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android415
07-07-2010, 04:14 AM
I'm a newbie here, so I'm not entirely sure how this works.

I've read a few posts here, insinuating that what you do here is not private, and could turn off potential agents and publishers. That makes sense.

But, how does that work, exactly? What sorts of things turn agents/publishers off? Downright nastiness?

And how are they aware of your identity?

Sorry for the newbie questions, if this is better posted in the newbie forum, please inform me, but I thought, topic wise, it was better for this forum.

suki
07-07-2010, 04:22 AM
I'm a newbie here, so I'm not entirely sure how this works.

I've read a few posts here, insinuating that what you do here is not private, and could turn off potential agents and publishers. That makes sense.

But, how does that work, exactly? What sorts of things turn agents/publishers off? Downright nastiness?

And how are they aware of your identity?

Sorry for the newbie questions, if this is better posted in the newbie forum, please inform me, but I thought, topic wise, it was better for this forum.

Anything you do online that can make you look difficult to work with or overly negative, or like you are unstable or have unreasonable expectations can turn off potential agents. Even extreme political or religious views could turn off an agent. That's not to say don't be yourself or express yourself - it's just worth being aware of the fact that agents can see what you post online and will draw conclusions based on those posts.

As for anonymity here, only you know how easy it would be for the agent to link you AW screen name with your real identity (do you link your blog in your signature? make your contact email public? make posts including your book title in a thread that will show up in a google search? use the same screen name or a very personalized signature on multiple sites? post in the agent's thread in B&BC? etc...)

You have to decide how open to be online, here and elsewhere.

~suki

mscelina
07-07-2010, 04:24 AM
Overall, it's best to treat writing like a profession. Period. If you have any sort of online presence, just be aware of what you're saying--in forums, on blogs, on Facebook--that sort of thing. For example, if you post that you just got a huge rejection on your Facebook status and go off on a rant about the agent who rejected you, that rant is easy to dig up even years later. So the best policy is to remain professional at all times.

As for finding someone's identity, it's not that hard--especially when there are books involved. For that matter, I can google my user name here on AW and have posts turn up--a couple of which I have deleted for that very reason. nFrom there, it's really easy to figure out who I am--I have my books in my signature.

But regardless, why risk it? Just be professional at all times and you don't have a problem. :)

CACTUSWENDY
07-07-2010, 04:24 AM
/\ /\ what Suki said.

android415
07-07-2010, 05:14 AM
Thanks Suki, Mscelina, and CactusWendy for the informative posts.

I'm not hiding anything, hehe, but I was just curious as to how it all works. Thanks!

Medievalist
07-07-2010, 05:58 AM
Cardinal rule: Don't be a jerk, on or off line.

First corollary: Authors, would be authors, editors, and agents are all quite capable of being jerks on line, and have been.

Second corollary: Sauce for the goose . . . you'll see agents behaving quite badly. It's just for true of them as it is for you.

An agent who threatens, or implies a threat ("If you say bad things, even if they are true, you'll be sorry") is neither very bright, nor very professional.

Sage
07-07-2010, 06:22 AM
I know of some agents whose personalities on twitter has made people think twice about querying them as well. And maybe they get enough queries every day that they just don't care, but it's true of them and it's true of us. Don't give someone a good reason not to work with you.

shaldna
07-07-2010, 03:33 PM
What everyone else has said. While you can have and voice your opinions etc, you should do it in a way that is couteous and respectful at all times.

After all, you never know who's watching.

kaitlin008
07-07-2010, 03:56 PM
I know of some agents whose personalities on twitter has made people think twice about querying them as well. And maybe they get enough queries every day that they just don't care, but it's true of them and it's true of us. Don't give someone a good reason not to work with you.

This is absolutely 100% true. I know I personally skipped querying a couple because their attitudes are so unattractive. I wouldn't know this if they weren't spewing it all over twitter. (Luckily most agents aren't like this, and the same goes for writers.)

