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popmuze
01-26-2016, 09:12 AM
Is it all in the manuscript, or do you think an agent would also look you up on Facebook to see if you'd be a good fit?

Old Hack
01-26-2016, 11:34 AM
Some might. Some wouldn't. It depends so much on the agent. But there's always a good argument for making sure your Facebook page gives off the sort of impression you'd want it too, so that you don't put people off from engaging with you.

Jamesaritchie
01-26-2016, 06:37 PM
Is it all in the manuscript, or do you think an agent would also look you up on Facebook to see if you'd be a good fit?

If the agent did that, the agent would not be a good fit for me. Agents represent books written by murderers. If they won't represent a book written by you, there's a serious problem.

popmuze
01-26-2016, 09:01 PM
Some might. Some wouldn't. It depends so much on the agent. But there's always a good argument for making sure your Facebook page gives off the sort of impression you'd want it too, so that you don't put people off from engaging with you.

I'd like my Facebook page to give off the impression I'm about 20 years younger than I am.

blacbird
01-27-2016, 09:41 AM
I solve this problem by not having a Facebook page.

caw

popmuze
01-27-2016, 06:10 PM
But then how would I know which rock star had just died?

Old Hack
01-28-2016, 02:03 AM
Twitter, of course.

Jennifer_Laughran
01-30-2016, 04:27 AM
I generally look people up. I'm not keen to rep somebody who, when they are not writing kids books, is deep into White Supremacy or something of that nature. Or who does nothing but rant about how unfair publishing is on social media. Like... if you present yourself online as a terrible person to work with, you either ARE a terrible person to work with, or else you SEEM like you are, which makes you not an effective communicator.

(I've never found anything weird, btw. But come on, of course I look. You'd look ME up before you'd work with me - how is it different the other way round?)

While I'm disappointed that automatically takes me off some people's query list, I'll have to muddle through the pain somehow. I'm definitely not going to stop looking up potential clients!

popmuze
01-30-2016, 08:47 AM
So, everything else being equal, would you ever reject someone as being too old to write YA?

Roxxsmom
01-30-2016, 09:45 AM
(I've never found anything weird, btw. But come on, of course I look. You'd look ME up before you'd work with me - how is it different the other way round?)

This is an excellent point, and it makes complete sense to me why agents might look up people they're considering repping first.

The question I have is how "weird" does someone have to be before the warning lights go off, and how much do agents vary in what they consider weird? I think we all agree that being a white supremacist is scary (and this has the real potential to come back and hurt sales too), or a notorious troll who attacks people on the web would be a caution too. But what about politics or social issues or causes where one's views aren't hateful, but they may not be comfortable for the agent, or they could alienate some potential readers?

I guess I'm asking if it's common for agents to pass because they discover something about a writer's public expression of identity or politics that isn't hateful or anything, but not viewed as completely mainstream either? Or do agents ever take authors on under the condition that the client not discuss certain things about their life or politics on social media?

Jennifer_Laughran
01-30-2016, 08:02 PM
So, everything else being equal, would you ever reject someone as being too old to write YA?

If I think you have written a truly great YA that will sell well, win awards, resonate with kids, MAKE MONEY, etc -- I don't care if you're as old as the cryptkeeper.

I mean... don't like SPAM TWITTER with selfies if you happen to BE the cryptkeeper. We'll figure something out about your author headshot.

Jennifer_Laughran
01-30-2016, 08:19 PM
This is an excellent point, and it makes complete sense to me why agents might look up people they're considering repping first.

The question I have is how "weird" does someone have to be before the warning lights go off, and how much do agents vary in what they consider weird? I think we all agree that being a white supremacist is scary (and this has the real potential to come back and hurt sales too), or a notorious troll who attacks people on the web would be a caution too. But what about politics or social issues or causes where one's views aren't hateful, but they may not be comfortable for the agent, or they could alienate some potential readers?

I guess I'm asking if it's common for agents to pass because they discover something about a writer's public expression of identity or politics that isn't hateful or anything, but not viewed as completely mainstream either? Or do agents ever take authors on under the condition that the client not discuss certain things about their life or politics on social media?

It's never happened, so I guess I don't know. I'd have problem with it, frankly, if an author was *really* "politically incorrect" on the internet -- ie, sexist or otherwise gross language or behavior, violent language or overtly lewd stuff, or lots of talk about debauchery, etc etc - even if meant in a goofy/funny adult way. The thing is, I only rep kids books. Soooo... this would just be way off brand. Again, it has NEVER HAPPENED, but I'd be sensitive to that.

