Monday, March 27, 2017

What to ask an agent after you get an offer

Most of the places that list questions to ask prospective agents are intent on helping writers avoid scammers and bad or ineffective/marginal agents. That's all valuable info (and if you have not read it, go do so at once), but I hope most of this blog's readership will know enough to avoid those pitfalls.

What's less common, but occurring more frequently with the rise in number of agents is: questions to ask when you're deciding amongst a less-motley crew.

Perhaps you have offers from several reputable, experienced agents. What do you do then, other than rely on gut instinct?

Here are my suggestions of questions to ask.

One answer is not better than the other; it's information that might help you figure out what you want in an agent and agency, and thus how to select from among several good agents.

1. How long does the agency representation last?
Many very reputable agencies offer contracts for a specific period of time (six months, one year.) If the book doesn't sell, or you want a new agent, you're free to leave after the time period.


2. Is the agent a sole practitioner or part of an agency?
Some of the very best agents in the biz fly solo. I'm pleased and honored to consider them colleagues and friends, and I refer prospective clients to them knowing they would be in excellent hands.

If you're considering a sole practitioner, ask what the plan is if the agent dies or becomes disabled. This is probably one of the most difficult questions to ask. It sounds morbid. It sounds AWFUL. Yet, I get queries from prospective clients who've lost their agents through death or disability, and boy oh boy, that's not much fun either.

Solo practitioners are perfectly legit. But, you should know which you prefer, and you should ASK before you sign on the dotted line.

Our agency is of course stuffed with a baseball team of agents. If I get eaten by a shark tomorrow, you'll still be a New Leaf client, and you'll discover just how fabu the rest of the team is.


3. Is your agent in this for the long haul?
Experience is great, but if you're considering an agent with lots of experience, it's entirely kosher to ask if they intend to retire soon. This is almost as bad as the death question, but again, it's better to KNOW than assume.

And if your prospective agent is new to the game, remember this is a tough business to make a living in, and burnout in five years isn't uncommon. ASK about their experience.



4. What's the subsidiary rights set up?
Does the agency have a sub-rights director or agent? An in-house film agent? A marketing person? A publicity person?  Does the agent you're considering have that? If not (such as a sole practitioner) with whom does s/he work? ASK.


5. Does your agent maintain a presence on social media?
For some prospective clients this is not a plus. I tell all prospects about my blogging and tweeting. I don't want any of them to be surprised. And if you think an agent who blogs and tweets isn't working hard enough for her clients, you'll want to ask before you assume an agent doesn't blog or tweet. ASK.


6. Is the agent hands on or hands off?
An agent should know this about him/herself. And his/her clients will know for sure. ASK.


The more you know about an agent's day to day style of working with clients, the better.

You're perfectly entitled to ask these questions.
Sending a list is of these questions is probably not the way to go. Having a conversation and touching on these topics is more diplomatic.  Think of it as a job interview, only you're the one asking the questions.

And keep the list of questions to a reasonable number. I remember one prospective client sent me a list of 52 questions. That didn't feel like a job interview. It felt like an interrogation. 
Any questions?

An earlier version of this blog post appeared on 9/28/09.

68 comments:

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Saved. I still believe, oh yes I do, the day will come.

Kitty said...

I half expected to see Janet"s post this morning to read something like, You know what a dreary Monday morning needs? A flash fiction contest! I only know two of the prompts: forti and scapegrace. What are the other two?

2N's, we're all hoping for you! I'm still working towards that day when I'll need an agent.

kathy joyce said...

Ooh, the first paragraph after the numbered list is missing a word. Is this how the missing fifth word will be chosen? I say the word is bamboozled.

Colin Smith said...

There is a pdf in the Treasure Chest of questions to ask a prospective agent. I will be updating it based on Janet's responses here. :)

Kitty: gaze and scram.

Kitty said...

Thanks, Colin!

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Colin-thank you for saving this to the Treasure Chest.

Melanie-hugs for you as you grieve your Corgi.

On-Topic~
#4, I'm confused about subsidiary rights. I had thought marketing and sub-rights belonged with the publishing company not the agency.

uhoh, am I missing something in my pre-caffeinated state? That first 'graph after #6 might be missing a word?

