Blogger: Wendy Lawton
Location: Books & Such Central Valley Office
Are you tired of me talking about the agent time crunch? Unfortunately, it’s the reason for much of the #AgentFail. Most of us have a set level of clients and, to keep them all going, it is more than a forty-hour work week. But we love it, and we wouldn’t do anything else. I’m guessing we’re not so different from anyone else reading this. Time is in short supply for all of us, and it causes us to have to make hard choices.
Time realities cause another logjam in my practice. When clients have a new proposal or a new manuscript, they often send it in and begin counting down the time until I make comments. You’d think I could get to a proposal in a couple of days and get a manuscript read and assessed in a week to ten days, wouldn’t you? That would be a perfect world. Because I represent more than one client, I tend to get a number of manuscripts all at once. The same with proposals. These submissions, like the requested proposals I talked about yesterday, go into a pile and I get to them as quickly as possible. Never as quickly as I’d wish.
Bless my clients, they understand the delay. It takes time to read the material, comment, perhaps send it back for changes and finally get it to the place I’m ready to shop it. It’s frustrating for me, as an agent, because we make our sales by submitting the material. I’m guessing that some writers who are not yet agented think that signing with an agent means all the roadblocks are magically gone. Not true. Picture that logging operation where all the logs are floating down the river until they hit the narrows. Everything jams and backs up. It happens in your agent’s office as well.
If I didn’t believe in God’s perfect timing, I think I might give up. The process of the first sale is so circuitous that it hardly seems possible that this whole industry works. But it does. Despite logjams and a reportedly slow market I have sold thirty-one books so far in 2010. And I’m just revving up.
Does it discourage you that this process is so convoluted and fraught with delays? Are you philosophical about it? Please share.