Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Query question: the agent appears to be digital only

 In researching agents, I've seen a few where their Publisher's Marketplace page is predominately made up of Digital sales. I know little about the contractual part of an Agent's job, and seeing "Digital" only (even with a few senior agents) caused concern.

Should I be? 

They're making deals and a lot of deals are happening digitally these days.
Those may be just the most recent deals an agent has made, or more likely, the publisher reported those deals, NOT the agent. 

A colleague of mine some years back had purposely pulled back from listing deals on Publishers Marketplace (I can't remember why.)  She sold a small book to a digital only publisher, who promptly posted the deal to PM. My colleague was pretty ticked off because it now looked as though that was the ONLY deal she'd made that year. 

She then had to post all her recent deals so writers like you would not be misled.  However, if the agent (and there are some still) isn't paying attention to PM, s/he might not even know those digital deals had been listed.

It's easy to forget that a LOT of agents came into the business before it was de riguer to announce every deal and have a robust public presence.  Many of the best agents I know are still very uncomfortable with this New Visibiltiy.

Don't make assumptions here. 


Sam Hawke said...

Yessss surely it's me this time!

Sam Hawke said...

When I was researching agents a lot of the 'how to' type articles emphasised checking the PM page for recent deals. But in my experience it was common to find pages for agents - big, reputable agents obviously making regular deals - that had nothing listed. I found it pretty unhelpful as an indicator of quality.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Congrats Sam!

Lisa Bodenheim said...

And now that I've read the whole of Janet's column...

ohoh, another researching agents/editors guidelines that just got fuzzy on me.

And...Janet. Are you testing OUR editing capacities? There's an 'a' missing in your title.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Publisher's Marketplace is one of those weird sites I kind of click around on every once in awhile (and I read Publisher's Lunch. Skim the lunch?) and then go elsewhere because I'm not really sure what to do with it. If I've been curious about agent deals, I've looked at the agency website and/or their Twitter page, which will frequently mention upcoming releases, etc.

It's one of those times I wondered if I was "doing it wrong" but thought it worked best for my brainspace, so I didn't say anything!

DLM said...

Jennifer, same for me. At the query stage, I just wanted to know whether to include or eliminate an agent on my list. If someone asked for a read, I'd research more, but other than that the only time I went into any depth was if (a) an agent was SO special I wanted to be able to personalize a query in a very particular way, or (b) to get to know agents at events I attend.

Craig F said...

The insidious way the interweb drags us around by the nose. Don't work yourself into a lather until you know the facts. Those facts only come first hand. Research agents, yes, but don't stop with the "Call". Ask for the truth of sales from them. It is the only place you will get full disclosure.

Janet Reid said...

Lisa, nuh uh. Nope. No. No. All vowels present and ccounted for. :)

DLM said...

Jnet, Gossmer's strting to wonder wht's up with your ntipthy towrd the letter __. ;)

Donnaeve said...

Now, I'm left wondering, who is responsible for listing deals? The agent or the publisher? Or both - i.e. they talk, they agree when to list?

I also understand that not all deals get listed for whatever reasons, but in today's age with just about everyone and their brother gathering intel from online sources, this would be one area (I would think) to keep updated. My thinking? If an agent spends any amount of time telling you who they've signed (which has been discussed here before I believe) to impress you to sign with them, then this would be the perfect vehicle to "toot their own horn."

Unknown said...

Is it sad that I didn't notice the lacking a in ccounted for? Instead I read it with a southern accent and an apostrophe. Apparently my brain is still hung up on dialect discussions. Someone please (glottal) stop me.

Colin Smith said...

Lisa: Now, you know Janet's not above using vowel language when the occasion warrants... :D

I admit, I favor agents with a consistent online presence, simply because it's much easier to research an agent if they are posting blog articles, or chatting on Twitter. You can find out what they're looking to represent, what they enjoy reading, and what they're like as people--or at least you get a sense of their personality and how they like to spend their non-agent time. I know this seems unfair to those agents who aren't comfortable with social media, but it works both ways. Us socially-awkward, introverted writers have had to learn to adapt too. :)

Colin Smith said...

