Once upon a time, in a galaxy all the way down the block, I heard a story. A writer thought he had finally gotten his stars in line. An agent was knocking. Being an excitable boy, he nudged a couple of times.
The agent responded by asking to see the novel in first person. A year later he felt it was ready and sent it off. The only response was a post on a social media feed by the agent. In that post she said that if you really wanted to piss her off, nudge her.
If you are a writer, and you see an agent tweet something so rude, arrogant, and egomaniacal, my ONLY advice is strike that agent off your list and know you've made the right choice.
*applies ice cold compress to singed hair*
First, let's all remember that of course the agent must prioritize her reading, and her workload, and may not be able to read your manuscript (even when requested) as soon as you'd like. That's an industry norm and we all need to live with it. (You don't have to like it, just know it's there.)
BUT to say that you get "pissed off" when an author asks for a status report is indicative of an agent who has a very skewed idea of how to conduct business.
And for all you know, the manuscript got lost in the ether. Or in a mail management program meltdown. Or got discarded accidentally.
All three of those things have happened to me within the last year.
I've been damn grateful more than once that an author dropped me a line asking for a status update, cause I didn't have their work. Fervent apologies, resent, bobs your uncle.
But on a more cosmic level, if this agent doesn't like getting nudged, how is she nudging editors who have her client's work? An agent who thinks that nudging is rude is an agent who is most likely not nudging herself.
And that is just plain old stupid. Well maybe not stupid. Insensitive and inexperienced. When I first started my practice I didn't have a clue about how writers felt. Fortunately, I learned. Perhaps Ego hasn't spent enough time with actual writers to have learned the lesson yet.
Editors (like all of us) prioritize their work. They read the stuff that needs an answer first. They read things from their pals first. I know editors who read only when someone else has offered. In other words, they read based on communication AFTER the initial pitch.
Bad manners is bad business.
Don't work with someone who makes you feel like you're a disruption in their day.
YOU are the fuel line to the publishing engine. Without you, this industry grinds to a halt. Never forget that.
**remembering the words of Meredith Barnes, publicist extraordinaire,
when I first used this phrase in her company
"why do you have to bring the horse into this?? What did that horse ever do to you?"