I guess I’m still on the blogging-about-agents kick because I was reading the latest entry on my agent’s blog about communicating with your agent, and aha! Blog topic.
When you first sign with an agent, it’s really easy to email your agent a lot. I know I did, but Kristin has always been really understanding about it. In fact, I think she calls it the “needy stage” of a new client. She had written “relax” in response to many of my emails our first year. haha! We writers are a sensitive lot.
In order not to feel like you’re emailing your agent too often regarding your submissions, ask upfront the agent’s strategy on updates. For instance, I’ve learned my agent usually lets about 8 weeks pass on my submissions before she checks on status with a pub house. So if I haven’t heard from her after that time, I can feel comfortable sending her an email regarding the status. I also know a usual time frame she takes to read partials and full manuscripts. The longer you are with your agent, you both will learn how each of you work.
Now, I’m going through another new experience–or needy stage!–with my first release and I have a lot of questions. *sigh* Questions I never even thought to ask before…such as promo I’m doing on my own before I’ve chatted with the house publicist and how independent stores are able to order a small quantity of my books. Blah, blah, blah. I’m telling you, the questions never stop!
This leads me to about asking general questions…
If I have a quick question, I can usually count on hearing from my agent quickly. If I know my question is pretty meaty, it can take a bit of time to hear back in order for her to write out a detailed email. I haven’t felt the need to call her much because I live by my email, and the same goes with my editor. She told me upfront she’s more comfortable communicating through email, too. If I did feel I needed to talk to my editor or agent, I would feel comfortable setting up a conference call instead of calling and hoping to catch them at a free time.
Now, if your agent is ignoring you completely for weeks that has got to be an awful feeling and after you made all attempts to speak with him or her and the agent still does not return your messages, it may be time to part ways. I have heard many times, it’s better to be without an agent than to be signed with the wrong one.