Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Christmas rant

I haven't done of these in a long time, so I figure I'll blow off some steam about an issue that really bugs me. I belong to various author loops, and on those loops, I sometimes see people complaining about their agents.

Now first of all, no matter what it claims, a loop is NOT private. That's not the place to air your grievances. It's stupid and it's unprofessional. If you have a problem with your agent, maybe you should put on your big girl panties and write her an email. I did that with my first agent, and it didn't solve anything, but at least I tried. We wound up parting company and I landed with my current fabulous agent, so it was best for all concerned. If you must talk the situation over with someone, use email to a close friend, or IM, or the telephone. Don't tell 1200 strangers why you're pissed off.

Now I move to the second part of my rant. When I see these posts, bitching about this or that (sometimes agent or editor related) I cannot help but think, wow, this person doesn't like being published very much, does she? Do you really think this stuff doesn't get back to the person you're talking about? That's naive. If you have no more care than that for your career, maybe you shouldn't be calling yourself a professional author. Then other people chime in and say stuff like, "Oh, you need to remind your agent who (s)he works for."

No. Big giant resounding no. Your agent doesn't work for you. Unless you pay her a weekly wage, cover 401K and offer benefits, you are not the employer. You are not the boss. Your agent works with you, not for you. It's more of a business partnership. You don't fire your agent if you part ways. You just give thirty days notification of terminating your agreement and move on. Authors have a lamentable tendency to get very full of themselves after they publish a few books.

Please, for the love of god, don't let this happen to you. Only you can prevent douchebaggery. Merry Christmas!


Angie Fox said...

LOL You know, I was looking for something to cross-stitch onto a Christmas sampler and that is it - "Only you can prevent douchebaggery." Perhaps I'll use a nice, holly green.

Estella said...

Well said, Ann!

azteclady said...

I'll just agree--and, Angie, I'll make a bookmark.

(Ann, between 'peegasm' and "Only you can prevent douchebaggery", my vocabulary has been enriched this year!)

Lisa Hendrix said...

You are *so* right about this. Just the other day, I saw someone doing this on a loop. A small loop, but really...even if you're absolutely sure of the people on the loop the day you bitch, you never know who is going to join in the future and read back through the archives. Very bad form.

And how did I miss peegasm?