"the less likely you're going to be..... and that's a very good thing."

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Kitty: one of the other words is gaze!

Kathy: how long it take me to type a comment and miss other commenter's comments! Bamboozled! Ha!

Donnaeve said...

Questions? Why yes.

Did you sign that prospective client of the 52 questions.

This would be listed under "some people." (at least in my book)

OT: Today is Mom's BIG move day! I'm heading into Raleigh in about 15 mins to be there with her and the movers.

It is a bittersweet day. There is something very emotional about knowing I will never go down Avent Ferry Road again, and turn into that driveway.

Colin Smith said...

Lisa and Kathy: Janet said:

The more you know about an agent's day to day style of working with clients, the less likely you're going to be and that's a very good thing.

I think this is a deeply profound statement that actually sounds kinda Buddhist: "The more you know, the less you are." In other words, the more informed you become, the more concerned you are about yourself." I'm sure she intended that, since Janet never lets typos into her work. Never.

She's a DEEP Shark is our Janet. ;)

kathy joyce said...

"...the less you're going to be..."

I was afraid it meant, "If you ask too many questions, I'll chomp you," (i.e., until you are no longer). But then I thought, "Janet wouldn't say that. It must be missing a word. It must be."

Colin Smith said...

Ha! My typo: "The more informed you become, the LESS concerned you are about yourself." See, I do typos. Janet never does. :)

Janet Reid said...

Aieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
I don't even know what I meant to say there.

Monday.

DLM said...

Donna, I noticed that "prospective" and took it to mean there once was a prospective client who drove her mad before everything was signed and sealed, and that was why we do not hear them described as a "client" ... I may be wrong, but it's still an object lesson in professional deportment!

Colin, I quite like "The more you know, the less you are" ... but "The more you know" still reminds me of those NBC public service spots circa the late 90s.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Colin, thanks for treasure chesting today's blog.

Donna, good luck with move.


My day job is driving me nuts. I want to be writing, not trying to program my school district into order. It's getting really bad how I hate time spent on anything other than writing. Something is very wrong with me.

Melanie Sue Bowles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kitty said...

Rainy days and Mondays, Janet, rainy daze and Mondaze.

S.P. Bowers said...

52 questions? What in the world did they want to know about you?

P.S. that was a rhetorical question.

Colin Smith said...

[PSA]
May I make a suggestion? In future, if we want to point out a typo to Janet, we should do so in a stand-alone comment. That way, Janet can correct the typo in the article, then delete our comment, so it looks as if the typo never happened, and future generations of readers will never know... :)
[/PSA]

Kitty: Rainy days and Mondays... Are you tempting a song parody? :)

DLM said...

Kitty, those daze are good for a gaze.

Donna, you will go that way again, and it will feel strange but good. BEST to you and your mom today; I hope your weather is as good for a move as it is up here - not all hot and muggy and sweaty.

I just got 52 questions myself; having cut off a good 14 inches of my hair, one of my office mates was much enthused about how I made such a decision. Hee. People are funny, and I like that.

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

Good PSA regarding typos, Colin.

Speaking of which, UGH! I put a post up yesterday on FB about my love of pansies, moss covered rocks, white donkeys, and a big chunk of quartz I'd found in our woods. 'Cept I spelled quartz with an S. Sheesh... I know how to spell quartz. Just get lost now and then.

Lisa, Thank you. Tough to endure, as so many of us know.

Hugs to you, Donna... Another tough life event - saying goodbye to the family home. Been there. I sobbed (but I'm a big fat cry-baby).

K White said...

Regarding #5, what if a long-established agent (several bestselling authors) with a well-respected agency has no social media presence? Personally, I'm okay with it, but several of my writing buds see it as a red flag. Could it be?

Colin Smith said...

K White: It's possible some agents whose careers began when the internet was still sci-fi may not have ever jumped full-steam onto the social media bandwagon. I understand the hesitancy because these days social media is such a great way to get to know an agent. I think it just means you need to find other ways to establish how good a fit they are (research authors they represent, look up interviews, etc.). It seems younger agents, especially those who rep YA, are more likely to have a large social media presence. But that's not always the case. Barbara Poelle has some outstanding YA clients, but her social media presence is fairly limited.

