Author Topic: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?  (Read 23136 times)

Offline AlythiaB

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 743
  • Karma: 74
    • Publishing Tips for the Restless Writer
A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« on: May 17, 2016, 02:32:08 PM »
Hey, so what do you guys think of this article? https://heatheralexanderblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/13/an-offer/

I feel like I'm a super low maintenance client (and person, in general). My agent follows up with me far more than I bother her, and I work hard to get revisions turned around quickly. But even I'm bothered by this particular post. Another writer sent it my way and was a bit put off, too.

IMHO setting up deadlines when you have an offer of rep isn't about ANSWER ME IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS, OR ELSE, BECAUSE I'M A DIVA WRITER!! It's really more of a standard courtesy to those who are reading still ("Hey, I plan to sign with someone very soon, so I wanted to give you a chance to read!" aka "I AM respecting your time, or else I wouldn't have bothered following up!") And while her suggested wording is kind, it's creates a bit of a slippery slope. I can't imagine telling Offering Agent to wait until the other agents can get around to reading. That's not professional. I get not stopping everything to jump through hoops for every Tom, Dick, or Harry who thinks they're ready for a writing career, but an offer of rep establishes that the writer is at a certain professional level.

I dunno. I guess after ten years of turning the other cheek when hit with rejection after rejection, being open to beta readers tearing my work to bits in a constant effort to improve, figuring things out by myself, and, in general, trying to be optimistic, I get defensive of my fellow writers who I know are just as strong. This article sounds like a request for a walking-on-eggshells approach that in of of itself comes off as more diva-ish than the writers who set up respectable time perimeters.

What do you guys think? Am I being too harsh? I did just get back from the DMV, so, you know, part of my soul was sucked out of my body. It'll grow back, but I'm still recovering...
Represented by Moe Ferrara, BookEnds, LLC
www.alyconner.com

Offline Falthor

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4405
  • Karma: 251
  • Picture of Me and one of the Twins (Chloe)
Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2016, 02:38:32 PM »
I read it and thought, well if it's an agent I want to work with that offered and none of the others are from my A pick lists yeah then 24 hours might be an idea, but if that's the case why not just tell them you have signed with someone else?

I mean I see what they are trying to say but there are other ways to get around it and if something goes horribly wrong with this agent and then you have to go back out into the pool to swim I'm sure more than a couple will remember that time you gave them 24 hours to read a book and decide if they wanted to offer.
“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't.”

-Douglas Adams, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Offline Pandean

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8666
  • Karma: 474
  • Panic in human form
Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2016, 03:36:25 PM »
I mean, commenting before I read the article to say I communicate with my Wattpad team very frequently (daily even) but we're also connected more since I was added to a chat group with them and whatnot. I did say if I message too much or seem high maintenance then to let me know but they told me I was fine lol. I do think maybe it's different because it's Wattpad verses an agent.
WHITE STAG, an internet phenomenon, has been acquired by St. Martin's Press/Wednesday Books for publication in Winter 2019

Offline Pandean

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8666
  • Karma: 474
  • Panic in human form
Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2016, 03:41:24 PM »
Now having read the article I think it's sh**. I mean every agent I've worked with and learned about has been cool with the two week thing. That's the advice you're usually given.

Idk I feel if someone has an offer and you've requested their MS  they're not being a diva by notifying you and wanting to be prompt.
WHITE STAG, an internet phenomenon, has been acquired by St. Martin's Press/Wednesday Books for publication in Winter 2019

Offline AlythiaB

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 743
  • Karma: 74
    • Publishing Tips for the Restless Writer
Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2016, 03:49:46 PM »
I mean, commenting before I read the article to say I communicate with my Wattpad team very frequently (daily even) but we're also connected more since I was added to a chat group with them and whatnot. I did say if I message too much or seem high maintenance then to let me know but they told me I was fine lol. I do think maybe it's different because it's Wattpad verses an agent.

Not even saying my way is the way to go in terms of communication btw! Honestly, my agent is so cool, I don't think she'd care if I messaged her more often. I just want to respect that boundary, at least until we know each other better. It varies for everyone and every situation. For me, that part was more of my response to the whole "writers are divas who need a lot of hand-holding" thing. Ya know?

Now having read the article I think it's sh**. I mean every agent I've worked with and learned about has been cool with the two week thing. That's the advice you're usually given.

Idk I feel if someone has an offer and you've requested their MS  they're not being a diva by notifying you and wanting to be prompt.

Yep. This is super standard!! In fact, I don't know any repped author who was like, "Oh, just respond when you can. All of us over here will just wait it out." This is business, baby! You gotta hustle!
Represented by Moe Ferrara, BookEnds, LLC
www.alyconner.com

Offline violet

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3498
  • Karma: 1224
Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2016, 03:59:06 PM »
Here's what the article doesn't say: How long has the agent had the manuscript? Because often an agent has had the ms a long time. Then it's totally fair for the writer to ask for 2 weeks. It's fair anyway! But my point is: why is everything the writer's fault?

It's standard practice to give 2 weeks. I had a few agents tell me they needed more time. I get that. Agents will always step aside.

This agent's pov is so ass-backwards, I can't even.  :no:

Offline Sarah Ahiers (Falen)

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7878
  • Karma: 794
  • This, too, shall pass
    • Sarah Ahiers
Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2016, 04:00:42 PM »
Yeah it's confusing because it's considered standard to ask for 1-2 weeks - I've seen tons of agents say that, so now here she is saying that this standard practice makes everyone look like a jerk?
I dunno.

I don't think she's necessarily wrong, but I'm not sure she's right, either.

