, 13 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Okay so this is a thing I’ve wanted to say for a bit, but after several friends experiences similar things in the past few weeks, I have to say something bc the publshing industry being what it is, querying writers just can’t complain on here. So here I am with a #querytip.
When you’re querying, I always advise to reach out to authors who are currently AND formerly represented by an agent who has your full and maybe has expressed more interest than that. They’ve given a R&R or emails multiple times to update you as they’re reading. Why?
Because you can follow an agent and their career for years and still have no idea what it’s like to work with them. OBVIOUSLY, you take what you hear from current and former clients with a grain of salt and make your own judgments based on your interactions...but
There are very few ways we as writers can protect ourselves from agents who are “reputable” but also assholes. I’ve had two agents. Both are fabulous & consummate professionals and I’d recommend both my former and current agent without hesistation. Not everyone can say the same.
Again, obviously take former clients accounts with a grain of salt and seek out both sides of a story when and if that offer comes in, but there are major red flags to look for that you won’t know about without talking to a former client.
🚩 Dropping after no sale
🚩Weeks/Months to respond to emails
🚩 No sub list before or immediately after sub
🚩 Refusing to update you
🚩 Extemely long read times on new proposals/MS (more than a month)
🚩 Talking shit about their other clients (they’re talking about you too)
Anyway, these are just a few things I’ve heard of from querying writers in their second time in the query trenches. They’ve been doing this a long time. Their former agents were “reputable.” They had sales. They worked for good agencies. I’m just saying DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE.
And if any of those red flag pop up or something feels off, keep reaching out to people until you feel comfortable or know that you won’t ever feel comfortable.
Another thing, in all my time in the #writingcommunity there has NEVER been a write I reached out to regarding an agent/editor who didn’t take the time to talk to me about the choice in front of me. EVERY SINGLE ONE RESPONDED. Talk to your fellow writers. We protect each other.
There are a million typos in this thread. I don’t care.
Also, you DO NOT need an agent's permission to reach out to their former/current clients. You aren't their client. You are deciding whether or not to *become* their client. A simplistic analogy, but you wouldn't ask a Dr's permission to reach out to their current/former patients.
This is the *one* sliver of power a querying writer has during this process (beyond the fabulousness of your manuscript). Don't cede it because you're worried about seeming...I don't know, rude? It's not rude. It's professional. Be courteous, always, but it is not RUDE.
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