View Full Version : When (or is) it okay to add an agent on Facebook? (not page, profile)

Fairies wear bOOts:)
05-13-2016, 06:02 AM
Hello. I'm a long way to being published, but I was wondering just in case, when (or is) it okay to add a literary agent on Facebook, no their business page, their profile. I looked up one agent who I would LOVE to represent me, and she already has two of her clients on Facebook. I can see them in her friends section. (Again, I will keep these names confidential). Of course, I did not think of adding or following her now, just if she decides to represent me. If you think it's okay, should I wait for when and if she becomes my agent? Or should I wait until when and if she sells it to the publisher? Agents, what is your take on this? If you think adding an agent on Facebook to be unprofessional, why is that? Or, what are some things you would not want to see on an authors page who added you? What ARE some things/conduct areas that you (would) like to see on an aspiring authors page/wall. Is it just too personal? Would a solution be to just casually bring it up when and if you get 'the call?' I know it's early to be asking these questions but I thought I'd ask. Any feedback is welcome.

What is (your) status on the online relationship between agents an authors? I'm mainly talking about Facebook but you can reference other social media platforms.

05-13-2016, 06:08 AM
Treat the request like you would for any coworker at another job. If you are working together (ie: you are represented) and have a good rapport, then it's likely fine to reach out with a friend request. Certainly not before.

Fairies wear bOOts:)
05-13-2016, 06:13 AM
Okay, yes I agree I did not think I should send a request before representation. When you say 'waiting until I get a good report' do you mean an offer from a publisher? Or do you mean just general good feedback from the agent after they have decided to represent?

Thanks for responding.

05-13-2016, 06:31 AM
Rapport as in you and the agent have a friendly, easy-going relationship, etc. I'm sure there are some agents who prefer not to be friends with their clients online (I'm not an agent but I certainly don't accept every business-related Facebook request), but shouldn't be a mark against you if you decide to make a request. The "rules" aren't any different from other Facebook connections you have but it is a business relationship. It will sort itself out once you actually know the agent in person and go from there.

05-13-2016, 08:18 AM
My agent and I talked about this (it wasn't on an agenda or anything, it just came up) and while we have a good relationship, I feel more comfortable not friending her on FB. The main reason is that I keep my pen name and my "real" name as separate as possible. I don't need all her friends in the publishing industry, other clients, etc. being able to make connections between my names that easily. I guess I could friend her with my pen name profile, but that seems a bit one-sided and unnecessary.

And while she didn't say it outright, I also got the impression that she regretted that she had accepted friendship with some clients and queriers. In my opinion, FB is more personal than Twitter and not always appropriate for business relationships.

Fairies wear bOOts:)
05-13-2016, 02:48 PM
Okay, thanks! What I'm getting about all this is that if it ever happens I'll sort of play it by ear. My personal solution could possibly be to wait until it's published or wait for when it has a good offer from a publisher. Thanks!

Emily Winslow
05-13-2016, 05:21 PM
"Play it by ear" is indeed a good way to handle it. As others have said, it's a matter of how you two click and how individually private you each are about what you post. (I am indeed Facebook friends--and real-life friends--with my agent.)

But I see no reason for your book having sold or not to have an effect on this. You don't get upgraded from "client" to "friend" when your book sells.

05-13-2016, 07:08 PM
I have an agent, and I've never even looked for her personal facebook page though I obviously "liked" the agency page and we follow each other on Twitter. If I were you, I would definitely not try to friend this agent now, and maybe not even if you become a client.

Richard White
05-13-2016, 07:55 PM
I've friended agents on Twitter and FB before but I love listening to them talk about the industry and pick up all kinds of interesting thoughts on the market.

I'm sure some of them have "private" pages where just their close friends have access, but if it's a public page, why not?

Fairies wear bOOts:)
05-13-2016, 08:00 PM
Okay, we'll see. It's just she's friends with two or three of her clients so even if I do not send her a request, she might befriend me! But yeah, I'll definitely think about it some more before I do. It's really early on in the game to really be thinking about this, I'm just wondering in advance. What I'm seeing from this thread, some do some don't so it depends! :)

Fairies wear bOOts:)
05-13-2016, 08:01 PM
Yeah, true I would not really question it if it was a public page, I'm talking about private ones.

05-13-2016, 09:09 PM
It's just she's friends with two or three of her clients :)

Unless I misunderstood this is just an agent you would like to represent you, right? I wouldn't want my name to stand out with an agent because I tried to be her friend even though she didn't know me. Query her. Let your work speak for itself and then if she offers you representation, and if you have that kind of relationship, then you could send the request. Her clients are people she already has relationships with.

Fairies wear bOOts:)
05-13-2016, 09:26 PM
Of course. No I didn't want to send her a request now, I don't see this as a way to gain favor or a way to get published. I just thought that if she (did) represent me and everything was going well I (or she) might initiate some form of Facebook request and I was wondering how I should approach that. Thanks everyone you've been really helpful! :)

05-13-2016, 09:41 PM
Honestly, the easiest thing to do is once she's your agent ask: "Hey, so I was wondering if you'd mind me friend-ing you on Facebook. No worries if you'd prefer to keep your work/private life separate though :) ." I mean why guess when you can just have a conversation about it?

05-13-2016, 09:46 PM
Honestly, the easiest thing to do is once she's your agent ask: "Hey, so I was wondering if you'd mind me friend-ing you on Facebook. No worries if you'd prefer to keep your work/private life separate though :) ." I mean why guess when you can just have a conversation about it?

This. I didn't even realize my agent was on FB until she commented on a mutual writer friend's post. When we realized we were both on FB, we asked the other if we could friend each other. It's pretty simple.

Fairies wear bOOts:)
05-13-2016, 10:23 PM
KK yeah 'toothpaste' I completely agree. Personally though, I would probably wait to 'ask' until she got me a deal with a publisher because then there would be an awkward 'unfriending' situation when it turned out we probably would no longer be hearing from each other anymore because she had to drop me as a client because she could not sell my work to the publisher. That's just my opinion, and how I now think I would approach this matter now that I have got a few opinions on the subject through this thread. :P *cross fingers* Hopefully this will end up mattering in the first place! :P

Emily Winslow
05-14-2016, 12:28 AM
I suppose some agents are interested in only that one book they've signed you for, but it's much more common that an agent represents the *writer*. If the first project doesn't sell, you write another and they try to sell that.

Fairies wear bOOts:)
05-14-2016, 12:33 AM
Interesting, I did not know that... However, I don't want to say the (type) of book I queried to this agent, but it's significantly different from all my other books and I don't think she represents those genres. In this case, would she still be interested in me as a writer? I have a feeling she would only represent my books (even subsequent books) if they were in the genres she asks for on her website... but I could be wrong. ?

05-14-2016, 12:49 AM
I think you need to think a bit bigger picture then. Is this really the book you want to query if it's nothing like the rest of your work? Do you not want an agent for your career, to be there to support you as an author not just sell one book (or not) and then be done?

Generally the idea is an agent is your agent, not your book's agent. So even if they don't sell your first book they will still work with you to sell others. My third agent took me on based on two books and did not manage to sell either (though eventually later one of them she did sell), and it wasn't until the third that she sold something of mine. And she's still my agent today. And totally fantastic.

So yeah, I think you need to seriously think about this. And maybe consider sending your MS to agents who rep both that genre and the other genre you write OR shop around a different book, not this one.