View Full Version : mums the word

09-30-2008, 08:00 PM
I've noticed on this forum that often published, or soon to be published, authors don't reveal who their agent or publisher is.

I wonder, do people do this because they don't want to show off? Don't want to jinx a good thing? Or is it because they can't talk about the book before it's out?

Karen Duvall
09-30-2008, 08:05 PM
I think it's because they don't want their message to pop up in a google search if someone searches the name of their agent or publisher. AW messages are popular search results for google. And it's not like writers/authors think they'll get in trouble for naming their agent or publisher (or editor), but it could be embarrassing if in a conversation the agent says: Oh, by the way, I googled myself this morning and found a message on AW about me that was written by you. It's just... awkward.

09-30-2008, 08:34 PM
I think there is also the risk that by answering the question "Who is your agent" the person who asked may then send off a submission to your agent using you as a reference, as if you are recommending them as an author. Which is . . . tricky . . .

But I for one actually often (not always) say who my agent is and I'll always share who my publishers are (Scholastic UK/Commonwealth, Weinstein Books in the states) - with publishers it's just good advertising. I think most others do here as well actually. There are a few exceptions, Cheshire Cat really wants her anonymity for example.

I do think unless a very good reason is given, that the authors who refuse to share this information do tend to have something to hide. You see it all the time, an author suddenly appears out of nowhere with some advice for us all along with the news that she "has signed with a TOP agent and publisher", but then after further questioning they get quieter and quieter. The fact is that agents and publishers love announcing book deals to the world because they want the buzz to start ASAP. Any author who tells you that they don't want to share that information because of something in the publishing deal is very suspicious to me. Now if they don't want to share the information for the reasons Karen said, that's different.

Anyway, just my thoughts . . .

09-30-2008, 09:06 PM
I'm happy to share my publication history by PM, but I like to preserve some distance between my screenname and my real name (and my pen names!)

I am not currently represented (except for one collaborative project) because of my former agent's retirement from the field, but I imagine that when I find my SHINY SHINY NEW AGENT I will be glad to share that information by PM as well.

10-01-2008, 02:53 AM
Yeah, like Toothpaste said, I suspect most of us are MORE than happy to share via PM.

But just like Google is my friend, it is my agent's friend as well.:)

Stacia Kane
10-01-2008, 12:45 PM
I say who my agent is, and I mention my publisher in my sig. But I'm also here under my actual name (or rather, one/both of my pseudonyms) so I want that info known.

Were I here under a different name, I'd probably keep it to myself, sure. But I'd still be willing to share in PM.

I agree with Toothpaste (as I often do); anyone who starts bragging about being with a "TOP agent and publisher" but refuses to divulge any details publicly or privately is very possibly not telling the truth; it depends too on what sorts of things they're saying. Someone who's here as, say, Cheshire Cat ;) but doesn't brag and obviously knows what they're talking about is just trying to keep their anonymity. Someone here as "Rita1" who seems to have no idea how publishing actually works but claims they do, or calls themselves an "internationally best-selling author" or whatever...yeah, I'd look askance at that one. :)

10-01-2008, 06:28 PM
It's a touchy subject because you want to be helpful, but you don't want to reveal anything that might be confidential info. I lean toward anything that's public info anyway I can share, or general stuff about how things work that apply to most, but nothing specific that might be proprietary info for a agency or house. The last thing an author wants is to reveal "state secrets" and get smacked by their agent or publisher. Not good for any professional relationship.

I've actually debated posting my real name and book title (once they finally pick one) in my sig, because there's something nice in being able to answer questions and not have it be "Author Name said this." Do I really want everyone knowing it's me? There are pros and cons to that. I'm a big mouth and not shy, but I am a private person.

10-01-2008, 06:38 PM
To be honest, I think a lot of the time you don't see agent names mentioned because...agents change, as well. I know of plenty of authors (myself included) who have written happy gushing things about agents...only to find out about a deal-breaker. The previously happy working relationship? Dead. The truth is that people switch agents all the time, and the less a name is thrown about, the less awkward it is when you leave.

I know someone that still gets emailed about a gushy post she made about her agent a few years back...and she parted badly with that agent.

10-03-2008, 02:23 AM
I appreciate the insight, thanks everyone