Thursday, August 19, 2010

Do We Impress You

Have any of your bloggers impressed you so much by their comments, or how they wrote them, it created a head slapping "I should represent this writer" moment, or conversely, "I should steer clear of this nut-case"?

I have learned on your website that content of the story is as important as the caliber of how it’s told. But, for those of us who realize the difficulties of the process, do our brilliant blogger comments impress you, in any way?

I think some of us try to behave and do everything right so we get to be on your good side, which means, we get to pass out and collect the homework and watch the rest of the class when you are out of the room. By the way, Tommy has a water balloon in his desk.

If you have covered this on your website I apologize for not digging deep enough or forgetting what it was you actually said. Okay, I’ll sit down now and shut up.

I liked this question because it touches on a conversation I frequently have with other agents, clients, and writers who read my blog. It first came up a few years ago when a client mentioned all the sucking up that goes on on my blog. Honestly, I had never seen it. I guess I took everything at face value. If a reader agreed with me or complimented what I said, I simply assumed they agreed or were complimentary. I suppose it’s sort of like learning that the cute boy in school likes you. Everyone else sees it, it seems obvious, all except to the girl he’s set his sights on. I’m afraid I’m still that girl who doesn’t really see it. I suppose there are those who think that agreeing with everything I say will warm my heart and make me want to represent you. It really won’t, just like disagreeing with what I say won’t make me not want to represent you.

In some ways, I see the blog as a separate aspect of my business from the actual acquiring, submitting, and selling of books, and in many ways it is. I suppose if BookEnds was a giant corporation I would work for two different departments. Blog Jessica would work for marketing, promotion, and, maybe, customer service. Agent Jessica would work in the agency department or maybe sales. Her job would be to represent authors and sell their books.

No comment has been so brilliant that I thought I’d love to represent that author. Meet the author maybe, but not represent. And the only comments that really turn me off so much that I know it’s an author I would never want to represent are usually posted anonymously by trolls. They are rarely intelligent or rational discussions. Usually they are attacks and nothing more. I tend to ignore them.

Behaving does not mean always doing everything right or agreeing with everything someone else says. Would any of you want an agent who only wanted to work with clients who nodded, smiled, and gritted their teeth? I don’t think so. Behaving means acting professionally and giving an honest opinion respectfully, even when it’s to disagree with the original post.