Thursday, March 4, 2010

Two Way Street

We all hear as writers that we are 'seen' on the web by all. Most importantly, agents, publishers and other writers. I think the rules are all self-explanatory. Honesty is good, but poor taste is bad. Public bashing in an offensive and non-productive way can ruin your career before it starts.

I look for the same in agents or publishers that I research. I want to see what an agent is all about. I like to see their web presence. Do you think about that? I have a confession: I used to think agents/publishers were these gods of the business. This...left unchecked...could have led to disastrous results.

Don't get me wrong. I respect the hell out of agents/publishers/interns/copyeditors(everyone)in this business. I am not the person that feels they are evil or smashing hopes and dreams. I can certainly understand why some feel this way. It's a tough business. It isn't seventh grade creative writing. There is a bar of standards plus a whimsy of luck when it comes to publishing.

However, I don't look past scathing remarks (do not get confused with sarcasm-I enjoy a bit of that here and there) or bad publicity on an agent's part. Ok-not that I can specifically name anyone that is experiencing bad publicity-but it's a good idea to note any such behavior when I decide to query. I pay attention to their blogs, websites, tweets and any other articles of interest.

Why would I do this? Because it will help me (a little) from making rushed decisions when (yes, when, not if) I get The Call. It's another good way to keep from being scammed. It's my first defense against poor judgement due to starry rose colored goggles. Yes, goggles-not glasses. (And wouldn't rosy colored stars be cool? I digress)

Remember The Wizard of Oz? "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain," says the scary green wizard to Dorothy and her friends. The agent or publisher is no big scary wizard. They are people you will have to work with, and depend upon. Not solely-but quite a bit.

What about you? Do you hold the 'big wigs' in publishing to the same standards as you hold yourself? Is it important for your agent or publisher to have a positive web presence?

*note* Mad Libs aka FIB(fill in the blank)Friday is back tomorrow!


  1. Web presence is most important. It makes people more real to me when I can imagine their voice and get to know their personality through posts. If I don't like what I'm hearing I won't visit as often. Or at all.

  2. Oh yes; I think agents should be held to the same standards as writers. Who knows when one day we might be collegues.

    Basic rules of etiquete.

    Lovely post Kristi.


  3. I follow quite a few agents on Twitter, as well as their blogs. If they constantly make sarcastic remarks about the mistakes newbie writers make, I won't query them. I'll continue to follow them for the advice they dispense, but I want someone to represent me who won't make fun of me behind my back.

  4. I know nothing, but I enjoy reading your blog. Do I get partial credit???!

  5. I agree with Melissa, although I don't Twitter so I guess I'm missing half of those, but if on their web-sites or blogs they're just plain rude then, no, they don't deserve my query. They're always complaining about professionalism from us, it goes the same for me. Proper rules of etiquette dictate.

  6. Ditto to Anne, and to your post :)

  7. This is a great post, and so true. Comments on one agent's blog have turned me off the person as a potential agent.

    I used to see physicians as gods when I started my career as a drug rep. I eventually realized they're humans just like me. And just like agents and everyone else in the publishing industry.

  8. I just read your blurb for Tunnel Vision. I so want to read that book! Good luck on it!

  9. Yes, I know I respect agents and editors who are kind but direct with their online persona. I think that's why I love Kristin Nelson so much. She comes across very smart and savvy, but also really nice.

  10. A professional should always act professional. There are a few agents I won't query because of how they treat "authors" on their blog. One in particular comes to mind, but I won't mention his/her name. LOL I would seriously worry about how they treat their clients privately if this is how they treat clients and potential clients publicly. I also have to say I don't know if I would require an agent to have a web presence. If they are on their blog, twitter, facebook, etc. all the time, when the heck do they get to their clients not to mention all the slush reading agents do these days.

  11. Very interesting post:)

    I'm nowhere near the querying stage, yet I do follow some agents on Twitter. There's a few that offer great advide, but I was surprised to find some doing the kind of bashing you mentioned. I'm going to be sure to stay away from them.

  12. Absolutely! I don't think I've seen this topic posted quite like this before - good call, Kristi.
    It certainly gets us thinking. :-)

  13. PJ: You get tons of credit for always visiting! :0)

    Angelia: True, I don't want to see them tweeting all day about what they are eating for breakfast and when they take potty breaks. LOL :0)

    Shannon: I'm glad you enjoyed!!

  14. All of the agents I've checked into are very professional. I wouldn't want to work with anyone who wasn't.


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