Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Agent Wendy Lawton talks about #agentfail

Wendy Lawton, an agent with Books & Such, recently blogged about a number of issues that agents face everyday.  I found the posts fascinating and instead of trying to recap each one, I am posting the link for each of the posts for her #Agentfail series.


If you frequent agent blogs or follow agents on Twitter you’ll see plenty written about the many ways writers fail. From terrible queries to brash behavior, from craft errors to marketing omissions, from lack of skill to lack of ideas– all have been skewered online. I figured turnabout is fair play.    More

#AgentFail: Requested Material Limbo  

Here’s where I get a huge #AgentFail. A number of times I’ve been impressed by an author and intrigued by the concept. I’ve asked the author to send the proposal. I receive it and put it in a folder that sits on my desktop. And in that folder it sits. And sits. And sits. Every time I look at that folder I cringe, but I’m caught between putting out a fire and reading a contract.    More

#AgentFail: The Logjam

Are you tired of me talking about the agent time crunch? Unfortunately, it’s the reason for much of the #AgentFail. Most of us have a set level of clients and, to keep them all going, it is more than a forty-hour work week. But we love it, and we wouldn’t do anything else. I’m guessing we’re not so different from anyone else reading this. Time is in short supply for all of us, and it causes us to have to make hard choices.   More

Agent blogs often talk about the writer’s side of finding an agent. We don’t often talk about the agent’s side–finding the perfect project, the perfect writer and offering representation. Much like an acquisitions editor, an agent is only as good as her instincts. We need to be able to spot a winning writer and a winning manuscript. We work hard to hone those skills, and we take great pride in our instincts.   More

’ve talked about agent limbo, logjams and brick walls. All part of the frustration of being a literary agent. I’m guessing those failures occur for all agents at one time or another. It doesn’t make us bad agents– just human. But I couldn’t talk about #AgentFail without talking about bad agents.
Yes, Virginia, there are bad literary agents.   More

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