Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Online Presence and Editors and Agents

I was recently reading some comments online by some authors who were "teaching the right way" to get an editor or agent. I was shocked when I did some digging and found a lot of people claiming these people really had the right idea. What shocked me even more were the comments these people were saying when it came to editors and agents and the way a writer gets those beloved comments. In all cases, the issues stemmed from ideas about how to promote yourself and sell yourself on line. Let me highlight a few for you;

Pitch to Editors and Agents on Twitter - O.K. maybe this person is really out to eliminate the competition by encouraging a rejection, but this is a serious no-no. Editors and agents have a procedure for how they acquire material. We have it for a reason. In some cases, it is there to handle the huge influx of stories. In other cases, it is the way the publisher or agency sorts the incoming submissions. Regardless, getting a pitch on Twitter is not going to be one of those options. In most of our cases, we use Twitter (and yes, even the other social media platforms) to stay on top of what is going on in the business. Simply put - it's not going to work.

Create a blog and build your readership to show the editor you have a following - This one always confuses me. I am going to create a blog and sell a product that I don't have? This sounds like some of those things you do at camp when you send people out on Snipe Hunts or to find a Bacon Stretcher. You can't sell something that doesn't exist.

Editors and Agents always search the internet and look for websites and potential clients - Personlly, I haven't heard of someone yet who has the time to do that. We simply are not out there scanning for websites and then contacting authors to say "come work for us." If you really want to work with an agent or editor, you approach them. Not the reverse.

Follow them on Facebook and they will sign you - Really? Um, no. In most cases, we have created a Facebook page simply because you have asked for another tool to gain information about the agency or publisher. If you want to follow us, great. If not, it's up to you, but we are simply not signing people based on your staying connected with us.

Friend them and they will sign you - O.K. here is another one of those social media no-no's. Editors and agents all have a professional and personal side. We keep these separate. I know that since creating the Greyhaus Literary Agency Facebook page, I have had a ton of writers sending me a "Friend Request". Sorry to say this, but you are on the professional side of the business. We do need a break every now and then.

Keep those things in mind. Remember, this is a business and we are all professional here.



  1. Aha! So you ADMIT all those stories are bogus! :)

    Thanks for clearing up yet another myth circulating in the blogosphere.

    You rock! ~ that rebel, Olivia

  2. Pitching on Twitter. Oh now that's a good one, and it has to take a lot of nerve. Thanks for the heads up in case I was thinking of trying it. :)

  3. Wow... It's amazing what some people claim. Ugh...

    In all seriousness, most of the agent blogs I follow, don't even accept my genre. I still learn a lot from them though, and about the industry, which is why I follow them.

    I thought the purpose of having a blog was so an agent can go read it, 'after' they have received your query and are interested. That way the agent can see how you interact with people and your writing style. No matter the content, how you speak in a blog does give an idea to how your manuscript will read.

    This way the agent can get a feel for the writer, just as the writer can get the feel of the agent by reading their blog. Ultimately, it is still online and will not give the full personality spectrum, but I do feel blog interaction has helped me get a better idea of who certain agents are and what they like and don't like.

    Thanks for the heads up! :-)

  4. These authors promote cyber-stalking? So how did that experience work for them?

    I've heard that "Create a blog to build readership" too often and few realize the blog has to be ABOUT something interesting to READERS.

    Blogs are also styled as journals and articles which is different than storytelling in novel form.

  5. I don't tweet; but I've heard through the blogs some of those myths. The most prolific being that starting a blog and having a specific number of followers is essential to actually landing an agent.

    Its good to know that my lack of "platform building" isn't what's getting me rejected :)


  6. Thank you for breaking all these myths. I wondered where you found the time to do all this hunting.