Thursday, February 25, 2010

Chip on Your Shoulder

We all have our down days and there’s no doubt we’ve all become frustrated with the publishing process at one point or another. Published authors become frustrated with how long things take or when editors leave or reject their next book, unpublished authors become frustrated with agents and the challenges of “getting in the door,” and agents become frustrated with all of those things and more. It’s natural, normal, and understandable, but it’s not going to help anyone’s cause, least of all your own, to develop a chip on your shoulder and share it with everyone.

Imagine if your agent became frustrated with Publisher Z because they rejected the last three submissions she made to them. Instead of simply brushing the frustration away and moving on with new enthusiasm she decided to let Publisher Z know all about her frustrations, and used the submission she was making on your behalf to do so.

What if she started her pitch to your book with, “I’m sure you’re simply going to ignore this query like you’ve done with the last three books I’ve sent, but I don’t care. I believe in my clients and do this job for love. I agent for myself and my authors write for the love of writing. However, we want the world to read this book and to do so, I need you to buy this book.”

Imagine how mad you’d be. I get queries from authors like this all the time, and while I understand what they must be going through, it also makes it an easy query to reject. Let’s face it, an author who starts out that angry with the process is presenting herself as someone who won’t be easy to work with. So, while it’s understandable that you will, at times, be frustrated, try not to always share it with everyone.