Author Topic: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?  (Read 23135 times)

Offline AlythiaB

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Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #30 on: May 18, 2016, 11:21:22 AM »

Ugh! I had it when a voice of supposed authority spews misinformation.  :no:

JeanneG

Especially when newbie writers are jumping to praise the information.

HOWEVER, to her credit, she does say that it's her "pet peeve" and that other agents may feel differently. So she's stating that she doesn't like this practice. That's fair. I guess I'm bothered that it's also coupled with advice for new writers--new writers who may follow it and feel like they can't set up reasonable deadlines without being labeled demanding.
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Offline Sarah Ahiers (Falen)

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Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #31 on: May 18, 2016, 11:28:11 AM »
I guess for me, what kind of irritates me, is there are times when it's sometimes okay to buck the standard practice.

The time to do that, though, is when it benefits you.

Not only does this practice NOT benefit the writer, it also screws over the original offering agent and any agent who can read things in a timely manner once they've been nudged.

The only people this helps are the agents who haven't read the MS yet and feel like they won't be able to look at it sometime in the next week or so. Everyone else, though, gets kinda screwed. I mean, not screwed but now they're forced to wait on the agents who need more time. That's not fair for anyone.
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Offline AlythiaB

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Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #32 on: May 18, 2016, 11:40:32 AM »
I guess for me, what kind of irritates me, is there are times when it's sometimes okay to buck the standard practice.

The time to do that, though, is when it benefits you.

Not only does this practice NOT benefit the writer, it also screws over the original offering agent and any agent who can read things in a timely manner once they've been nudged.

The only people this helps are the agents who haven't read the MS yet and feel like they won't be able to look at it sometime in the next week or so. Everyone else, though, gets kinda screwed. I mean, not screwed but now they're forced to wait on the agents who need more time. That's not fair for anyone.

Exactly. When I was first learning everything I could about lit agents and the industry as a whole, I gobbled up this info--laughed when agents made fun of writers. (I still do!! Slushpile Hell is hilarious.) But there's a line that gets crossed sometimes. It goes from laughing at silly quirks to placing writers in this all-encompassing category of demanding divas if they have any kind of backbone and request reasonable business procedures. It reminds me of how when women are in management positions, they get labeled as "bossy" but men get called "leaders" for doing the same thing. Double standards.

I was able to read through her blog, and in general it doesn't seem like she has this negative of an attitude on the whole. So I think I was right in thinking just the post comes across that way. Still, I'm glad you guys voiced your opinions!
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Offline Pandean

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Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #33 on: May 18, 2016, 11:42:55 AM »
Stupid question but anyone know which agency she works for?

Pippin Properties. I have never heard of them, but that doesn't mean much. Apparently they do kidlit, so I wouldn't have researched them for my own work.

Ooooh. I had a bad experience with that agency...

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Offline Pandean

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Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #34 on: May 18, 2016, 11:44:52 AM »
I find agents who mock writers to be really....not good.

I mean, I remember when #queryfail was a thing and at first it was nice-ish but then it got really personal and mean.
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Offline AlythiaB

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Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #35 on: May 18, 2016, 11:50:38 AM »
I mean, I remember when #queryfail was a thing and at first it was nice-ish but then it got really personal and mean.

Oh! I remember that!!!! That was intense. And you know the agents who mocked the writers were sitting back thinking "See? They are divas. Can't even take a joke." Dude, I laugh at myself more than anyone else can, but it does cross lines into straight up seeming like they don't even like the people who are their livelihood. In any other industry, publicly making fun of your business's clients would get you fired!
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Offline Doggy Teng

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Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #36 on: May 18, 2016, 11:59:27 AM »
Sarah's comment on that post is excellent -- I really hope the agent answers it.  And I agree that the big problem is that she's so vague about what you are supposed to do.   To be honest, if I hadn't seen the discussion here and had just stumbled upon the agent's post and read it quickly, I probably would have thought the takeaway was just that you need to give at least two weeks, not twenty-four hours, and that it would also be nice if you told the other agents that they could let you know if they needed more time.  And I'm guessing that may be the way some of the other commenters are reading it. 

But she actually does imply that two weeks is unreasonable, and she also doesn't explain how you draw the line; do you let agents tell you to give them a month instead of two weeks, or even longer?  Obviously it can't be open ended -- this business is slow enough as it is!

Offline geminirising

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Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #37 on: May 18, 2016, 12:06:30 PM »
P1ppin Properties is one of the most prestigious kidlit agencies, but yeah, this post feels a bit tone-deaf. As everyone has pointed out already, it's weird that she passive aggressively begins the article by assuming the Offering Agent sets the deadline, but then transitions into labeling the Author as demanding. And to further echo everyone else, 1-2 weeks is a completely standard timeframe designed to respect everyone's time (Offering Agent, Author, As-yet-unresponsive Agent). Frankly, I feel like the As-yet-unresponsive Agent is owed the least in this scenario.

