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LaneHeymont
01-27-2012, 08:22 PM
Perhaps a stupid question, and I can't seem to find it on any search results, although I'm sure they're there. However, I contacted him in early December, he was away and said he would get back to me after the holidays. Should I just wait, and be a nervous newbie nelly? Or nudge? Being my first agent, I am unsure of the etiquette and there's a lot of conflicting advice out there.

Any help would be appreciated! :)

Cyia
01-27-2012, 08:32 PM
He hasn't talked to you since December?

My agent would likely think I'd died if I didn't bug her at least once a week.

LaneHeymont
01-27-2012, 08:42 PM
He hasn't talked to you since December?

My agent would likely think I'd died if I didn't bug her at least once a week.

Well, that settles that! LOL Thanks :)

aadams73
01-27-2012, 09:28 PM
If you contacted him and he didn't reply, it's definitely time to nudge.

My agent always gets back to me within a day or two, but we only communicate when there's stuff to be communicated. I'm the ultimate low-maintenance client. It suits us just fine. :)

LaneHeymont
01-27-2012, 10:11 PM
If you contacted him and he didn't reply, it's definitely time to nudge.

My agent always gets back to me within a day or two, but we only communicate when there's stuff to be communicated. I'm the ultimate low-maintenance client. It suits us just fine. :)

Okay, thanks! That seems to be the consensus, so I just emailed him. But, it leaves me to wonder, for the future what's an acceptable time frame? I heard a month, but also was told by someone (both reputable) to only contact him when I need to...

heyjude
01-27-2012, 10:21 PM
If you contacted him and he didn't reply, it's definitely time to nudge.

My agent always gets back to me within a day or two, but we only communicate when there's stuff to be communicated. I'm the ultimate low-maintenance client. It suits us just fine. :)

Me, too. I don't need hand-holding. I do check in once every several months if there hasn't been anything, just to say hey, what's new.


Okay, thanks! That seems to be the consensus, so I just emailed him. But, it leaves me to wonder, for the future what's an acceptable time frame? I heard a month, but also was told by someone (both reputable) to only contact him when I need to...

If there's something you want/need to talk to him about, surely there's no harm in emailing him, right?

triceretops
01-27-2012, 10:23 PM
I get in touch about every 30 days or so, unless she contacts me regarding subs. I think she's comfortable with that zone. My agent is a little on the private and busy side so I give her that extra slack out of respect.

Cyia
01-27-2012, 10:24 PM
Okay, thanks! That seems to be the consensus, so I just emailed him. But, it leaves me to wonder, for the future what's an acceptable time frame? I heard a month, but also was told by someone (both reputable) to only contact him when I need to...


If you're working on something, expecting an update, anticipating a submission, needing details, etc. then there's no harm in emailing him. If you just want to shoot a line that reads "S'up, dude?" I'd rethink the email. :tongue

LaneHeymont
01-27-2012, 11:33 PM
If you're working on something, expecting an update, anticipating a submission, needing details, etc. then there's no harm in emailing him. If you just want to shoot a line that reads "S'up, dude?" I'd rethink the email. :tongue

Hmmm perhaps I should've waited then. Here's the email I shot off a little be ago:

"Just checking in to see how things are going. Have a great weekend!"

waylander
01-28-2012, 12:30 AM
Depends on what there is to talk about.

If you need an answer then call them. You're on the team now, they're on your side.

heyjude
01-28-2012, 12:42 AM
Hmmm perhaps I should've waited then. Here's the email I shot off a little be ago:

"Just checking in to see how things are going. Have a great weekend!"

Perfectly acceptable, and almost word for word the email I sent my agent earlier today. I wanted to know how subs were going. Nothing wrong with that. :)

Jamesaritchie
01-28-2012, 12:50 AM
Get in touch when you have somethinhg important to get in touch about. If you have to contact an agent just to find out submission staus, you need a new agent.

Toothpaste
01-28-2012, 12:57 AM
Agree with James. At this stage, when you are working with someone, you should be communicating when communication is necessary. You shouldn't be emailing stuff like, "Just want to say hi!" every other hour, but nor should you be left in the dark about your career. For me it depends. If there is a lot going on, we're in touch a lot. If not, not. Sometimes with the latter I'll want to do a check in, to give her a sense of where I am with my writing plans, and see if there's anything she's been thinking about etc. But as far as submissions goes, my agent is always keeping me up to date, ditto with any responses she gets.

I really like my agent :) .

heyjude
01-28-2012, 01:15 AM
Get in touch when you have somethinhg important to get in touch about. If you have to contact an agent just to find out submission staus, you need a new agent.

Respectfully disagree. I'm perfectly happy with my agent, but I don't want or need to know everything about the process. He lets me know when something's going on or I check in from time to time. It works for us.