So, I guess I'm saying IMO, no--or limited--social media can be a hindrance to agent research, but it doesn't necessarily have to be a red flag. The best you can do is research, and network with other writers to find out if an agent is reputable, or a good fit.

Sherry Howard said...

This is all so important. I'm listening to my agented friends, all of whom have different levels of angst with their agents in that first year.

I know what I want. I'm not needy, and I don't need hand-holding, but I do love an agent/person who responds to contact/emails. QOTKU answers emails. I love that! I don't annoy her with unnecessary contact. But, when I've contacted her for one reason or another, she's happy to answer, or pretends at least. That's the kind of agent I want! And my 2017 goal is to have one.

Rose Black said...

Thank you! As someone who tends to find any well planned thoughts get lost in the sofa of my mind after more than few moments, written lists of questions are a life-saver.

Of course, I need to get off my are and finish my edits if I have any chance of using them.

BJ Muntain said...

I'm hoping that an agent who intends to retire soon will stop taking on new agents... but then, I've known people who just hung onto their jobs and hung on and hung on, until their last choice was: retire, be fired, or die. I know of one person who was found dead in his office on a Monday morning, having never left on Friday. I can see people as passionate as agents hanging on until they have to let go. "If I keep taking on new clients, I can't retire. I don't want to retire. What would I do? I love my job. So I'll take on a new client, and I'll never have to retire."

So number 3 is an important question to ask of an older agent. Or any agent, actually.

As for #5 - gee. I'd like to think I'm as hard-working as anyone. That doesn't mean I don't do social media. In fact, it was my success at social media that got my last position 'evolved' to be the social media person for the organization. That's like saying you don't want a banker who plays football on weekends because you want your banker to be working 24/7. 'Tis a wee bit unrealistic.

By the way, the use - or non-use - of social media is not really a determiner of how good an agent is in selling your book. Social media - while I'm all for it - is NOT necessary to sell a novel to a publisher.

Not having a website is another matter... but generally, those agents don't need websites. They're usually quite successful, aren't really looking for a lot of new clients, and thus don't need much of a public presence. They only need to be known by their clients and the editors they sell to.

These are good questions to keep in mind when talking to an agent about representation. Thank you, Janet.

Lisa: Not all publishers have the means to handle subsidiary rights. Why would you want to sell motion picture rights to a publisher that doesn't know what to do with them? Subsidiary rights are negotiated the same way other rights are, whether with the same publisher or with another publisher/business.

Sorry for the rambling, folks. I'm just starting my first coffee of the day.

Amy Johnson said...

What a great list of questions! I'm so looking forward to the day when I can ask them. Thanks, Janet!

Colin, Thanks for being the keeper of the Treasure Chest.

Donna, I hope the move went well. Also, I queried your agent earlier this morning. :)

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Donna: hugs for your Mom's big move. Letting go and starting anew--so bittersweet. May she find much joy and blessings in the new.

Bev: Got it. Thank you.

Rose Black said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nadre said...

I have a question about this: Our agency is of course stuffed with a baseball team of agents. If I get eaten by a shark tomorrow, you'll still be a New Leaf client, and you'll discover just how fabu the rest of the team is.

First, is this standard for most baseball team agencies? And along the same lines, if let's say you aren't eaten by a fellow shark, but you were to move to another agency again, is it also standard practice for your clients to follow you to new waters or stay behind with the agency? I'm guessing they would stay with the agent unless they had problems with the new agency, but maybe it's more a case by case decision and less of a standard?

Casey Karp said...

I'm with 2Ns: every time I send out a query, I do the "Oh, please, please, please, let this be the one" dance. It's a little hard on the cats, who hate to see me capering about the office, but what can ya do? Traditions are important.

Donna, big wishes that the move goes smoothly and it works out well for your mom (and you!) And if you do find yourself driving down Avent Ferry Road, it's okay to pull over in front of the house and sit for a while. It's all part of the process.

E.M., hang in there. If there's one piece of advice I can give about this gig, it's "don't quit your day job". I did--it was eating my brain--and, while I don't regret the decision, it has made life difficult in new and different ways. Sounds like you're in the same place I was. If you want a sympathetic ear, drop me a note.

