Preparing for winter
- Jan 24, 2014
- Reaction score
From the FAQS from the website there's a question "Do you vet agents and publishers" and the answer is: Yes. When an author registers, I receive an e-mail telling me who it is. When an agent or publisher registers, I also receive an e-mail but must affirmatively approve them before they are allowed to access the site. Before I grant the access, I research the agency or publishing house. The purpose of this extra step is to reduce if not eliminate fraud.
So there's that. And he thinks this site will replace query letters because "Control of the process. If you’re an agent who really wants to find an Amish horror story set in the 1700s, then search for it instead of reviewing 100s of queries in your inbox that are unresponsive."
I just think this site is largely not worth anyone's time. Both the publisher's on the site aren't great ones, and he seems fine with it.
Wonderful, he's installed a basic comment moderation plug-in. Welcome to Wordpress.
The thing is, if someone could actually develop an app (I'd go app, not site, for a variety of reasons) that would effectively tag queries for agents, that could be useful. The problem is a.) usability (no small thing), and b.) market adoption. Also, moderation--because what you really need is a way to make sure that John Q. Author who's written a horror western a.) knows that he's written a horror western and to label it as such, and b.) doesn't falsely jump on YA or upmarket or something because he feels that's where the sales are. In other words, the same problems that cause people to query agents who don't rep a genre would also plague any display site.
Funnily enough, AW is the best place I've seen for such a system because it has an active community and an active mod team. So you post a piece on SYW and most of the time it goes in the right sub-board or gets moved there. And queries, by and large, get labelled by genre and such. Doing that algorithmically, like most start-ups want to do these days, is much, much harder. And there's no money it.
None of this is a defense of YADS. More like, when YADS pops up, these are the questions the founder(s) has never, ever managed to answer. Because they're not easier questions. There are flaws with the query process, but it's a process that works and it's a process agents have more or less decided to use en masse. That's worth something.