Re-reading my comment, I didn't give much context to that thought, and it's a little early to be going off-topic. Janet mentioned there are agents who are uncomfortable with this "new visibility" and the seeming need to make public every deal. To me, that's part of getting to know an agent for which I look to social media... and hence my comment.

It's not quite 9 am here yet, so I'm still waking up. :)

Unknown said...

The less anxiety producing way for me is to start with a good book that is complimentary to mine, find the agent, then query her. Even just one less thing to worry about at this stage is a good thing for a timid woodland creatures like me.

Liz Penney said...

Actually, I've found digital only to be a red flag for me with some agents, especially new ones. Some are only selling "the low hanging" fruit, to presses that don't require an agent. Sometimes that is a good home for a book but if that is "all" they represent, then I question their connections to the bigger publishers, which is why most of us want an agent.

Anonymous said...

As for Opie -

As I am relatively new to the game, I recently have found myself weighing two different versions of myself.

There's the write, don't think version. When I wrote my first book, I had no idea what was going to happen after I penned the last line (other than I knew it had something to do with editing and some mystical world called "query-land"). I wasn't really talking to people on the internet or following too many blogs. I was just writing. I'd be happy if I woke up and wrote 1,000 words or 100 words, just so long as I made progress.

And then there's the think, don't write version. This is my current paradoxical state, where I queried the first book to death, finished the second book, sat quandrying over how well I had edited it... bit my nails off looking at one story or another about people who were signed to six figure deals, and I read basically the whole internet every day looking for details on agents who are reading materials of mine or who I think would make a good fit. It's nonsensical. It's paradoxical. I'm treading water and I know it, yet I can't seem to get out of the pool. And I am completely aware of these details (every day I hear a booming shark voice say "query widely" in my head) but I've been paralyzed by too much information.

It's a quandry. An easy one too, but a quandry nonetheless. You can't reason with the agoraphobic about the general safety of the outside world. And you have less hope reasoning with the information-paralyzed writer.

My point? Oh yes. Who by worrying can add a single day to their lives? It would seem (and this sounds crazy in our internet saturated culture) the prudent thing to do is act more and think less. Or maybe to just not give a flying flock. I can't tell the difference sometimes.

Theresa said...

I've always wondered, too, about which deals get posted on PM and PL. Based on all the books I see published, I figured these could not be comprehensive, but perhaps based on something particularly newsworthy.

Dena Pawling said...

I've noticed that about the agent pages at PM. Some agents have few, if any, sales listed. Others have a lot. It's interesting, and also confusing, that an agent would decide not to list sales [for whatever reason] and then decide to list all recent sales because a publisher reported one sale. Was this in the body of the PM site, or does PM allow a publisher to modify the agent's page on the PM site?

What percentage of sales are actually reported on PM? If this percentage is low, how useful is PM for writer's to use for research?

At least in this pre-published writer's opinion, it's nice that many agents are actually TRYING to attract the pre-published, as opposed to operating by referral only and/or only wanting celebrities, etc.

Unknown said...

Liz + Dena: my thoughts (and questions) exactly.

LynnRodz said...

Like RobCeres, I look for agents in books I'm reading or have read that are similar to mine. Then I Google them to see whether I think they'll be a good fit. If they are, I add them to my growing list of agents I plan on querying. That is, once my query is ready. (I still haven't reworked it.) I also follow Chuck Sambuchino's Guide To Literary Agents. His blog is a gold mine.

Hmm, I'm wondering about what Brian wrote. At the moment, I'm going over my MS one last time and weeding out all unnecessary words. Who knew (besides that, then, just, etc.,) there are as many as 60 useless words that can bog down a sentence? I'm halfway through them. Or am I wasting time so I don't have to work on my query? And by not working on my query, it means I don't have to jump in the pool and become another statistic, another writer receiving rejection after rejection, I can stay hopeful, as anyone who hasn't queried yet, that I'll be the exception.

DLM said...

Brian: INFORMATION-PARALYZED is brilliant.

To paraphrase (liberally) Steve Martin, Some people have a way with words. Some people. Not. Do be having. That waaayyyy ...