On topic-ish, I really don't care whether the agent is active on social media--but isn't that something you would already know, having done your research before you queried the agent?

E.M. Goldsmith said...

CaseyThanks for your kind words. I know I can't quit my day job anytime soon, but it does drive me crazy. If I could write more, I keep thinking, I could publish enough to make a living. But from this blog, I know even given full time writing, full-time wages are not certain.

I too am interested in the answer to Nadre's question, Also, does client have option of staying with agency if their agent leaves the agency?

Claire Bobrow said...

Great post! I love these tips on how to behave like a rational human if the magic moment ever arrives. I can picture stuttering, shaking, and blathering in the absence of a game plan.

We should all have a game plan, thanks to Janet. It's just that mine is likely buried in one of my "efficient" binders stuffed with writerly advice!

Donna: good luck to you and your Mom today. A couple of years ago on a trip back to Memphis, my family stood on the sidewalk in front of "the old homestead" and took a bunch of photos. The current owners peered out from behind the curtains, clearly wondering who the heck we were.

And since we're getting deep today:
"No matter where you go, there you are."
(Buckaroo Banzai, Across the 8th Dimension)

Kate Higgins said...

I believe that an agent should have the structure of a train trestle; you gotta have abutments, tripod structures, track switchers, good construction materials that aren't too old, posts that won't rot, something to keep it from fraying and swaying and hopefully built to last a long time...so the train doesn't fall off the tracks into the abyss. ( I think that is the longest sentence I've ever written)

I personally wouldn't want a single post to hold up my writing/illustration train...no offense to any single agents. That includes agents in art, writing, talent or even real estate.
Just saying my grand dad had model trains.

Now a non sequitur: OK guys; how did you determine these words? I've been over the comments and subtle hints (including omissions, typos and innuendo) and other than Forti and gaze. I can't figure out how you determined 2 of the fabulous four?

scapegrace
scram
gaze
Forti


Joseph Snoe said...

Donnaeve

My mother moved out from her home of almost 40 years nine years ago. She sold it six years ago. I keep thinking I should drive by and see what it looks like under the new owners, but every time I go to Houston I find myself afraid to go by it.

Colin Smith said...

Kate: "Scapegrace" came from our beloved Julie W. I mean, who else would throw "scapegrace" into a sentence and make it work? Okay, maybe Steve Forti. :) I'm not sure who used "scram"--but in both instances, Janet made a comment later in the day that these words were on the list. The relevant posts are toward the beginning of last week, I believe.

Julie Weathers said...

I'm still working on my gruel and coffee, so I'm semi-coherent. Jeff Somers had to mention sea shanties, which I had been writing about yesterday in Rain Crow. My gal was singing one, when she discovered a man spying on her. I had to find one that would have been known to her.

I moved from them and Admiral Nelson's blood, the Lowland Away to Ashokan's Farewell.

I'm listening to Sullivan Ballou's letter and the Ashokan Farewell now, which should put me in a properly maudlin mood for writing.

I always appreciate these words of advice. We strive so hard to create something magical that will resonate with readers and don't think about what comes after.

When Rain Crow finally goes out, I want the agent an agent who laughs, and cries, and sighs and says, "Yes, Lorena's story must be told."

I'm going to do my homework to make sure I have the right agent. I know I won't remember the right questions to ask. I'll need to write them down.

Colin, thank you for all you do.

I'm off to spill my soul. Have a good day.



Janet Reid said...

ohhh!
gruel!
What a great word.

*cackling*

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Julie Must you? The shark has been in a frightful word feeding frenzy.

*wonders if I can work Gru from Minions into my 100 word story? If only I were Steve Forti... *

Casey Karp said...

"What a great word."

Uh-oh. Ya done it again, Julie.

E.M., it's not even so much a question of the money, though that's certainly significant. But being alone at the computer all day with no face-to-face human interactions can have some significant effects on your social skills. YMMV, natch, but I've had to make a conscious effort to get social events on my calendar, just to keep my ability to interact with other humans intact.

I also found that there's an upper limit to how much I can write in a day before my brain just stops and tells me to go do something else. That may not be an issue for you, but it certainly caps my potential income.