And as for us as writers: agents know about this forum. They know about all the threads where people get chatty, and some of them keep an eye on those. I'm often surprised at things people will say about specific agents on a public forum, or twitter. It might get buried fast, but that doesn't mean they won't see it first. And even if you're being cryptic, they can probably still figure out if you mean them. Even if you're just feeling frustrated, you don't want to make yourself look like a diva.

Unless you're truly anonymous--a username that can't be connected to your own name in any way, and a signature that gives away no details--it's really not hard to find you online, like others have said.

And honestly? There's no reason not to keep unattractive behavior private. It's not that hard to do.

But I also wouldn't be TOO fearful. I am of the opinion that everyone knows when they're crossing the line. The problem comes when you decide to cross the line but justify it somehow in your mind. And that's really your choice.

Jamesaritchie
07-07-2010, 06:16 PM
Just be honest and don't worry about it. The only thing that really turns a good agent or a good editor off is a bad book.

Most who really gripe and complain about agents and editors aren't in trouble because of what they say, but because they can't write a good book, but blame agents and editors for their own failures.

There are bad agents out tehre. There are horribly ineffective, dumb, selfish, idiot agents out there, just as there are horribly ineffective, dumb, selfish, idiot writers out there.

There is no point in being a diva, but there's no point in pussy footing around out of fear, either. When you stop expressing yourself openly and honestly, whether the subject is writing, religion, or politics, you've also stopped being a good writer.

Writers should have a professional attitude, but this should never be equated with fear, and it should never be a reason for a writer not to express his views.

Monkey
07-08-2010, 02:31 AM
There's a thread in Round Table called "One Way to Kill Your Career". It's a cautionary tale about a woman who called herself the Rejection Queen and ranted about agents on her blog. Eventually, she realized she'd scuttled her chances of ever landing one of these same agents, and quit writing novels altogether.

Don't be that girl.

Otherwise, a non-anonymous web presence can actually be seen as a good thing. :)

Jamesaritchie
07-08-2010, 03:26 AM
There's a thread in Round Table called "One Way to Kill Your Career". It's a cautionary tale about a woman who called herself the Rejection Queen and ranted about agents on her blog. Eventually, she realized she'd scuttled her chances of ever landing one of these same agents, and quit writing novels altogether.

Don't be that girl.

Otherwise, a non-anonymous web presence can actually be seen as a good thing. :)

I don't think it was her rants that killed her chances. I mean, did you actually read her writing on that website?

Shady Lane
07-08-2010, 04:42 AM
Agents are very aware of AW, and one thing I've always love about this industry is how completely accepting most of them are about AW, even places like the B&BC forums where their names come up. They're very understanding of how rough this can be on a writer, and how much we sometimes need to just get together and bitch and be there for each other. They know that, and they're very supportive. So...it's probably harder than you think to say something that will really turn off an editor or an agent. As long as you're not an asshole, few people will hate you for being honest.

So, in conclusion: don't sanitize yourself, just don't be an asshole.

Ken
07-08-2010, 05:38 AM
...it's fair to assume that some agents follow threads here about their agencies. So if you post in a thread about Acme Agency and say that you just got a request for a full on a particular day it's not too hard for the agent to put two and two together and see through your AW pseudonym if they are of a mind.

Other than that, your identity here is safe. Whether using a pseudonmyn or not one should always be honest, courteous, and respectful of course. E.g. It is perfectly fine to say that agent X took 8 months to evaluate a full and sent a form rejecton in response. It's not okay to say that they are slow as molasses and rude because of such unless you'd be totally comfortable in saying that to their face. And even then it would be still wrong, though no longer cowardly at least.