LaneHeymont
01-28-2012, 01:44 AM
Get in touch when you have somethinhg important to get in touch about. If you have to contact an agent just to find out submission staus, you need a new agent.

Hmmm... :-\

Toothpaste
01-28-2012, 08:39 PM
I do think it's important, if that "Hmm" suggests you are considering James's suggestion, to have an actual conversation with your agent about what you'd like your relationship to be. If you aren't happy, don't just end it. Sometimes all it takes is a back and forth discussion to clarify needs for each party. People often skip that step, for some reason.

So yeah, whatever decisions you make, make sure one of them is actually communicating with your agent.

LaneHeymont
01-28-2012, 09:36 PM
I'm just playing the wait and see game right now so, we'll see. Thanks for all the advice! :)

charmingbillie
01-29-2012, 12:57 AM
Another thing to consider, there are times, like when your first book is on submission or when you're waiting on something, that there really isn't very much to talk about. Some agents are still more chatty than others, but, as an example, after my book sold there was a LONG time when the contract was being negotiated. I checked in about every six weeks, essentially saying, 'I know you'd tell me if you had any news, but do you have any news.'

And she would say, 'no' and then we'd go on :)

The only time she was slow getting back was when she was sure she'd have news the next day. Or the day after. And then, she finally actually did.

KalenO
01-29-2012, 01:36 AM
He hasn't talked to you since December?

My agent would likely think I'd died if I didn't bug her at least once a week.

To be fair Cyia, you seem to basically deliver a book to her a week, so its not like you're shooting her 'wassup' emails. :tongue

LaneHeymont
02-04-2012, 03:34 AM
1 week...no response.

Gillhoughly
02-04-2012, 05:57 AM
Remember that yours is a business arrangement with an agent.

And that the agent, ultimately, works for you.

That said, then, "How's it going?" emails are going to get shoved to the bottom of their "to-do" list. They don't have time. You can socialize at writing conferences.

If your question is "How are the submissions going for (book title)?" then that's a legit business question.

If you've several questions, put them in one email.

If you just want to say "Hey, I finished 50 pages on the next book!" I'm sure he will be happy, but would rather you contact him with, "The new book is finished. If you're in the office I'll email the file. Just let me know."

He expects you to be writing, and he should be subbing your work to various houses.

My first agent was okay, but didn't keep me updated on things and arbitrarily decided whether I was right for a project or not. He put all his attention on his more famous writers and wanted me to write "blockbuster" books--which ain't my thing. When he promptly did the exact opposite when I told him not to call a publisher about a pending deal (and effed up the deal) I fired him. He was honestly puzzled.

My "new" agent of 12 years now is awesome and keeps me informed when she subs to foreign markets, sends links to reviews, and has a newsletter with guest blogs and runs interference when I have delivery problems. She sells the hell out of what I write and had landed deals I never expected.

So they're not created equal.

Finding the right agent is like finding the right life partner. If at any point you decide this guy just isn't a good fit, then you dissolve the partnership.

If one agent liked your work, so will another.

blacbird
02-04-2012, 07:31 AM
At a minimum, 47 times every day. That's what Facebook and Twitter were designed for, and the geniuses who invented those services are now billionaires, so they can't be wrong.

caw

Corinne Duyvis
02-04-2012, 05:22 PM
At a minimum, 47 times every day.

Clearly, I need to step up my game.

LaneHeymont
02-04-2012, 06:02 PM
Remember that yours is a business arrangement with an agent.

And that the agent, ultimately, works for you.

That said, then, "How's it going?" emails are going to get shoved to the bottom of their "to-do" list. They don't have time. You can socialize at writing conferences.

If your question is "How are the submissions going for (book title)?" then that's a legit business question.

If you've several questions, put them in one email.

If you just want to say "Hey, I finished 50 pages on the next book!" I'm sure he will be happy, but would rather you contact him with, "The new book is finished. If you're in the office I'll email the file. Just let me know."

He expects you to be writing, and he should be subbing your work to various houses.

My first agent was okay, but didn't keep me updated on things and arbitrarily decided whether I was right for a project or not. He put all his attention on his more famous writers and wanted me to write "blockbuster" books--which ain't my thing. When he promptly did the exact opposite when I told him not to call a publisher about a pending deal (and effed up the deal) I fired him. He was honestly puzzled.

My "new" agent of 12 years now is awesome and keeps me informed when she subs to foreign markets, sends links to reviews, and has a newsletter with guest blogs and runs interference when I have delivery problems. She sells the hell out of what I write and had landed deals I never expected.

So they're not created equal.

Finding the right agent is like finding the right life partner. If at any point you decide this guy just isn't a good fit, then you dissolve the partnership.

If one agent liked your work, so will another.

GREAT advice! Puts everything in perspective, thanks!



At a minimum, 47 times every day. That's what Facebook and Twitter were designed for, and the geniuses who invented those services are now billionaires, so they can't be wrong.

Good point :)