You have a way with words.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Dine crcks me up. I'd write more but utocorrect is bttling with me.

DLM said...

2Ns thank you. :) Wasn't sure but what rewriting Steve Martin might be a bit arrogant, but when you forget the real quote and get to like your own version ... well.

I do be having that way.

Anonymous said...

Haha. Same goes for you Diane! :) Remember, I've read your writing. ;) Am still reading it actually (I blame my aformentioned paralysis and not my general procrastination).

french sojourn said...


Nailed it:

Now back to editing for me.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Editing? No, it's Camp NaNoWriMo time, guys and gals!

Anonymous said...


Back in my misspent youth, I used to ride bareback bucking horses and wild cows. I use the term ride loosely because I spent a good part of that three years learning to ride bares getting my head buried in the dirt. Riding cows was different, I actually was fairly decent at that. If I'd had any sense and the money, I might have gone south to the women's rodeo association and competed in bullriding. Yes, I know you're thinking there's a lot of difference between cows and bulls, but some wild cows can buck pretty good.

Anyway, if a person really wants to learn how to ride rough stock well, they study video tapes of classic rides, practice on bucking barrels, take classes, walk on the top of fence rails to develop balance, ride saddle horses with a rigging to develop balance, read motivational books, some guys have even taken ballet. In the end, they still have to get on bucking horses and bulls and just ride. Lots.

And let me tell you, that's a pretty big rush. Your body is firing on on cylinders. Rawr.

My husband used to to travel with a bullrider named Gary Leffew. Gary started out as a hippy who went to a rodeo and thought, "He, that looks kind of fun." He asked if they'd let him ride a bull. I'm sure they thought it would be amusing to get this long-haired kid cow killed and loaned him some gear and put him on a bull. He got his head buried, but the bug bit him. He wanted to be a bullrider. He kept getting cow killed until he came across a book on positive thinking. Once he got his head straight, things started turning around and it got fun.

I'm still working on revisions for FR and that's work. I have to examine each word and phrase to see if they're doing what they're supposed to be doing and examine them through new eyes. It's not a whole lot of fun. I try for ten pages a day, but I stop when my brain starts wandering because I know I'm going to miss the things I should be looking for.

This is, as Hemingway said, the work of writing and it's necessary.

I also work on the Civil War piece. That's pretty much a joy right now. I can't wait to sit down and write because I want to know what's going to happen next. There are a lot of days when I think, "Hmmm, didn't see that coming. What in the world am I going to do with this?"

It's important to research agents and be informed of all things writerly, but not at the expense of sullying your writer's soul. Get lost in something new. Read until your batteries are recharged. Stop listening to the forsoothsayers.

Listen to this bit by Gary Leffew.

Jenz said...

I'm sure agents are uncomfortable with this New Visibiltiy. Visibiltiy sounds extremely uncomfortable. I'd hate to be Visibiltied myself.

*I'm not a robot, but I do imagine I'm funny.

DLM said...

Jenz, tee hee.

Julie ... my arthritic but swan-like neck hurts just thinking about it!

DLM said...

And Brian - I'm slower than yoouuuuuuu are! :P

LynnRodz said...

Julie, whether you believe you can or can't, either way you're right.

Oh yeah and another thing, I always thought I've seen a lot and done a lot in my life, but I guess I was wrong. You haven't lived until you've seen a cowboy dancing ballet.

Anonymous said...

When researching agents, I'm afraid Publisher's Marketplace is kind of far down the list of tools. I look for the author's (and/or their agency's) website, for interviews and other articles at Writers Digest or other blogs - places that will give me an idea of who they are and what they're looking for. I will check Preditors & Editors and Writer Beware. I'll check them out on Twitter, because I like to hang there anyway. I only go to PM when the only 'website' I can find for an agent is their page on PM. And even then, I'm looking for a link to their website.

As for 'digital only': as Janet said, it could just be inconsistent reporting. Another reason for 'digital only' - especially among more well-established agents - could be that they are actively getting their clients' backlists re-published.

