Monday, April 11, 2011

Changing Agents? Was the problem REALLY with the agent?

I was thinking about this idea over the weekend. We hear all of the time of situations when writers are leaving agents because things didn't work out well. That's fine. I want to see a writer be successful and sometimes that author agent relationship just doesn't work out. But here is the twist I want to consider today. Maybe the problem wasn't the agent at all?

It takes two to tango here and to be fair, we have to look at all elements of the equation. In this case, a writer has to also examine his or her role in the relationship. If that writer is the one who was at fault, that there was something in the way that writer approached the business, then changing agents will simply not fix anything. The problem will indeed travel with that writer.

I have heard a lot of writers on their 3rd and up to 5th agent. These are those obvious cases that stand out of someone likely being the problem. It won't matter how many agents they have. It won't matter which agent they work with, the problem will still be there.

As a writer, when we examine anything that doesn't work well, we have to look at all elements. Sometimes, unfortunately, it is the thing you like the most. That character, you created. That plot you thought was so amazing. And yes, you.

Just running away from a situation without carefully examining all of the elements will not remedy the situation.

Have  a great week everyone!



  1. Great point. I think that if both agent and author can part on amicable terms, agreeing they weren't the best fit, that leaves both parties responsible without placing blame.

    All too often we see people comparing Agent/Author relationships to marriage - but it isn't. It's a business partnership. I'm much more casual with my spouse than I would be with an agent.

  2. Good morning Scott,
    On a different note, I noticed on twitter today that you received contest entries today. Are you running a contest? Thanks

  3. 3rd of 5th agent? Wow! It's tedious enough to find one.

    I'm friendly enough that I consider anyone who crossess my path to be in a type of relationship with me, but it is business.


  4. Anon,

    No, not running a contest. I frequently judge final rounds for writing chapters.

  5. Some people just can't work with a jerk.