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gettingby
05-07-2008, 02:11 AM
The more I read agent blogs, the more I want to land an agent that doesn't have a blog. While the blogs can be fun to read and have some good information, it seems like some agents put way to much time into them. Maybe I'm wrong. Although it is nice to feel like you are keeping tabs on someone you hope to hear from soon, sometimes blogging agents talk about the writers contacting them in ways that bothers me. One thing I hate is when they post a query letter they received and block out the author's name and the books title. You can still sort of see what the book is about, and you would surely know if it was your query. I would not want this to happen to me or anyone I know, and I don't think it is right to do it without the author's consent. Is anyone else shying away from agents who blog? What do you think?

Devil Ledbetter
05-07-2008, 02:13 AM
I can't answer this question on the grounds that if I do, I may never land an agent.

SPMiller
05-07-2008, 02:21 AM
One author whose work I enjoy has written up a similar article for writers:

http://robinhobb.com/rant.html

This could easily be adapted to posting in Office Party.

Siddow
05-07-2008, 02:28 AM
gettingby, all of the times I've seen actual query letters put up, it IS with the author's consent. I kind of like reading them, it beats the crap out GUESSING the personality of the agent.

Ah, if only you had been around during the time of the Snark, you'd understand the agent-blog draw.

gettingby
05-07-2008, 02:30 AM
I did not post in office party because the post is more serious than that.

SPMiller
05-07-2008, 02:31 AM
Ah, if only you had been around during the time of the Snark, you'd understand the agent-blog draw.
And those of us who were there for the end of Snark learned the important lesson: to quit.

amirite?

SPMiller
05-07-2008, 02:32 AM
I did not post in office party because the post is more serious than that.
No, I meant your argument and Hobb's argument: they can be changed to apply to posting in Office Party. Don't blog. Don't post in Office Party. Write.

See?

gettingby
05-07-2008, 02:32 AM
You think every time the agent has the author's consent? It doesn't look that way to me on some of the blogs. I admit they can be entertaining and informative. I like reading them, just don't want my agent writing one. I think.

drachin8
05-07-2008, 02:43 AM
I am not familiar with every agent blog, but the ones I am familiar with which post queries do have author consent. I am with you, though, in that I would be a bit uncomfortable submitting to an agent who posted story-related query content without that consent.

Do you have any specific blogs you are concerned about, or is this more of a general unease? If there are specific blogs, perhaps some of the writers here on AW are familiar with them as well and have some insight on whether consent is involved.


-Michelle

mscelina
05-07-2008, 02:50 AM
If an agent wants to blog, and if they want to share information helpful to writers considering them (such as good and bad query letters) then I'd say they have every right to do so.

speaking of which, Janet Reid of FinePrint Literary Management has started a new query-shredding blog --Query Shark (http://queryshark.blogspot.com/)! Lots of fun, very informative, not-quite-as-snarky-as-the-greatly-mourned-Miss-Snark--and every single query was willingly sacrificed upon the altar of the blog by its author.

Shouldn't be any controversy in that.

Siddow
05-07-2008, 03:01 AM
And those of us who were there for the end of Snark learned the important lesson: to quit.

amirite?

*mourns*

I don't think she quit so much as...exploded. Remember the 700 hooks she critiqued?

mscelina
05-07-2008, 03:09 AM
*wipes years from her eyes*

that was priceless.

Mel
05-07-2008, 03:42 AM
People complained because they didn't know what agents wanted. So some agents started blogging and the information is right there for anyone with computer and internet access.

And people continue to complain anyway.

Soccer Mom
05-07-2008, 03:48 AM
As long as my agent does all appropriate agenty things, I don't care if her sideline is blogging or ice hockey or macrame. Just how I feel on the subject.

Agents who put up the informative blogs have done a heroic service. I find the insight into the minds of agents invaluable.

eveningstar
05-07-2008, 03:49 AM
I miss Miss Snark.

I follow a fair amount of agent blogs and I don't think I've ever seen an agent use a query without stating that they have the client's permission. I've seen a few that won't even post anything about specific books until after they've been sold.

I'm not at querying stage yet but I do plan on querying several blogging agents. I actually think their blogs have given me a better idea of their tastes and how they might fit with my work.

icerose
05-07-2008, 04:03 AM
I love agent blogs. There's so much information on them.

Jersey Chick
05-07-2008, 04:07 AM
I also miss Miss Snark. Very much. Those were the days :)

I don't mind an agent who blogs - and most of the queries I've seen on them have been from those to whom the agent offered representation - more of a what works query, as opposed to what doesn't work. I have no problem with that, either. If it's a rejected query - and without the author's consent, I might have a problem. But I might not, depending on what was being said about it and how it was being said. Constructively criticized, not so much a problem. Making fun of it (unless it was to Miss Snark, in which case the author should have known ;)) is right out, though.

gettingby
05-07-2008, 04:44 AM
I am not familiar with every agent blog, but the ones I am familiar with which post queries do have author consent. I am with you, though, in that I would be a bit uncomfortable submitting to an agent who posted story-related query content without that consent.

Do you have any specific blogs you are concerned about, or is this more of a general unease? If there are specific blogs, perhaps some of the writers here on AW are familiar with them as well and have some insight on whether consent is involved.


-Michelle

I raised this issue as a general concern, but there are two blogs that made me start to really think about this. I am not saying there is anything wrong with the agents or their blogs. If they have consent to point out all the problems in the query letters, then I guess it is OK. A lot of the mistakes seem to be quite glaring. I guess what kind of bothers me is that agents spend more time critiquing these than they would without a blog.

http://elizabethjote.wordpress.com
http://raleva31.livejournal.com

Memnon624
05-07-2008, 05:14 AM
I also miss Miss Snark. Very much. Those were the days :)

A little piece of the Internet died the day Miss Snark called it quits :(

RLB
05-07-2008, 05:16 AM
*mourns*

I don't think she quit so much as...exploded. Remember the 700 hooks she critiqued?