But Publisher's Marketplace relies on self-reporting. And self-reporting is inconsistent. People are more likely to report really good things. They're less likely to report not-so-good things, meh things, or even bad things. They'll report "Agent sold Author's Memoir for $600,000 advance!" But they won't report, "Publisher dumped Author's Memoir because Author and/or Agent was difficult to work with".

I'm more likely to go to an agency's (or agent's) website to look for deals made. Most will have some sort of list of clients and/or novels by their clients. This is part of promoting their clients. I don't look for deals on PM unless I'm really, really, truly on the fence and can't find that one piece of information that would put me on one side or the other. Or if the only 'website' available for an agent is their PM page. And if that's all I can find, and there isn't much there, I leave that agent off my list. They're obviously not looking for new clients.

Brian: There is a middle ground. :) Allow yourself one day per week to research agents. You can gather names throughout the week, as you come across them, but don't research them except on Mondays, when (if you're like me) your brain is fuzzier than the other days. Then query on Tuesday. Giving oneself a solid limit like that can actually free one from thinking about these things constantly.

Anonymous said...

I got a personal story from Julie? Is it strange that I feel as special now as that time I was quoted in Janet's header?

Thank you for the encouragement Julie! :) I'm enjoying this Gary Leffew fellow. :) Pretty hilarious. Especially the girlfriend line. And the manure story.

Diane - I sent you a mountain and you sent me a molehill. I better be done first. :)

DLM said...

Hee. I was going to say "my moles are loquacious" but ... man does that sound weird. And maybe kinda gross.

As long as we're on query/agent research methods, this was where I really LOVED Agent Query. More comprehensive genre search returns than I found at Query Tracker, and agency sites almost always linked (only if there isn't one at all are they not). If there isn't an agency site, PM is linked, and if even that is not to be found ... that's some research intel right there. That's the main time I'd use PM at all, and the pages tended to be fine, but that'd never be my first go-to.

My thing with query-level research was very, very broad - "is this person possibly suited to my work?" - and I was really really generous in my terms with that. I'd far rather query someone POSSIBLY-down-my-alley-but-I'm-not-positive and get a rejection than eliminate everyone who doesn't rep fairly muscular histfic set in Late Antiquity Gaul, and thereby miss out on intriguing that agent who might have been persuaded even though they don't already have my type of work under representation.

Of course, there is a full supply of grains of salt for all to take THAT with, given Ax's comatose state and my continued un-agented status.

So. Yeah. Shutting up now.

Christina Seine said...

You guys crack me up! =D

Everything has been said, and beautifully. If the publishing world is a tragic comedy, then the blog family here is the Greek chorus - only one that says, "Derp!" and "Rawr!" and "Hell yeah!" It's awesome.

I do love PM. I scan it pretty much daily - mostly to make sure somebody else hasn't written My Exact Book. But also, those big deals every now and then are super inspiring. It would be a *little* disconcerting to have an agent you're derping over not have much of anything listed on PM, but then it's a fairly simply thing to just ask.

Whenever I hear the word "assumptions," I think of the Benny Hill sketch where he used a chalkboard to explain what happens when you ASSUME. Heh.

Yeah, that's how old I am. *sigh*

Anonymous said...


I refuse to listen to the naysayers and doombringers. There has never been a better time to be a writer.

No one is going to burn me at the stake for writing a book of herbal cures for mistress of the house.

No one is going to drown me because I know how to read and write.

I'm not limited to reading one book, which may or may not be correct, for information about a subject.

We don't have to rely on one book published once a year for information about agents.

We don't have to spend lots of money printing query letters, partials and fulls and mailing them and providing return postage.

We aren't limited in our options to publish.

Most important, we aren't told what we can write. We have freedom.

When Will was in Iraq, he said the natives would come up and ask them where they should go to get their stories approved for their newspapers. The soldiers told them. "You're free. No one approves what you write." They were astonished. When it finally sank in they could truly write what they wanted without having to get it approved, they started crying and thanking the soldiers.

We don't realize what a wonder this is just to be able to write what we want. Don't let can't let our fears tarnish this wonderful opportunity.