I would also be sensitive, personally, to somebody who had political beliefs that were so different from mine that I'd consider them kinda EVIL. Like, you are a political conservative and believe in small government? HEY, NO PROBLEM. However, you believe that gay people are going to hell, women shouldn't have the right to control their own bodies, and immigrants should be shot on sight? Sorry, I have no interest in spending time with somebody who actively wants to oppress me or my friends, thanks. And I think that most people in (liberal, mainstream) publishing would say YIKES to that, as well. So if those are your beliefs, well, OK, I'd just suggest you KEEP THEM UNDER WRAPS in front of people from the NYC publishing world.

I guess I'd also question the person's sanity or level of connectedness to reality, anyway, if they routinely declared things like the world being flat, etc. Like... this person is CONSTANTLY spouting bizarro conspiracy theories. Am I going to have to listen to them all the time? Oy. [again, I want to stress: THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED.]

popmuze
01-30-2016, 10:49 PM
Last question from me. If I wanted the novel I'm querying to be written under a pseudonym, when would you want to know?

Old Hack
01-30-2016, 10:52 PM
I have an agent-friend who last year passed on a really good submission because the author's website and blog chock-full of rants against "traditional" publishing and "gatekeeper" agents who were allegedly trying to stop new writers getting the recognition they deserved, and so on and so forth. She told me she was disappointed, as the book was really good: but she knew she wouldn't be able to work with that writer as she didn't think he'd respect her, or listen to her views.

I just took a look at his website and he's still ranting against publishing, and is still unagented.

So yes, it does happen, but most writers here are far too sensible, I hope, to fall foul of such things.

popmuze
01-31-2016, 01:00 AM
Since my website has pictures of all my published books, it wouldn't be difficult for an agent to determine I'm terminally mid-list. So maybe my problem isn't with the book I'm querying--maybe it's me.

Old Hack
01-31-2016, 01:52 PM
No.

You're a good writer, and your books have commercial potential. This must be true: you have all those books which prove it. Just consider why you're a midlister, and think about what you can do to move up the tree a bit. Break-out books tend to tell relatively ordinary stories but they're hung on some sort of hook which makes them extraordinary. Find that hook: write the book.

blacbird
02-01-2016, 07:06 AM
I have an agent-friend who last year passed on a really good submission because the author's website and blog chock-full of rants against "traditional" publishing and "gatekeeper" agents who were allegedly trying to stop new writers getting the recognition they deserved, and so on and so forth. She told me she was disappointed, as the book was really good: but she knew she wouldn't be able to work with that writer as she didn't think he'd respect her, or listen to her views.

I just took a look at his website and he's still ranting against publishing, and is still unagented.

So yes, it does happen, but most writers here are far too sensible, I hope, to fall foul of such things.

Yet we've have many threads here containing comments that the "manuscript is all that matters". Apparently, to this particular agent, that wasn't the case.

What, do you suppose, might have happened IF the agent had decided to take on this "really good submission"?

What did happen was that, by not doing so, she reinforced the writer's view of the "process", which may well have been generated via a lot of prior experience. Probably he wasn't diplomatically correct in expressing it in the blog, but . . . . .

caw

blacbird
02-01-2016, 07:10 AM
Is it all in the manuscript, or do you think an agent would also look you up on Facebook to see if you'd be a good fit?

What if you ain't on Facebook?

Is this the new Descartian view of reality? I am on Facebook, therefore I am?

caw

Old Hack
02-01-2016, 11:20 AM
Yet we've have many threads here containing comments that the "manuscript is all that matters". Apparently, to this particular agent, that wasn't the case.

What, do you suppose, might have happened IF the agent had decided to take on this "really good submission"?

What did happen was that, by not doing so, she reinforced the writer's view of the "process", which may well have been generated via a lot of prior experience. Probably he wasn't diplomatically correct in expressing it in the blog, but . . . . .

caw

It doesn't happen often, blac, but in this case I think the agent was right. The writer's blog was so full of vitriol that having read it, I don't think he could have been trusted to behave in a professional way when going through the submission or publication processes. If she had taken him on I suspect he'd have gone off on one sooner or later, been a nightmare to edit, his book would have had to be published without proper editing, and it wouldn't have done as well as it could.

He went way beyond being "diplomatically correct" on his blog: he was abusive, insulting, aggressive and threatening. I don't think anyone in publishing would have taken him on if they'd read it.