Blogger: Rachel Kent
A few years back, I met with an author during a conference to listen to a pitch. Based on the short introduction to the manuscript, I had a few words of advice on how the author could change up the project to make it more relevant for the market. The suggested changes were not big, and I was just trying to be helpful. The author did not take this feedback well and told me that if I didn’t like the book it was okay because it was out with other agents anyway.
I do believe that sometimes one agent is just not the right person to represent a project, but to reject constructive feedback from a publishing professional is not a good move. As an author, you want to be a sponge, soaking up all the helpful information you can on your journey to publication. Now, it is good to take feedback with a grain of salt, but being gracious and receptive when advice is offered is always wise.
The agents of Books & Such often ask for an author to rework a bit of a proposal or manuscript before we offer representation to an author to see if he/she is receptive to our feedback. It’s very hard to work with someone who isn’t open to making changes that we believe will strengthen the project before we send it out to publishing houses. When an author is receptive to making changes, it shows us that he/she will work well with an editor at a publishing house, too.
On a scale of 1-10 (with one being “I’m terrible at it.” and 10 being “I am perfectly receptive to feedback.”), how would you rate your willingness to accept feedback at this time?
What is the hardest part about getting feedback or a critique for you?