Don't listen to anyone who moans about how hard writing is and how unfair publishing is. They're trying to steal your joy. We all know some days it's like blasting words out with dynamite, but we need to be thankful we have words.

angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

It’s good to hear that agent’s can be social media shy, including PM. One agent I plan to query has only a twitter presence. I’ve wondered if some lit agencies ask their agents to not have a social media presence.

BJ, solid advice.

Brian, what an honour to receive a story about Julie’s misspent youth.

Lynn, I follow Chuck Sambuchino’s blog.

I spent the day in Carkoon informing myself on what is an indie. I thought indie pertained only to publishers. It’s self exile after stupid question on yesterday’s post.

Carkoon has moved to Paris. It feels like NYC in August or Florence in summer. I’d brave salt water crocodiles right now.

Diane, it’s hard to believe The Ax and The Vase hasn’t found a home yet. I’m loving it. I too easily stop reading a book. Yours I can’t put down.

Anonymous said...


< I’ve wondered if some lit agencies ask their agents to not have a social media presence.>

I'm not sure if the lit agencies ask them to. I get a little nervous when an agent is on twitter all day every day. I know what a time sink it can be. I used to spend hours upon hours on it every day.

One of my crit partners has an agent who has nearly 0 social presence. She queried a mega star agent who has some presence and this one who keeps a very low profile.

Honestly, I'm much more attracted to agents who have a quiet, professional, social presence than those who are busy banging the drum about whatever their latest cause is. Yes, I realize you may be the president of the save the cockroach society and they are important, and you hate people who kill cockroaches, but I'm going to murder with extreme prejudice, and lots of Raid, all I find.

It's great if people are vegans, or vegetarians, or think cow farts are the greatest threat to the planet, but I don't want to be beat over the head with this stuff. I'm delicate.

Wendy Qualls said...

Irrespective of PM, there *are* agents who advertise as "ePub agents" or "digital agents" or whatnot. (Saritza Hernandez is one of them.) I think this may have something to do with what they represent, though - I write M/M romance, and there just isn't a traditional market for that kind of thing yet. If these agents are mostly representing niche subgenres, it may be that traditional publishers really aren't on their radar. I'd be more concerned about a "digital only" agent if I wrote children's books or the like.

DLM said...

Angie, thank you mighty kindly ma'am. So exciting to have a REAL audience! I'm pleased it's you.

We'll get my work out. Even if Ax isn't first.

Julie's delicate. Let us all be sure we have our kid gloves when she is present, ladies and gentlemen! ;)

Donnaeve said...

I might have missed a key comment somewhere, but I wouldn't use PM as a primary source for agent searches, but more of a vehicle for publishing news/deals, while being aware/realizing not all deals show up.

I.e., it's not foolproof, but it does provide a snippet of the sales going on, and it's just another way to get a bit of an insider view to what's being acquired, and the books that will eventually be on shelves.

I like to compare what's being sold to what I've written. I don't think it's bad if something similar sells, because hey, plenty of folks are still reading/buying certain stories over and over again. I'm always on the lookout for BASTARD OUT OF CAROLINA, SECRET LIFE OF BEES, COLD MOUNTAIN, THE STORY OF EDGAR SAWTELLE, WHITE OLEANDER, GAP CREEK, and many many other stories that I fell in love with.

I'm now off track I suppose, but I'm just saying, PM, from what I know, is about the only resource that reveals this sort of information. Then again, I could be showing my lack of knowledge.

Diane, glad you're finding readers enjoying A & V. It's brave to share your work.

Julie said...

Is this the same thing as employers using digital screening to (sorry for repetition, not my best writing day - on editing mode) screen out possible employees? (i.e. screening out female or ethnic-sounding names or birthdates before or after certain dates, etc.)? I know this happens, but does the same kind of thing happen with query letters (i.e. queries that have word counts > certain numbers or the words "first time" or whatever are screened out)?


Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Ya know, I'm sitting here reading all these comments (I should be editing) and it's like I'm at the kitchen table listening to my kids talking in the living room. You guys are something.
Where else can you discuss digital publishing, a missing vowel, Chuck Sambuchino’s blog and cow farts, (meaning no disrespect to Chuck)?
Now I have another reason to continue my quest for a title page, just to tell all you boys and girls that grandma finally made it. God I hope I live that long. Janet, you and your malcontent-yahoos make my day.