Just let the facts speak for themselves and let members decide about how to evaluate them. No agent is going to get upset if you merely state the facts for the benefit of others so that they can get a better feel about the agency they may be thinkng of sub'ing to themselves. And the agents benefit too, by seeing what they may need to improve upon, and what they are presently doing fine.

ps Excuse any spelling errors in my post. My Spell Checker vamoosed :-(

Freelancer
07-08-2010, 06:27 AM
Every agent has the right to look after who is the writer that with they're going to make a deal in the future. They also must take care of their reputation.

But honestly, why to fear if you have nothing to hide? Personally I love when someone is checking me or my background. Why? Because in that case I was capable to grab the attention of an agent one way or another. :)

spike
07-09-2010, 03:34 PM
I've heard agents say they google potential clients to see if they are insane or an @ssh@t.

Crazy can be dangerous. And no one wants to work with an @ss.

Of course, this doesn't apply to any of us. We are all well adjusted, rational people, with blogs that would make an agent want to sit down and have coffee with us.

Mr Flibble
07-09-2010, 03:46 PM
I've heard agents say they google potential clients to see if they are insane or an @ssh@t.

Crazy can be dangerous. And no one wants to work with an @ss.




Oh crap. How long do you think it'll take to delete 8000 odd posts?

the addster
07-09-2010, 04:53 PM
I think it's safe to assume an agent isn't going to bother to go through 1000's of message board posts searching for clues to your user name and then analyze those post for clues to mental instability. You would either have to be a huge ass that posts obsessively, mentions the agents name, or be using your real or pen name to make that even feasible.

I own message boards full of folks that submit to me as an editor, I don't have a clue as to who some of them are, even though I have likely had some interaction with them.

They do probably Google you. Your name, your email, etc., could bring some stuff up. I'd be careful about that. But I wouldn't lose my mind over it. I've found some fairly nasty stuff folks have posted about pieces that I have written. In my mind, that's fine, and not a reason for rejection. Unless you are dealing with a very narcissistic agent (and they are out there) you shouldn't worry unless you are criminally insane.

If an agent is even bothering to do this, it may mean they are seriously considering making you an offer, it's going to have to be something seriously bad to make them reconsider that. I don't think they are really going to care about a few rants about political subjects or that your hobby is nude spearfishing.

shaldna
07-09-2010, 06:20 PM
Oh crap. How long do you think it'll take to delete 8000 odd posts?


I think it's too late

Mr Flibble
07-09-2010, 06:23 PM
I'm relying on the fact that there's another author with my name

<<

>>

That'll work, right?

waylander
07-09-2010, 11:15 PM
I'm relying on the fact that there's another author with my name

<<

>>

That'll work, right?

We've been warning agents about you for the last 2 years

Freelancer
07-10-2010, 01:23 AM
We've been warning agents about you for the last 2 years
:D

shaldna
07-10-2010, 09:43 PM
We've been warning agents about you for the last 2 years


we've been waning EVERYONE about her.

Mr Flibble
07-11-2010, 12:19 AM
You're picking on me! I shall tell Mac and then I shall scweam and scweam until I'm sick. *



*I'm fairly sure Waylander at least will get that one....

Ken
07-11-2010, 01:01 AM
... hopefully this is not the case, and it most certainly isn't as many here will be sure to attest ;-)

But I'd rather be known as a jerk and an imbecile than as someone admirable and praiseworthy if that meant that I had to suppress my personality and put on a false front to make a good impression and score points.

The cool thing about this site is that most members are themselves and don't put on phony fronts. So even though I don't always agree with what other members here have to say and even dislike them at times for such I at least respect them for having the guts to be themselves and speak their minds and not reduce themselves to programed droids only capable of saying how terrific and wonderful such and such are.

I saw enough of that the office jobs I worked. Yuck.

Ryan_Sullivan
07-11-2010, 01:31 AM
Tina Wexler just answered a question regarding whether she looks into a potential client's web activity in an interview at Literary Rambles (http://caseylmccormick.blogspot.com/)

Phaeal
07-11-2010, 09:04 PM
IRU, I told all the agents you're a sparkly unicorn, so there. You're meat in this town.