Colin Smith said...

Janet: I won't be no fool for your cruel gruel. Now, take a stool by the pool and get cool. :)

Lennon Faris said...

Thanks for the wonderful post, Janet! and thank you for the Treasure Chest, Colin!

Colin - it was I who used 'scram'. Can't remember what I was running from, though.

EM - I think writing (or any kind of creating) can be a true addiction. When I have a 'good writing day,' I'm on top of the world. When I get stuck, I feel depressed. It took me a while to figure out what was causing such strong moods. Isn't that weird??

Lennon Faris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie Weathers said...

Y'all relax. She is just torturing you again.

Janet cackles and everyone goes OMG She said word!. Trust me, when it comes, you will not be expecting it.

Colin Smith said...

Lennon: it was I who used 'scram'. Can't remember what I was running from, though. How about 100+ writers racking their brains trying to come up with a way to incorporate "scram" into their flash stories? ;)

Scott G said...

#'s 1-3 I can relate to, because I would expect potential clients to ask me the same questions if they were looking at hiring me as their lawyer.

#4 I don't know anything about

#5 I think a potential client (of mine) would need to ask more specific questions, such as whether I tweet about legal stuff or just personal stuff, or both, or if I use my social media presence to espouse the teachings of a sinister cult

#6 I'm not even going to go there, because I've sued people for that kind of thing

roadkills-r-us said...

First, I don't see where Janet answered Donna's question- which was going to be my question- about the 52 questions, which *could* be construed as turning it into 54 questions, but we'll be content hearing how Janet responded to the 52 questioner. Or I will, at any rate.

Colin, there are other meanings for scram. I used that word in some context on a regular basis!

Colin Smith said...

Janet Reid, Literary Agent, Sinister Cult Leader.

That has a certain ring to it. I think Janet should update her business cards... ;)

John Davis Frain said...

So, gruel rhymes with cruel. Okay, get that one.

Is spackle far behind?

Colin Smith said...

John: We've had dongle, so I say spackle is a definite contender. :)

Panda in Chief said...

Ashokan Farewell was written by Jay Unger in 1982, but you probably already knew that. While it sounds like an old traditional ballad (by design) it isn't. Was made famous by use by Ken Burns in his Civil War series. Still, one of my favorites. Thanks for the reminder of it.

DLM said...

Elise ... see, I'm a Whedon nerd. I went to The Groosalug place, and know nothing of these Minions of which you speak. ;)

John and Colin: STAAAAAHHHHHPPP it.

I think I am about ready to tap out ("tapp" out?) and not enter this contest, even though I do covet that prize. This one, it might be more enjoyable to concentrate on others' contributions rather than torturing my wee and paltry brain into the necessary contortions.

John Davis Frain said...

That's Diane's way of saying of course, I'm entering.

Oh, dongle. The nightmares. Please, no.

I do have one on-topic question. Go figure. I'd feel comfortable raising these questions to a prospective agent. On the other side of the call, do they expect these types of questions or am I talking to an eye roll? Either is fine, I'm just curious so I know how to react on my side of the call.

Thanks, as always, Janet. I wouldn't have thought of half of these on my own. And my half would've probably been the wrong ones. On the other hand, at least I'm not interrogating anyone with 52.

Julie Weathers said...

Panda

Yes, I'm very careful about which songs are mentioned in the work and which I just enjoy. Ashokan Farewell Jay Ungar and his wife used to play as the farewell to the Ashokan Fiddle and Dance camps, which gave it the name.

Free and Green is more of my mood music that's modern with an old sound.

I have to be careful of words, phrases, songs, food, and even colors.

Agreed, Ashokan is a beautiful song.

Joseph Snoe said...

EM

When Julie W read a draft of “Escape from Brazil“ (under a different title), one of her bits of advice was “Don’t give up your day job.”

Ultimately I did anyway (which was scary since I really enjoyed teaching and being around the students, faculty and staff at the law school (and university for that matter - I still return for funsies. I just have no official role. I still write recommendation letters, advise students who email me, go to speeches and social affairs, etc).

