Book Trailer The Noble Train

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Agent Etiquette or the agony of Waiting

There is such a thing as agent etiquette. Most writers get their first agent and the relationship goes wrong very quickly. This is because no one knows the ground rules and there are ground rules. You finally get an agent and you are ready for the next step, getting a publisher or selling your next book. Since agents have taken on the role of editor in fiction  you spend a lot of time working with your agent getting your book ready. Then it is ready and this is when the agent does  his or her thing. ]And you...wait.

Here is the first place where things go bad. The writer is axnious naturally. Years have gone into your book and now you are just going to sit and wait? A week passes. Another week passes. You are going crazy. The third week passes and you call or email. The agent lets you know that there have been a few rejections but he or she will press on. You wait. A week passes. Another week passes. Another week passes. This time you pick up the phone to get to the bottom of what the hell is going on.

Your agent tells you that yes there have been a few passes and you make some suggestions and call the editors idiots and begin to doubt your agent. You email suggestions. A week passes and you call again. Your agent doesn't take your call this time. Now you freak. You call and call and call. He or she  gets fed up with you and you get fed up with them. You are done.

Agent etiquette can be summed up in one simple sentence: grace under pressure. Or;  never let them see you sweat. Your agent will let you know when he or she sells your book. Believe me. Until then you just have to put it out of your mind and let them do their thing. Unless you are ready to switch. Like a marriage a lot of times the relationship goes bad. But when you find a good one, then leave them alone.


Books by William Hazelgrove