Monday, February 28, 2011

Clients Will Come First!

"I don't understand why it took that agent so long to get back to me on my submission," I heard a writer complain one day at the National RWA conference. Clearly, this person, as well as many other authors, are missing out on some key information about the business. They simply don't understand where their unpublished story falls on the hierarchy of things.

One thing to remember is that the agents (and editors too) are seriously trying to get to those stories. None of us like to see piles of submissions in our offices, or pages of email submissions just taunting us everytime we log into the computer. But, you have to remember that you are still not our client, and, for that reason, you will take the second place to our current writers.

When it comes down to it, the current clients' stories will always be at the top of our reading list. This can become daunting at times if you have writers that are all sending in projects that need edits at the same time. In fact, at the time I am writing this, I have 5 full projects from current writers that need attention.

Even then, the clients all know that their work will get shuffled around a bit. If a deadline for one project is changed, I don't care if I am currently working with one client, it will get put down for the moment so we can deal with the other situation.

The point of this is simply to remind you that in this business, there will be delays. We will get to your work when we get to it. In the meantime, keep writing and move on to a new project.



  1. I have to give props to you agents. I've seen a few pics of piles of folders an agent has to slog though and you guys are workers! Wow, kudos for doing that every day and not going crazy. (And keeping up blogs and twitter at the same time.)

  2. I made this exact point to a person on a public email loop who was trashing a certain editor for postponing her friend's submission. I understand the frustration since we have all been there, and I can appreciate her well-meaning loyalty to a friend. However, facts are facts. Plus it is never wise to say negative things about people who you may later want to pitch to! Sadly she did not take my kind admonishment very well. She'll learn!

  3. That's why I try to give an agent two months before I start wondering. We're all busy. With a day job, a family, and agent hunt, I have to remind myself that there needs to be time for writing.

    Also, after reading Sharon's post, too bad for your friend. Agent-bashing is a big faux pas. Speaking from the point of view of someone who deals with people on a daily basis, bashing doesn't get you anywhere fast. It's smears your own name, and it's unprofessional.