My problem was similar to yours. I worked very hard to be a good teacher, scholar, committee member, etc. I probably worked 50- to 70-hour weeks.
I could work on my novel in the summer (but I had to balance it with writing an article or a new edition of my Property treatise) and between semesters after grading final exam. Unfortunately, the stress of being pulled two ways during the school year took away from the joy of teaching and of writing. I guess it was that you-can’t-serve-two-masters thing.

So I quit teaching. I taught long enough to qualify for a pension, and I make a little money off the property book (Is this week royalties week?) which makes it possible to stay home.

There is less pressure. That’s good. I still waste away most of my time. (I haven’t looked at my WIP today for example). That’s bad.

It’s more than dawned on me it’s possible no publisher will take on my novel (but it’s coming together wonderfully, thank you very much), but I enjoy working on it (most days).

This is not the first time I gave up a good career job to go another direction. I gave up being a practicing CPA to attend law school (because I didn’t want to look back when I was 60 years old and regret not going). That worked out nicely. It is sort of the same feeling for this big change.

Two things also bounced around my brain. Stephen King was a teacher at one time. In “On Writing” he says something along the lines that he enjoyed teaching immensely, but that he probably would not have published any novels if he continued teaching. He was too mentally drained when he got home at night. Another author at the Southern Voices Festival a few years ago had been a college professor. He said he really enjoyed being a college professor, but that he enjoyed not being a college professor more. I took solace in those two statements in making my decision.

The dean said I could teach again if I missed it. That’s a comforting option, too).

I probably screwed up. But right now I have no regrets. I’ll at least find out if I’m good enough to write a publishable novel.

Timothy Lowe said...

Joe Snow -

I definitely feel your comment. I remember King saying that in his book as well. Teaching is definitely draining, as is being a father, as is doing laundry (in a different kind of way), as is every mundane detail of our lives. And I get it. It is hard to put a similar kind of mental energy into two different things. I felt proud when I read King's comment, though. I will never sell as well as he (although I hope to someday write at least as close to as well as he can) but I can still hold down two forts. And agonize about Janet's flash fiction contests, of course.

It sounds like, at 70 hours a week, you put in more time than I do (although, now that I think about it...)

I'm not sure if being a workaholic is a good thing for your personal life, but it helps when your goal is 1000 words a day (I can't quite get to King's prescribed 2000, but oh well.)

Back to the thesis papers...*sigh*

Julie Weathers said...

All right, I sort of have my words in, though I will probably finish a chapter tonight. Munchkin is picked up from the bus stop and we have read, with great interest, about the bully Binky Barnes. I have read a bit more about a Hobbit. I've tortured the people at Civil War Times about my subscription.

Now, to torture y'all. Some agencies do offer limited time representation and I'm not sure people even think to ask about it. They just assume they'll be set for life.

4. What's the subsidiary rights set up?

Diana Gabaldon has two agents to handle different rights.

What if you don't want to sell the film rights to your work? Would that affect if an agent wants to represent you? It took years to find someone who finally "got" Outlander enough not to make Diana blanch at the proposed treatment. A River Runs Through It got turned down for years also.

Is the agent going to think you're too difficult to work with?

5. Does your agent maintain a presence on social media?

I don't care if they blog or tweet, but lately the vitriol that's overflowing onto professional forums is turning me off a bunch. I'm gravitating a lot more to people who are either not maintaining a web presence or who are keeping it strictly business.

About the only thing I keep Facebook up for is to see what my kids post and I have it turned to private. Someday I may do something with the author page.

6. Is the agent hands on or hands off?

I have a friend who dropped a respected agent with a well-known agency after a year. I was shocked. The agent would return phone calls, wouldn't give feedback, she wouldn't even give feedback after the author gave up and hired an editor at great cost. "Not quite there" isn't feed back. This woman is a talented writer and came with some good recommendations.

So, yes, find out how the agent works with you.

Timothy Lowe said...

...and, Joseph Snoe, I managed to get your name wrong. Yikes. Maybe it IS time for a vacation!

Julie Weathers said...

K White

A friend recommended me to her agent. He's the one who gave me the long and detailed rejection about what was wrong with Far Rider. I'll fix it one of these days and go back to him. He has ZERO web presence. If you don't know his name, you can't find him basically.

