Wednesday, July 29, 2009

No, you don't know me well enough to call

Don't call me.
I'm serious.

The only people who should ever dial my telephone number are signed clients, or people I've asked to call me.

If you've sent a query and want to follow up: do NOT call me.

If you've read my website and want to run an idea past me: do NOT call me.
(finish the book, then (surprise!) email me

If you want to invite me to a conference: do NOT call me!

If you're an editor with a seven figure offer...oh wait. Yes, you can call me. But really, there's no need. I'll be right over.


Marilyn said...

I am laughing so hard...that you even had to post a blog entry like this.

Just incredible...or sad.

Michelle Schusterman said...

The fact that people do this shows they truly don't understand what an agent does for a living.

Debra Lynn Shelton said...

Damn, and I'd just put you on speed dial!

Mira said...

Oh, but surely, you don't mean Me?!
I'll give you a call and we can clear this right up.


Haste yee back ;-) said...

Don't call... hmmmm,

not even if the fish are *really* biting?

Haste yee back ;-)

Eric said...

I am still amazed at how many people don't get this. Would you call a stranger you've never met out of the blue and demand their attention because you have the next great thing? Would you want someone to do that to you? I still cannot believe how many people do not understand how to properly behave in this industry.

Livia Blackburne said...

What about editors with six figure offers?

Eric said...

Hear, hear. I recently wrote a post on why queries aren't an agent's biggest priority. Maybe I should have further specified that calling is for represented authors and other members of the industry (colleagues, agents you know, editors, &c).

I think people, particularly older people, are somehow convinced that calling is a more appropriate means of communication, and I'd certainly rather receive a birthday call than a birthday e-mail. Publishing, however, is a business, and e-mail is its Holy Medium.

moonrat said...

amen, sister.

Rebecca Woodhead said...

so you're saying I can't call? :)

Don't worry, I won't. Based in UK anyhow. Just popped over to read your words and also to ask what the biggest issues are for the publishing/book community at the moment.

I write and read, and love both. Currently, I'm beating all the celebrities and winning Ms Twitter UK with the slogan 'the pen is mightier than the pin-up.' If I win, there could be a fair amount of media attention over the next couple of weeks, so I'm asking book people what issues need raising if I'm interviewed.

The funding of libraries seems to be a big issue on both sides of the pond. If there are any others you can think of, I would welcome your/your followers' feedback.

Many thanks


Margaret Yang said...

I don't even call my OWN agent unless I absolutely have to. There are yahoos who call agents when they don't work together? Seriously? Holy shit.

Betsy Ashton said...

I don't think age has anything to do with bad manners and not knowing how to play the game. With blogs, we can add a comment and get our ideas out. But to call an agent without invitation??? How gauche??

I mean, I personally have written a great, finished novel. I do my research, e-mail my queries, wait and go on with life. I would NEVER presume that, just because I have a terrific novel, I should follow up the e-mail with a personal call.


Joanne Levy said...

If I am in town with a bottle of THE MACALLAN 18, can I call?

Stephanie Faris said...

Oh but you know that you can post this a hundred times and still, there will be that ONE author who thinks he/she is the exception. Imagine the arrogance that leads someone to call an agent.

A long time ago I heard a saying, "You can't legislate against stupidity." I'm amazed at how many times I go back to that saying, the older I get!

ryan field said...

Even when you have an agent you usually respect the telephone issue. I've never just called my agent without setting up a phone conference ahead of time with an e-mail, and she's never called me without setting up a conference with an e-mail.

If it was an emergency, or something really important, of course we'd pass on the formalities and just call. But for general phone meetings it's more polite to set up the call in advance.

Rebecca Knight said...

I've worked in customer service for many a year, and find that even when my relatives call me, I flinch if the phone rings.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing really! I mean, you'd think any sensible writer who had done even a little research would know that this was considered bad manners. I would think this was the fastest way to get rejected!

