Thursday, October 11, 2007

I have moved my desk.

Now it is against the wall instead of in the middle of my office.

Suddenly, my office is huge--a veritable ballroom! I have an extra chair with which to receive guests. I have essentially promoted myself to Empress Editor.

Also, I threw out all the agented proposals that no one has followed up on (predating May 1st--the others might still get back to me). I don't think any agents read this, but if they did, I would like to tell them, the odds of my bidding on your manuscript go up EXPONENTIALLY if you follow up with me.

I usually look at submissions right away when I get them, but my policy is not to contact an agent about a book (with some tiny exceptions). My logic: I work for a small house, and I can't afford to get in a bidding war over a book. If some other huge house is going to step in and buy it, I would rather not get attached. A lot of agents submit to small house editors like me just to introduce a price floor in the bidding--that way, if I really like it and bid on it, they can go to larger houses with bigger money and say, "Well, we already have an offer on the table..." which doesn't help ME at all. But if an agent follows up with me, I have a better chance of being able to get a feel for the competition--many agents, bless their hearts, are honest about the the landscape and are nice enough not to get me involved if I really don't have a chance. I have some favorite agents I wish I could name here but obviously I can't--these guys are real class acts who understand me, my limitations, what I'm looking for, and when it's best to just tell me the truth. And they still make great money. No reason you have to be a cutthroat lyings snakeoil salesman to be an agent.

But then there are all these agents who send me stuff and never even call about it. That's the worst slap in the face--they only sent ME the stuff because it failed everywhere else, but they don't even have the basic courtesy to pretend they take me seriously. At the same time, they expect me to spend my valuable time reading their unsalable trash. THESE are the kinds of things that have now gone into the garbage.

Ok, my little morning thoughts.


cyn said...

wow, you have your own office?! that's awesome! love the insight you give with this post, too--i'm afraid the publishing world isn't something i know too much about.

Kaytie M. Lee said...


From the writer's perspective, it's disturbing to read about agents who don't follow up with the editors they submit manuscripts to.

Following up is such a small thing for such an important situation.

Ello said...

I have to agree with Kaytie that it is appalling to hear about agents that don't follow up. I bet the agents you like are also agents that are proving themselves to be class acts to writers also. For instance, I just got two of the nicest rejections I've ever received. And in fact when I wrote to thank them for their nice rejection - they thanked me for it! Honestly, I had a warm glow from both even though I was rejected!

Church Lady said...

I thought you never get up from the computer. When did you have time to move your desk?

moonrat said...

it was hard--i had to commit to it this morning before opening any email. i actually turned my computer OFF last night and promised myself i wouldn't turn it on until the move was accomplished.

i also dusted. woot.