View Full Version : I went to a book festival at the U of MI....

Bourgeois Nerd
05-21-2008, 06:38 AM
And went to a lecture by an agent. When asked about the website, Preditors and Editors, she and the other agent from her agency said that such websites scared her. That they were too negative and contained information that was inaccurate and probably sour grapes.

Thoughts on her opinion?

I was a bit skeptical myself, thinking, well of course she would say that.

She also mentioned that no one ever said anything nice about agents and we know that's not true. Plenty of people have said lovely things about certain agents on this website. Sometimes it comes in the form of a verbal smackdown to someone who has complained about their beloved agent. But still, there ARE positive things being said about agents so I disagreed with her under my breath as I let the lady next to me know about this forum.

05-21-2008, 05:15 PM
Trying to give her the benefit of the doubt, it's possible she simply doesn't know what Preditors & Editors is, and was assuming it to be just an agent-bashing site. There are some sites about agents which really do contain inaccuracies topped with a generous helping of bitterness.

So she might be simply ignorant, or she might be a scammer. The fact that she thinks nobody ever says anything nice about agents is total nonsense, like you say. Maybe nobody has ever said anything nice about her, but all you have to do is pick up a few books and skim the acknowledgments, and you'll probably find someone heaping praise on his or her agent. (Heck, my agent is one of the first people I thank in my latest.)

Are you comfortable sharing the name? I'm in Michigan myself, and I'm curious who would have been stopping by U of M to chat.

Bourgeois Nerd
05-22-2008, 05:14 AM
Maybe I put this tidbit in the wrong place on this forum. I hope the mods move it if that's the case. Anyhow, I just wanted to share about the Preditors and Editors comment. Thought that was interesting to get an agent's POV about it.

This seems like such a subjective, maddening business where writers, agents and editors all seem to be odds with each other. ;)

05-22-2008, 10:56 AM
Hey Nerd,
If you are worried about s certain agent, post that. It's kind of hard to know what to make of it without knowing who you are talking about. I don't think we are at odds with editors and agents ( while sometimes), but everyone is after the same end result. I wouldn't read too much into it. Also, I owe you a PM.

05-22-2008, 07:09 PM
T'was just a 2 minute Google of the recent U of MI book fair to determine the agent. Looks highly legit (unless the was some other agent there from another agency not listed on the program.) She's new with the agency, but the agency's been around.

I'd take her observations as one person's opinions, perhaps colored by discouragement with having one's profession image increasingly co-opted by the scammers. I suspect that it gets tiresome having skepticism be the default mode among informed writers. Sadly, that's become necessary.

I'm sure this agent is annoyed. She has a right to be. But not at P& E. Fact is, there's good reason for skepticism these days and Preditors and Editors didn't create it. Classic case of blaming the messenger.

Preditors & Editors is an independent watchdog group--in my opinion, doing what agents themselves should be much more aggressive in doing themselves. P&E is frankly doing a great service for agents like the one you encountered, and she should be down on her knees thanking them (and helping them!) not turning her nose up. By helping writers, P&E and others like them are helping good agencies too. Bad agents and scammers hurt everyone. The extent to which there's been a systematic undermining of agents' reputations over the past few years shows the need for P&E.

Maybe she'd answer your questions differently on another day.

Note: I have nothing to do with Preditors and Editors, nor do I know any of its players.