Offline Tabris

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Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #38 on: May 18, 2016, 01:50:10 PM »
That also bothers me: she's effectively drawing the author into an argument that should be agent-versus-agent. In a dispute between agents, it's wrong to involve the writer and perspective client. If she has a problem with the industry standard, the people to address it with are the agents rather than the writers.

Offline B

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Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #39 on: May 18, 2016, 02:30:45 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.

Right?!
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Offline violet

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Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #40 on: May 18, 2016, 03:21:14 PM »
And just when I was loving JR, she posts this asinine post. There are so many things wrong, here, I can't even choose which one to rant about: http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2016/05/so-world-of-publishing-is-kicking-your.html


Offline AlythiaB

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Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #41 on: May 18, 2016, 04:37:42 PM »
And just when I was loving JR, she posts this asinine post. There are so many things wrong, here, I can't even choose which one to rant about: http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2016/05/so-world-of-publishing-is-kicking-your.html



Is it asinine? (Asking seriously btw.) It's scary. But maybe at her level, she's going pass on people who haven't sold enough in the past? I'm admittedly not as familiar with things on that end. Still (always) learning.
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Offline Falthor

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Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #42 on: May 18, 2016, 05:01:37 PM »
I personally thank everything that I found this site when I did. Like most authors out there (I assume) I originally thought, well if I can't sell it to a publisher or agent then I'll self pub.

Which isn't a bad idea as long as you understand the amount of work needed to make a self pubbed title a success. I would have self pubbed, sold less than 100 copies and then wondered why no agents wanted to touch my next work.

I get what she's saying and it's kind of scary that someone with 30k-45k sales gets overshadowed because of their second time out. It is a business though, either the second book was rubbish and shouldn't have been published, or any number of other reasons, which don't equal sales to an agent unless the newest project is something flat out amazing.

Eye opening what the threshold is for some people. No doubt.
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Offline Doggy Teng

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Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #43 on: May 18, 2016, 05:44:41 PM »
And just when I was loving JR, she posts this asinine post. There are so many things wrong, here, I can't even choose which one to rant about: http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2016/05/so-world-of-publishing-is-kicking-your.html

Oh, we could start a whole new thread about this one!  And part of this actually ties into something I realized about a month ago that's as ludicrous as it is unfair.

Here's the thing: sales figures tell you absolutely NOTHING about the sales potential of a book or its author unless you know how much exposure (meaning truly effective marketing and promotion) that book got and fully take that into consideration.  Because if 5000 people know a book exists and it sells 1000 copies, that book is actually a huge bestseller!

So it's absurd for anyone who was aware of this author's situation, and the fact that the second crappy little press did zero promotion, to still hold the sales figures against the author.  And that means every agent, editor, publisher, etc., out there who seriously looks at sales figures without taking that into account needs to be clonked upside the head and given a good shaking.  Concluding that there's something wrong with the book and/or the author when there was no significant market exposure isn't just idiotic, it's insane!  I mean, come on, folks -- unless you live in another dimension where math works differently than it does here, how can you expect a book to sell 50k copies when only 5k people are even aware that it exists?!

And here's the other aspect of this that dawned on me when I realized how illogical this is: most self-published books really shouldn't count as published, because they've had so little exposure that it's the same as if they were still in the proverbial trunk.  Realistically, people who change their mind and decide to look for an agent and trad publisher for a book they previously stuck up on Amazon should be able to say that the book was 'self-pubbed but never promoted'. Because if they only posted about it on their own website, Facebook page, and a few other social media sites, it's likely no more than a thousand potential buyers were made aware of the existence of that book (if even that), and in the world of marketing, that's nothing -- it's effectively the same as if no one knew about it. And since going the trad route would almost surely mean not only a few more edits, but a new title and a new cover, it's impossible for the fact that the manuscript had been self-published first to have any effect whatsoever on the marketability and sales potential of that book.

It really makes you wonder: where do all these weird, illogical assumptions come from in the first place?  It's as if one person jumps to some conclusion without actually thinking through what's involved, and everybody else just agrees with them without using their brains either, until that perspective becomes accepted . . .
:rant:
« Last Edit: May 18, 2016, 05:51:21 PM by Doggy Teng »

Offline Tabris

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Re: A Case of Diva Writers... or Diva Agents?
« Reply #44 on: May 18, 2016, 06:41:08 PM »
My ex-agent refused to argue with an editor from one of the Big 5 who said that my sales numbers from MuseItUp, a small publisher operated out of the editor's bedroom as far as I could tell, were an indicator that my book wouldn't sell well for Simon & Schuster.  She loved the book, she said, but since a novella in a niche market from a small press hadn't sold a million copies, there was no way my women's mainstream fiction would sell well for S&S.

I pointed out that what this editor was saying, in effect, was that being one of the five biggest publishers on the planet IN NO WAY impacted sales. That they wouldn't do any more marketing than Lea on her laptop in Alberta, and therefore why would anyone publish with them anyhow?

My ex-agent folded up like a house of cards in the wind and did nothing to advocate against the idea that publicity has no effect on selling books, and the next month, I was out the door.  And now I'm indie, since a Big 5 editor said there's no difference in how you get published.