Anonymous said...


I definitely screen agents. If they make a comment about, "Oh, God, please, not another story about a ____." and that's something I either have written about or possibly will, I figure why waste my time and theirs? Yes, there's a chance my writing might be so stupendous they wouldn't notice that mythological creature, but why take a chance if they hate mc?

The same if they comment frequently about word counts and link the standard word counts. Even after revisions, I will be over that golden 120,000 mark and I am not in the lifetime going to try for that.

If you read #tenqueries, #500queries, or #querylunch you can see some agents have definite preferences. Why shouldn't they? If they hate horror, they might not the right agent for it.

Anonymous said...

Hi JulieH! Hope you're feeling better.

I don't think agents use digital screening, but I do know that there are immediate turnoffs in a query letter. Some basic ones are:

- Tone is arrogant or abusive
- Genre is something they don't represent
- Word count is too high or too low for the category and genre. And that's only generally. I'm sure pushing it a bit won't be as much of a problem, but a cozy mystery at 300,000 words just doesn't fit that genre.

Other things can ping an agent's patience, too, like:

- the phrase 'fiction novel' (unless it's part of 'science fiction novel')
- sending attachments that haven't been requested
- expecting agents to go to a website to see your query and/or sample chapters.
- not sending the sample chapters if that's what an agent wants; or sending them if an agent wants only a query letter
- other things they want/don't want that can usually be found on their website

One way that, I suppose, might be 'digitally screening' is sending queries to the wrong e-mail address. But that's more the author digitally screening himself, rather than being digitally screened by an agent.

Anonymous said...

Reading Janet's post again, I'm thinking, yeah. I can see not being comfortable with 'the New Visibility'. Posting every deal you make for all of publishing to see may seem a bit immodest, too blatant. While younger agents may be all about 'look what I did!', it's an older trend to be modest, to not brag, to *not* blow one's own horn. Pride goeth before a fall, and all that.

I'm of that older group. I know my writing is good, and I know I can be proud of my work. But I'm not going to go out saying, "Look what I did!" At least, not until it's published and I have to market the heck out of it. And even then, it won't be about me - it will be about the book.

There's nothing wrong with proclaiming your deals. There's nothing wrong with saying, "Look what I did!" But there are some of us who are uncomfortable with that. And I can understand that some agents may feel that way, too.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure it's a pride goeth before a fall with some agents. There are a lot of well established agents who are not actively looking for clients. They don't need to be inundated with queries. Some still don't take email submissions. You can barely find them if you search for them.

As I said with my friend, she queried the mega star agent and got an offer of rep and queried the hermit agent who isn't even on the radar who also offered rep. Both are excellent agents.

Authors need to learn agents are all individuals. We need to stop expecting them to conform to this rule or that, because who's going to set up this rule? As they say, five people ain't going to have the last word.

Unknown said...

Julie weathers,

To me, it's a cost/risk analysis. You mention that querying an agent who might be screening (based on word count or hating dinosaurs) isn't worth querying. But I think I disagree as per your previous statement and my own experience.

I have a full out right now that really feels like the longest of long shots. I would have never queried this agent had I done a full range of research. They rep the genre I subbed (the only filter that mattered) but it seems they dislike long word counts (my thriller is 120k), dislike zombies (mine has zombies that just aren't called zombies) and dislikes all blood and gore (which as you can imagine, most zombie books have a large amount of this).

Had I dug beyond genre, name, and if my gut said I might like working with them, I wouldn't have queried. And I wouldn't have a full out.

For this reason, and for the minimal time that is necessary to do a quick scan of an agent and send an email as per their submission guidelines, it seems to me that the insane thing is not sending the query for fear of the filter.

Let them filter. Let them not filter. Who cares. Send it anyways - or as Janet says - be bold.

Anonymous said...


You're right, of course. If a work really strikes with an agent, they're going to pounce. Game of Thrones has zombies.

