but necessary, and many many more.
But when it comes to the specifics of subbing your book, you have to talk to your agent. Other authors, even other agents and publishers, aren’t going to know the answers. Especially because it seems like these questions always come out vague (trying not to disclose details in public) and then everyone’s just trying to guess the situation before the answer even gets considered.
Then there are the people who come online and complain about what they think their agent is thinking or doing but without discussing it with the agent. It’s understandable. Us writers are a neurotic bunch, and that includes me. We can read so much into the simplest of lines in an e-mail from an agent. We get hysterical about a week of silence, particularly if we just sent them revisions or a question. We (understandably) freak out if an agent doesn’t like the current draft of a book. “OMG, my agent must haaaate me! She wants to drop me!” If we’re not happy with some aspect of the relationship, we whine about it to our writer friends.
But you don’t know what the agent is thinking unless she actually tells you. So talk to your agent. Don’t assume things are awful. Don’t assume you know exactly what she’s thinking. You can bring up your potential problems to your writer groups and friends, and they might have excellent advice for what you think is going on. But until you talk to your agent, you won’t know what she’s really thinking, and you can’t really know what to do about it.
That’s what agents are here for. To talk us down from being the neurotic writers we all really are. Seriously, I think it’s in the contract. 😉 Well, okay, maybe not, but don’t let yourself put a wall between you and your agent. Use the relationship. And if you have any questions or doubts… tell her right now.
Lots of love,