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Monday, April 18, 2011

Should Writers Feel Bad For Agents?

Months of writing, querying, and waiting can add up to years. Writers wait and wait and wait some more. Sometimes, our frustration turn into anger and bitterness toward Agents who can't recognize our genius and the subjective business of publishing world. Some people go as far as hating literary agents and think of them as writers' enemies. Have you felt that? I'm sure a little part of us have felt that once or twice.

So, I wondered, what do agents do? Do they deserve the hatred?
My answer was a surprising "No." While I can't claim to know everything about agents, I did get a glimpse of their daily routines through their blogs and tweets. And believe me, these busy people are not leading the fashionable lives as I have imagined. Just like I know that a writer's life is not as fancy as I dreamed it would be.

Agents spend hours handling their business duties for the agency and their clients. Then they have to dig through the slush pile and email queries in the hopes of finding something they love to represent. Then they have to try to sell it. Sounds easy? No. I doubt it.

I used to think that these agents had it easy. All they have to do is pick a book they like, send it off to be edited, and sell it to a publisher over a cocktail. Wow, was I ignorant. Do writers don't get a brilliant story over night, sit for a few weeks writing it out, send it to a publisher, and have it published? Nope. It doesn't work that way.

When they finally do find that gem that they want to represent, they work through revisions, phone calls, and emails until it's DONE. Now it's time for them to sell it. This part, I didn't really understand. It's someone else's baby, someone else's pride, and someone else's career on the line. They're not invested in this. They have other things to sell; they move on. Wrong, again.

Agents representation of their clients is almost the same as representation of their work. They will be judge, advised, and turned down. They go through the same nail-bitting process as they wait for the ONE to say yes. It is their baby, their pride, and their career, too. It's business; it's not personal. But everyone takes it personally whether they admit it or not. They are vulnerable just as much as we, writers, are.

So what's the point of me blogging about this? Not much. I just thought that agents do get some bad rep. sometimes just because of nature of the business. I feel for the frustrate writers out there, but I think it'll be better that our time is spent on making our books salable. Because, in the end, these people will be your next step to becoming published. They might even love your work more than you. Who knows? Maybe they'll be your next BFF. So, cheer up. Keep writing. And if you need my professional editing services, please visit www.sirraedits.com

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