Another agent I really like and will hound again has very little web presence. What little he does is announce a book sale. Period. Very low key. Very professional.

Joseph

You make me sound like such a slave driver!

I just worry any time someone says they want to quit their job so they can write full time. Number 1. Most people can't make a living writing. Number 2. Most people find when they have all that time to write they don't actually write.

Julie Weathers said...

On this day in 1836 nearly 500 of Fannin's Texians were massacred at Goliad. General Urrea asked for clemency for the prisoners, but Santa Anna demanded they be executed.

This day in Texas history.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

I would never quit my day job without a six figure deal and corresponding sales to back up the deal. I am, however, extreme downsizing so I can have more time for writing with less life expense and so can afford to cut my hours a bit.

And Casey I think too much time on my hands to write would give me trouble as well. It's a balance for sure. I do need to force myself out now and again to see what regular humans are up to.

Like Joseph I used to work 70 hour weeks - but that was to keep my daughter and me above water. And I did precious little writing which did render me clinically depressed. Yeah, Lennon, that is a thing.

I love the school district where I work now, but I am taking so long to complete my writing projects because I am often drained dry after work. And then life happens. This mortal coil is awful distracting. Ah well, at least I will know what questions to ask perspective agents when the time comes.

Megan V said...

OT: Wait a minute. Wait. Joe Snoe You're not saying...are you that Joseph Snoe! Of the E&E book variety?!?!?!

If so, sir, than I owe you a debt of gratitude!

AJ Blythe said...

After Megan's comment had to google... Joe's book is on to its 4th edition. My eyes glazed over when I read about it (hence my science degree and not a law degree). A copy of every edition is in the Australian National Library - working trip to Oz to check out your book, Joe? Can combine with ms research *grin*.

Joseph Snoe said...

Yep. Megan, Professor Joseph A. Snoe at your service.

My biggest thrills are hearing from students who used the E&E who tell me how valuable it was to them; and hearing from former students who say I made a difference (Actually who even remember I still exist).

I can tell it's getting close to Final Exam times. Panicked First Years have bought enough books to get the book to Rank number 5841 on Amazon.com as I type.

I received two thank yous this weekend - one in email form and one in letter form. (neither related to the E&E) Happy time.

Also what has been fun is twice I've gone to the graduation receptions and some graduating student introduces me to their boyfriend or girlfriend who attended another law school, and their eyes bug out when we're introduced.


I wish I had the space to tell you the saga of the Masters of Laws student in IRAN who's emailed me a couple of times seeking help on American law.


You made my day, Megan. Thanks.

AJ Blythe said...

Just checked the Reider map - doesn't look like there are any of us Aussies in the cyclone's path, but if you are around Bowen/Ayr stay safe!!

K. Ridwyn is our northern-most (pinned) Aussie Reider, she's north enough to be getting wet but south enough to be safe.

Joseph Snoe said...

AJ Blythe.
Property Examples & Explanations is in its Fifth Edition. See

E&E Fifth Edition

My guess is next year they'll ask us to prepare a sixth edition. want to rewrite two to four chapters from scratch. I'll probably turn the book over to someone else for the seventh edition if there is one.

P.S. Writing a aw treatise, a law casebook, and several law review articles doesn't help in writing a novel. Totally differrnt skill sets.

Megan V said...


No. Thank you Professor Snoe. That book (3rd edition) was the one thing that made fee simple...simple. And, of course, I did the honorable thing and sold it off to the next panicked 1L with loads of highlights. (it about killed me to deface a book, but, well, it was law school).

I think its safe to say I am pretty star struck.

I'm sure I'll get back to calling you Joe Snoe at some point. And I'll stop raving about E&Es after this post and stick to discussing the good ole novel and how glad I am that we're all chum here.

Colin Smith said...

Way to go
Professor Snoe!
Just goes to show
You never know
Who you know... ;)

Joseph Snoe said...

AJ Blythe

All editions are in the Australian National Library? That gets a WOW from me.

The book was licensed to a publisher in China. I have a copy of the Chinese version of the first edition. The inside words are in English, but the cover is in Chinese. I love it, but then I'm easily amused.