My hook was in there. May it rest in peace.

I still enjoy Evil Editor though.

drachin8
05-07-2008, 06:29 AM
I raised this issue as a general concern, but there are two blogs that made me start to really think about this. I am not saying there is anything wrong with the agents or their blogs. If they have consent to point out all the problems in the query letters, then I guess it is OK. A lot of the mistakes seem to be quite glaring. I guess what kind of bothers me is that agents spend more time critiquing these than they would without a blog.

http://elizabethjote.wordpress.com
http://raleva31.livejournal.com

Interesting. I have read Rachel Vater's blog, mostly back in the day where she did sort of summaries of what she was receiving. I know there was some controversy on how far was too far, and I think I remember her drawing back some, but it has honestly been a while, so that doesn't bother me quite so much. She doesn't post often since switching agencies, but I have read the recent entry. The recent entries seem more about non-story specific excerpts which remind folk to get a second eye on what they are sending out. She hasn't really crossed a line for me.

This is my first introduction to Elizabeth Jote's blog, so I don't know what kind of deals she has with folk (some agents have a 'add a line to your query saying you are query fodder on the blog' sort of set-up). I do have to admit, the first two query examples posted didn't really contain story "reveals", so didn't bug me so much, but it would definitely be interesting to see where the line is on that blog.

Anyone else have word on Elizabeth Jote's blog?

On the issue of agents spending more time blogging than running their business, I am not as sure that is a problem. I have a very limited experience with that, though, based on what few blogs I read. For the most part, I tend to see entries from agents blogging about how late they stayed up the night before reading a manuscript they couldn't put down. Or about how they want to spend a bit of time sharing some information with their readers that will theoretically improve the agent slushpile. I appreciate and admire those agents who spend the extra time to share information with their potential future clients. I also appreciate and admire the many excellent agents who do not feel they can devote time to a blog. So long as every agent is serving their client the best they can, I think they are doing okay.

Sometimes, I do think agents get overwhelmed with their desire to help the community (unexpected huge turnouts to Miss Snark and Nathan Bransford contests as an example), but I also see them still holding to their client obligations (so far as I can tell from an outside perspective).

Perhaps it is somewhat like critiquing in AW's SYW forums. Some folk are able to devote large amounts of time and still hold to their outside schedules while others cannot make an active commitment. It is all according to what each party can fit into their schedule.

As a note toward that, when Rachel vater switched agencies, her post count on her blog dropped dramatically, so I assume she has had to drop most entries due to her work obligations. Whether that holds true for all agents involved in blogging is probably as varied as writers who blog (some who fit it in their schedule, and some who end up "forgetting" to write due to their blogging "obligations").

Just some thoughts for the night before I crash into dreamland.


:)

-Michelle

DeadlyAccurate
05-07-2008, 06:41 AM
Overall, it seems the agents who blog have a better understanding of writers than those who don't. They seem more likely to respond to queries instead of doing the "silence means no" routine, and they seem better able to keep in mind that the writers of those terrible, hideous queries they are often subjected to are real people.

My agent blogs, and it's never dawned on me to consider it a problem.

blueobsidian
05-07-2008, 07:14 AM
As long as my agent does all appropriate agenty things, I don't care if her sideline is blogging or ice hockey or macrame. Just how I feel on the subject.


I agree. This isn't the first time I have heard a writer complain about agents putting time into their blogs. Why should they be expected to spend sixteen hours a day working? I leave my day job, and can spend my evening doing whatever I please. I write part-time, I knit, I hang out with friends -- none of this interferes with doing my job. My boss cannot tell me how to spend my free time, nor can my clients.

Agents are people too, and shouldn't be expected to work every hour of the day. I'm very grateful to those that have helpful, informative blogs available. It provides an insight into the industry that we wouldn't otherwise have. When I started getting serious about my fiction, I read through all Miss Snark's archives (I started reading her shortly before she closed down the blog). While it is only one person's opinion, there is so much information there!

I don't really have an opinion about posting query letters. Actually, if it happened to one of mine I would probably be very grateful! Yes it would be embarassing, but agents are the people I really want feedback from. I think I could swallow my pride and take whatever criticism came with it to make my query stronger in the future.

gettingby
05-08-2008, 01:05 PM
I'm not complaining so much as wondering if I want my agent putting himself out there like this.

And I would be very upset if my query ever showed up on some Web site even if it was as a good example. That is not what I am signing up for when I send out queries.

IceCreamEmpress
05-09-2008, 12:46 AM
And I would be very upset if my query ever showed up on some Web site even if it was as a good example. That is not what I am signing up for when I send out queries.

Nobody will post your query without your consent. Full stop. Agents are not stupid. Your query is your content, and your intellectual property.

ChaosTitan
05-09-2008, 12:49 AM
Most of my dream agents blog regularly. One of the best thing about an agent with a high-traffic blog? Free publicity on book release day. :D

eveningstar
05-09-2008, 12:56 AM
Nobody will post your query without your consent. Full stop. Agents are not stupid. Your query is your content, and your intellectual property.

I was going to say the same. I've never seen a full query posted without stated authorial consent on any agent's blog.

And I'll ditto ChaosTitan about the bonus publicity, too. I've checked out books & authors mentioned on blogs that I likely never would have heard of otherwise.