Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In Defense of Agents

Been reading all the blogs popping up for and against literary agents. I'm not posting the blogs here because I'm reluctant to fan the flames, but boy howdy, some people sure have a lot of bitterness locked inside them. Against agents who, as I've learned, hold the keys to the promised land. And, unknown to me, these very same agents are both killing publishing and crushing the hopes and dreams of writers.

Say it isn't true!

I have a couple things to say on the subject. (You knew I did, didn't you?) One, I have never been so happy to have an agent as when I received my contract for Read My Lips. After perusing that monstrosity a couple of times, I was overjoyed to know that my agency's contract lawyer was going over it line by line and was on my side because I couldn't make head nor tails of it. And I consider myself a pretty smart person. In fact, I read it to the eighth graders last week as an example of why I NEED an agent.

Two, having a top notch agent doesn't necessarily mean that your career is going to be peachy. My agent couldn't even sell my first submission and she loved it. My second sub sold, but the third one didn't. So having one, or in my case, two, fabulous agents, doesn't mean I'm suddenly in publishing nirvana. But I certainly don't blame my agents for that.

The query system is what it is. I don't mind a well-trained intern reading my queries because I always do my research before sending them. It's the intern's job to separate the wheat from the chafe and trust me, agents get a lot of chafe. Thousands a year in fact.

I loved my first agent. I love my second agent. They are there to help me. They love books and love to read. It's a tough job--If they didn't love it, they wouldn't be doing it.

Yes, some worthy books will never see the light of day, but whoever said life was fair? Blockbuster books, some good, some not so much, keep the wheels turning for the rest of us. It seems to me that this is just more of the "man be keeping me down" mentality that really never got anyone anywhere.

Write a good book. Write a good query. Pray a lot. Rinse. Repeat.

19 comments:

PJ Hoover said...

Nice post, Teri!

Lexi said...

Amen, Teri!

Keri Mikulski said...

So true, Teri!!

I love, love, love my agent!!! :)

Amanda Ashby said...

Well said, Teri!!!!! And so funny that you took your contract along when you did your school visit! I agree that those beasties make no sense at all and how anyone dares sign one without having someone in the know going over it, is beyond me!!!!!!

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