(oh, just saw Violet's post and she has an EXCELLENT point about the fact that you know none of those agents just got that MS.)

If I was braver, I would comment on it.
Repped by Mollie Glick of CAA
ASSASSIN'S HEART 2016 HarperTeen
I hang out at Sarah Ahiers Writes
Author Website

Offline AlythiaB

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 743
  • Karma: 74
    • Publishing Tips for the Restless Writer
Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2016, 04:11:07 PM »
Here's what the article doesn't say: How long has the agent had the manuscript? Because often an agent has had the ms a long time. Then it's totally fair for the writer to ask for 2 weeks. It's fair anyway! But my point is: why is everything the writer's fault?

It's standard practice to give 2 weeks. I had a few agents tell me they needed more time. I get that. Agents will always step aside.

This agent's pov is so ass-backwards, I can't even.  :no:

UM, thank you! You know they didn't JUST get it 90% of the time. And that's what I was talking about with the walking-on-eggshells thing. Whoever decided that writers aren't busy people? Most of us have full time jobs and/or kids in addition to cranking out novels. I have to get up at 5:30 just to write everyday before kids wake up and life has to happen. Don't get me wrong, I completely respect what agents do! I adore mine--can't say that enough. But I never understood this BOW BEFORE ME, SIMPLE WRITER complex that some agents have. Maybe this particular agent doesn't have this tone in her other articles--I dunno, her website was acting up and I couldn't pull anything else up--but she came across that way in this post.

Yeah it's confusing because it's considered standard to ask for 1-2 weeks - I've seen tons of agents say that, so now here she is saying that this standard practice makes everyone look like a jerk?
I dunno.

I don't think she's necessarily wrong, but I'm not sure she's right, either.

(oh, just saw Violet's post and she has an EXCELLENT point about the fact that you know none of those agents just got that MS.)

If I was braver, I would comment on it.

Agreed. There's nothing wrong with stating it in the way she suggests, but agents can't really expect everything to stop for them either. I've noticed, in the working world, when I fall behind on basic things, I need to reevaluate my workload and take some stuff off my plate. If a 2-week deadline is stressful, maybe close to queries?
Represented by Moe Ferrara, BookEnds, LLC
www.alyconner.com

Offline AlythiaB

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 743
  • Karma: 74
    • Publishing Tips for the Restless Writer
Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2016, 04:14:56 PM »

If I was braver, I would comment on it.

You should! You're one of the most knowledgeable people on QT.
Represented by Moe Ferrara, BookEnds, LLC
www.alyconner.com

gckatz

  • Guest
Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2016, 04:23:04 PM »
Quote
If after two weeks, their interest in your work expires, well, they probably won’t be the best agent for you anyway.

But the agent who puts off reading your manuscript for months even after they know you have another offer is definitely going to be the best agent for you.

I understand being busy and not being able to fit in one more thing, but that doesn't mean the rest of the world has to stop what they're doing and wait for you. Sometimes you miss a deadline and don't get the thing you wanted and that's just how life is.

Offline violet

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3498
  • Karma: 1224
Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2016, 04:26:25 PM »
I agree! We work 60 hour work weeks, we have children, we have sick spouses or parents, and on and on. But the writer has always been the lowest rung.

I commented. She may well delete, but whatever. This mentality is just wrong and very, very diva.

Offline AlythiaB

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 743
  • Karma: 74
    • Publishing Tips for the Restless Writer
Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2016, 04:27:51 PM »
Quote
If after two weeks, their interest in your work expires, well, they probably won’t be the best agent for you anyway.

But the agent who puts off reading your manuscript for months even after they know you have another offer is definitely going to be the best agent for you.


Haha!

I understand being busy and not being able to fit in one more thing, but that doesn't mean the rest of the world has to stop what they're doing and wait for you. Sometimes you miss a deadline and don't get the thing you wanted and that's just how life is.

Yep!
Represented by Moe Ferrara, BookEnds, LLC
www.alyconner.com

Offline AlythiaB

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 743
  • Karma: 74
    • Publishing Tips for the Restless Writer
Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2016, 04:29:14 PM »
I agree! We work 60 hour work weeks, we have children, we have sick spouses or parents, and on and on. But the writer has always been the lowest rung.

I commented. She may well delete, but whatever. This mentality is just wrong and very, very diva.

I saw your comment. It was very respectful. So hopefully, she wont!
Represented by Moe Ferrara, BookEnds, LLC
www.alyconner.com

Offline violet

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3498
  • Karma: 1224
Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2016, 04:36:21 PM »
I agree! We work 60 hour work weeks, we have children, we have sick spouses or parents, and on and on. But the writer has always been the lowest rung.

I commented. She may well delete, but whatever. This mentality is just wrong and very, very diva.

I saw your comment. It was very respectful. So hopefully, she wont!

I sat on my hands. I wanted to say:

Dear Diva,

Nope. We're giving you a deadline. That's right! Us! Writers! Busy writers! We need a decision, and 1/2 a month time is ample. Of course, if it's not, I understand the need to step aside. But don't blame me, the busy writer, for something that has been an industry standard for, well, years. We are not kowtowing to the offering agent. We are making up our own minds to give you 2 weeks to decide. Crazy, right?

Very sincerely,

A busy writer.  >:D


Online Tabris

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4946
  • Karma: 990
  • I rock!
Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2016, 07:18:33 PM »
So after an editor calls her with an excited offer on her client's manuscript, does she say, "That's great! Now cool your jets for six months while I wait for a response from every other editor I submitted this to!"? Because that would be important to know if you ever wanted to be this agent's client.