Monday, April 6, 2009

Curtis Brown agent Ginger Clark responds to the vitriol of Agentfail Day.

And as always with Ginger, smart and sensible commentary that writers should take to heart.


Micol Ostow said...

Thanks, Colleen.

The whole phenomenon of queryfail and its aftermath fascinates me. I can see why aspiring writers would see queryfail as perhaps disrespectful, and it's entirely possible that after my experience on both sides of the desk (editor and writer, that is), I'm (I hope) more patient with eds and agents than someone might be when still trying to break in, but the hostility from some absolutely confounds me.

Yes, catharsis can be necessary, but that's what your writer friends/spouses/parents/pets/shrinks are for. The internet is forever. One of the golden rules I try to keep for myself is to never write anything online that I wouldn't say, face to face, to a business contact. And I try to empathize with all of the different people in the pub industry trying to do their jobs every day.

Unfortunately, at the end of the day, to a certain extent it's about power. And the aspiring writer looking to break in, alas, does not have the power until he or she has attracted the attention or interest of an agent or editor (and in some cases, not even then). That can suck, I know. But the suck factor does not change the basic facts. And while it may be icky to think about the process in such cold terms, it IS a business. If you don't have the power, you can't afford to mouth off publicly.

Frustrating? Sure, very. But still a hard fast truth.

Or, so says I.

Micol Ostow said...

Wow. Did not realize I had so much to say on the subject!

Jeff said...

The whole thing seemed pointless to me.

acpaul said...

I didn't think that either #queryfail or #agentfail justified the fuss and bother they generated.

Some people take themselves very seriously. Well, that's fine. After all, it's their life, high blood pressure, stress, and eventual MI.

I am not going to cross an agent off my list no matter how many cute cats pics they post or how many comments they make on twitter.

I manage to make comments on twitter from the ICU! And I have a documented record of patient safety, so you can't begin to say that I'm not doing my job.

The whole #agentafil thing would have been a complete waste of time except for the one theme that came up again and again: writers don't like the "no response means no" policy of some agencies.

The rest was just venting and not worth the time it took to read it.