Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ask And Ye Shall Receive

When I opened Greyhaus, one of my three goals was to increase communication between the writers and the publishing professionals (editors and agents). For too long, it seemed that the writers were doing everything they could to "do what the editors and agents wanted." And yet, on the reverse side, the editors and agents would often read submissions and questions, "what on Earth are these writers doing and why?" There seemed to be (and yes, I do think it is still there) a huge communication gap.

As an agent, I know I try my best to get information out there to writers about the publishing process. I want people to know, not just what I am looking for, but also how I look at projects and so forth. But I also know that is not enough. This is about communication BETWEEN the authors and the editors/agents.

A definition I have always turned to when it comes to communications is the "getting and the giving of information". In other words, this is a two-way dialogue and there is only so much I can do on my end. There is the other 50% of the equation which would be the authors to ask and inquire on their end.

I know there are writers out there struggling in this business. They want to know how to approach things such as submissions, contracts, and working with editors and agents. They want to know how to craft great characters and develop plot lines that can be marketable. But what I find is interesting is that, too often, they only ask of each other. It becomes an issue of the blind leading the blind. Eventually, working in that closed system leads to a lot of frustration and confusing. In many cases, it also leads to writers who might have really had the talent to just give up.

But I do want to say there are editors and agents out there who want to help. To get it, however, you simply have to ASK! Editors and agents are out there on social media. We blog, we tweet, we Facebook. Editorial groups such as Avon, Harper Collins Impulse and Mills and Boon are always opening their lines of communication to allow authors to pretty much ask anything they need or want.

Agents and editors are VERY available to attend conferences. Here at Greyhaus, I have opened the door to setting up live chats with your writing groups using SKYPE. We can simply chat and answer questions. But again, to make all of this happen, it requires someone on the other side to do one simple thing.


Understand the resources are out there. You don't have to struggle alone.

1 comment:

  1. Scott,

    I find your posts insightful and helpful. Thank you for taking the time. It is the agents who list that they do not even acknowledge receipt of a query, never mind respond to it, who are defeating. I am at the beginning stage of looking for representation, and when I see it clearly posted that they will not respond in any way (I mean, how hard is it to auto program "We have received your query"?) unless they are interested, it tempts me to tuck tail between legs and cower in the corner. Blogs like yours are not only informative, but keep a human face on a busy industry-- which makes my tail wag. :0)