Thursday, July 5, 2012

YOU always deserve respect: agent vs. author

I thought of this post last night while Samir and I were scarfing down take-out pasta. When many writers are sending out queries, partials, and fulls, they're encouraged to be respectful. Fair, right? This busy person is taking out time to consider your work. 
But the reverse is also true. 
I remembered one particular agent who asked for a partial, then a full. 5 months later, I heard nothing from her, so I assumed that was probably a "no" but just wanted to make sure. I had other offers and learned it was polite to let anyone who had the manuscript know. 
I wrote a short e-mail and got this response:
"I haven't read it and you can't bother me with your question. I'll get to it when I feel like it."

A week later, I had some mail from this agent. My manuscript? No. 
A suggestion to attend a $300 conference and watch her speak? Yes.

The point is, I know we're all eager to get our work out there but respect should always be a two way street.  Everyone is trying to get to a partnership, not a dictatorship. Anyone who doesn't give you or your treasured work courtesy is not someone you need! 


  1. That was rude! Yes, respect should go both ways.
    Aren't you glad you didn't get stuck with her?

  2. Yes, absolutely! Courtesy goes a long way!

  3. so true! I can't believe the agent did that! Rude! But I think (or hope)that most agents are courteous and willing to respond to our inquiries, especially if you ask for them once every five months.

  4. Prerna, yes definitely. Every other agent I've spoken to has been very kind and willing to respond. I'd say they're a pretty understanding bunch!

  5. That was very rude of her. You must be feeling happy, you didn't get stuck with her. Its a blessing in disguise, Saumya.

  6. did you check to see if she's on preditors and editors or other watch lists???

  7. Rachna, it's definitely a blessing! Margo, she isn't on the watch list but I did find a lot of threads on Agent Query about her doing this to a lot of people. In any case, I've overall had positive experiences with agents! They've been polite and honest, so one shouldn't affect my view. I just hope that all writers remember they are also valuable!