Julie O'Connell said...

I don't necessarily think that it's a lack of manners if a newbie calls an agent, I think it's ignorance. Most, if not all, other forms of business rely on personal communication - particularly phones. If said newbie relies on the information that he/she uses in their regular life, mistakes will be made. They just need to do a little research. They'll learn. It's unfortunate that there are agents that have to take the time to smack them down, though. Sorry, J. love your job. :-)

laughingwolf said...

what? not even for a date? :O lol

Laurel said...

Okay, in defense of the callers (please don't throw things) for a looooong time that was how people did business. Email has been around long enough that people should get the it is the preferred form of contact but there are still some old schoolers out there.

And to the old schoolers who might be reading this: Seriously, put down the phone. You're making people mad. Plus, email is written. There is no danger that whoever you're talking to is going to misplace your question, request, concern, whatever because it looked like an old McDonald's napkin that sat in the car too long. (Yes, I have done that. Even with important business calls. The people should have emailed.)

Vacuum Queen said...

Do you have paparazzi and all? I'll bet that's next for you. People seemed crazed to get a piece of you. Makes for good reading, although I know it's driving you crazy.

Lumpy Dog said...

With every post, you sound more like the girls I dated --or, at least, tried to date -- in high school.

"Don't call."

"You sure about that?"

"Uh, yeah."

"Okay, so maybe I'll call you later?"


amberargyle said...

Um, so I shouldn't call you to ask questions about this post?


Second Sun said...

Playing hard to get huh?

Josin L. McQuein said...

I blame the octopus.

She handed out your phone number when you weren't looking.

white rabbit said...

Is semaphore ok?

Heather Moore said...


Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

J: Hello, Agent Superlative here.

Bill E Goat: Hi, J. Did I get you at a baaaaad time?

J: Who IS this? … Bill, is that you?

Bill E: Of course it is. … So have you read my book yet?

J: You call THAT a book? It’s nothing more than goat …

Bill E: You’re right! It’s more than a book; more than a novel; it’s umm a novel book! Not another like it in the WORLD. So, can I come to New York and do lunch.

J: Certainly Bill. You can come to NY anytime … and do lunch. Just not with me. … Let me get you the Donald’s number ….

Bill E: The Donald? Do you mean Trump or Maass?

J: I had more in mind Mr. Duck …


My mistress says, "come visit my blog; leave a comment; it's lonley over there."

dylan said...

Dear Ms. Reid,

This posting has inspired me to begin work on a Broadway musical, provisionally entitled "Agent Orange".

The first act ends with the beleaguered heroine singing the show stopper, "Well Enough To Call".

"No! You don't know me,
well enough to call,
I blog til I'm groggy,
I thought I'd said it all.

It's time you start taking the hints,
When you click on my blog,
You don't change from a frog,
to a prince.

I find I'm growing weary,
of half-assed strategy,
Just write a fucking query,
that gets across to me.

All else is annoyment,
that sucks all the enjoyment,
out of work.

That's all,
don't call,
don't be a jerk."

I'll announce the casting call anon, when I've ironed out the wrinkles and gotten a few of the pivotal parties on the horn.


Robin Morrison said...

I'ma set up a 900#: Pim-pyo-book.

Make a killin'.

Jay said...

*choking laughter* I'm sort of glad I didn't practice pitching to you at BEA before the pitch slam began - it would have been way too embarrassing to fall right off the chair up on the stage.

In any case - point taken! No phone call required.

Peter Ellis said...

This reminds me of an uncomfortable moment at a restaurant in Santa Monica when a musician seated behind us attempted to convince the waiter to take his CD and play his music in their establishment. The waiter told him that corporate made all of those decisions. The musician asked for corporate's number. His desperation sucked the air out of the room. However, he seemed fine. In fact, I think he lives his life according to the motto, "If you're not desperate, you're not living." I guess I can relate.

Jacqui said...

Laughing. Hard.