Necessary Agent

Comments

danielmenaker says...

In my previous comment, just in case anyone misunderstood, I meant no disrespect to agents. What the good agents do is indispensable to writers, many if not most of whom do not know how to conduct their business as a business or how to represent themselves. In fact, it seems to me growingly apparent that publishers, as we know them now, may turn out to be far less essential to writers than agents will continue to be.

danielmenaker says...

Editor, edit thyself. Last sentence: I WASN'T the ONLY one who felt that way.

danielmenaker says...

I can understand how an agent's brainstorming with an editor is a form of "support" but I'm less certain that cajoling, needling, and harrassing are supportive. I'd say that thirty per cent of the conversations I had with agents--good agents, whose taste and energy I admired--consisted of a gentle or sometimes vigorus and occasionally aggressive harrassment about matters that even when I held a position of some authority, I could do little about, in part because the calls were made in protest against or complaints about decisions that I had helped to make. Sometimes I felt strongly that these kinds of agent calls were made in a pro-forma way that had to be endured by both parties. Sometimes I felt that I wasn;t the ionly one who felt that way.

Martian181 says...

I also really enjoyed this article. My only question is, since the author is in no way privy to the dealings between agent and editor, how can they tell if they actually have a good agent or a slacker? I mean, sure their agent could be returning their phone calls or emails, but that doesn't mean they're going to bat for them with the editors.

Jessie Mac says...

I enjoyed the article not realizing how little power editors have. I appreciate that good agents, like Molly, are there to help by building strong relationships with publishers and editors.

And I'm not naive enough to think that there are no ruthless, ambitious people in the world of publishing. It's a business, business means profit and margins and it's not personal.

I just hope when the time comes, I get a good agent like Molly.

smitten2 says...

There are good points made in this article, but I feel sorry for the agents profiled in this piece, because the author doesn't seem to treat them seriously. To cite them for being tall, having nice voices, or mustaches--come on! This piece was downright silly.

marcelalandres says...

I used to be an editor at Simon & Schuster, and I can attest to Jofie's point that editors--unless they are very senior--are pretty much powerless. This may not be what writers want to hear, but it is what they need to know. Thank you, Jofie, for saying what needs to be said.