Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What the hell do you DO all day?

I can hear queriers thinking "what the hell does she do all day" when they see that I'm two weeks behind on answering query letters, not to mention writers who have had fulls under consideration since November (Hi Adam!)  Not to mention clients who get apologetic emails that I still have this or that to finish.

It's the little unexpected things.

Sometimes it's GREAT news like your film agent calling to say we have twenty minutes to consider an offer and they need to talk RIGHT NOW.

Sometimes it's an author emailing to point out there's an error on Amazon of epic proportion and what the heck do we do now?

Sometimes it's just a small thing.  Tonight for example. An editor pal of mine is in Austin, Texas for the weekend. Why I do not know since he lives in New York City and why anyone ever wants to leave is beyond me.

Oh wait.

Temp in Austin today: 71
Temp in NYC today: 41.

Ok, got it.

Anyway, he's off lallygagging about in Texas and of course zips in to Book People in Austin.  And he spies a shelf talker about one of my clients. Being a good pal, he snaps a photo and sends it to me.


But this is not like getting a snap of the Grand Canyon or even someone's new loinfruit. It's not Ooooh Ahhh Done.

No no no.

First of all, you forward to client.
Then you email Book People to say thanks.
Then you slither around the Book People site cause it's got some interesting stuff, sign up for the newsletter, and see who's coming to visit in the near future.

Then you post the picture on your blog (upper left corner) with a caption. And change it twice to get it right.

Sum total: 20 minutes. At 11:30pm on a Saturday night.

And all three of those things took about 90 minutes total. And they all happened in a 12-hour period. And it wasn't a particularly busy day. 

Dear Readers, I would not change any of this for all the tea in China.  I love my job. I LOVE that my clients get picked as staff faves, get movie deals, have books published.  It's absolutely the best kind of problem to have.

In fact, it's not a problem at all.

Unless you're the writer waiting for me to get back to what I was supposed to be doing tonight: answering queries (at 11:30pm on a Saturday night)


Unknown said...

Part of me has always wondered about those people who ask Literary agents what they do all day. It's almost like, 'what do YOU do all day at your job?' S'all in the job description. hahaha

Tom M Franklin said...

My apologies for a completely off-topic comment, but I thought of you twice yesterday: first when I read about your pre-empt of Patrick Lee's series (congrats!) and second when I learned if you type


into a Facebook comment line you get a emoticon of a Jaws-cover shark!

-- Tom

Josin L. McQuein said...

It's a well documented fact that sharks are in constant motion, even in their sleep. If they stop moving, they die. Your schedule doesn't surprise me at all.


CourtneyC said...

It's also a well-known fact that Book People in Austin have amazing animal socks for sale! :-)

They have the best book selection around and knowledgeable staff to point you to exactly the type of thing you want to read, if you ask for an absurdist, modern-day sci-fi thriller. Not really a search term at Amazon.com.

Debra Lynn Shelton said...

Anyone who wonders what you do all day doesn't deserve an answer. That said, I love your answer.

middle grade ninja said...

Great post. I do wonder what agents do all day:) Thanks for sharing!

Michael Seese said...

Wait. You can HEAR what I THINK? I am SO in trouble now.

adam.purple said...

(Hi Adam!) Hi Janet!

Buzz Malone said...

See, now that changes everything. I would have guessed that agents spend most of their time specifically rejecting MY queries. Great post, Janet.

But...how and when did Austin, Texas suddenly become our modern Athens? You can't hear anything about music or writing these days without it popping up. Ah well. Good for Austin.

Ricky Bush said...

"What do you do all day?" That was the question most ask of me after I retired. My best answer was: "I don't know, but it takes all day and I still don't finish.

Unknown said...

With SXSW and a thriving arts scene, I'm pretty sure Austin IS New York only with a better climate...and better barbecue.