Far Rider has a zombie in it. I hadn't thought about it until a friend mentioned the zombie and I thought, "oh, I guess he is a zombie."

When I started selling real estate, it was for the largest residential builder in Texas at the time. If you sold for a contractor, you didn't need a real estate license as long as you used a promulgated real estate contract.

We were broke. I was scared. I had a Dodge pickup with a topper camper on it and three dresses I bought at the $8 dress shop, plus a couple I found at the thrift shop. My hair was down past my butt and a friend told me that was really unprofessional, so I got it cut to mid back, the shortest I'd had it in years.

I didn't know how to fill out the contracts so I copied off some in the files and off I went to the subdivisions. Didn't have a clue about the houses. I also didn't have a clue that everyone in the company except the manager who hired me was laughing their butt off about me. Where did Harry find this bumpkin?

The only thing I knew was I loved these houses. I adored them. I'd get excited right along with the people. "Well, I swear! Look at this bathroom! Isn't this to die for? Can't you just see a big fern in that corner?"

I was too stupid to realize the interest rates had jumped and everyone was moaning they'd never sell another house. I sold three. I filled out the contracts all wrong and took the people to the office where the secretary ridiculed me to high heaven in front of my customers until Harry told her to shut up and type up the contract.

I was too green to realize it was impossible to sell houses for this reason and that reason. I just knew I loved the houses and people fell in love with them with me. Harry told the secretary not to ever laugh at me again when I was out selling houses while everyone else sat around crying. Then he sat down with me and taught me how to write a contract.

Maybe I need to get back some of that green and just walk in like I'm in love with this story and you should be too.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

"Maybe I need to get back some of that green and just walk in like I'm in love with this story and you should be too. "

Well geeze, Julie, you wrote it 'cause you loved it, right? ;) I mean, that's my motivation, and if nothing else, I can always speak from my own selfishness. Of course you should walk in like that!

Anonymous said...


I always love my stories, but I think after so many years and so many revisions and so many rejections you start thinking, "Well, I guess maybe it isn't as lovable as I thought it was, but I should keep plugging away out of habit." You start losing the new story spark.

You know it's like when you hear a song and think oh that's kind of catchy and then you keep hearing it over and over and over again and you swear the next person who walks in with that playing you're not even going to say a word, you're just going to punch them in the mouth and destroy whatever electronic device it's playing on?

Maybe I'm the only one who gets those feelings.

Julie said...

Hi everyone,
I know this isn't anyone's favorite topic;
I know it's really late (2 am here in VT), and
I know you're all dreadfully sick of this (believe me when I say I AM TOO!)


5 weeks ago I was admitted with the worst pancreatitis I'd ever had without following a procedure - the pancreatic enzyme levels were 10x normal and my blood was moderately acidotic.

Well, today I got really ill.

Now my pancreatic enzyme (lipase) is 40x normal and then some and I am severely acidotic - and I'm scared.

I don't know how many of you pray in some form or other or just keep people in your thoughts, and Great White, I know it's off topic, but it's my sixth visit and third admission in a month and I just started getting to know everyone. I sort of would love the contact - it's on that thingy Colin put up, just don't use Twitter, I'm never on it. Email (julia.hoover1@gmail) & FB are best - I'd love the support - but don't feel compelled. Thanks so much.


Julie said...

Julie - 120k?

John Frain said...


I'm kinda new to these parts, but I'll take the first late shift thinking about you. I've been pretty lucky, so I've got some extra positive thoughts I can send your way.

Be strong.


angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

I want to categorize OP's question in my mind's file. Writers expecting too much of their dream agent. Not everyone has a voice like Sean Connery or blog like the Shark.

CynthiaMc said...

Good morning, Julia.

Starting off the days with prayers and healing vibes in your direction .

Cynthia McClendon

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Hey Julia, don't be scared babe, I'm on it. Am praying tons for you, I have the big guy's ear. Love and healing headed your way.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Hey John Frain, night shift guy. Kirkwood? I used to live in Mo.

DLM said...

Julia, I am a pray-er and will add you to those I pray for. Be well, and thank you for letting us know what's up and how you are.

Please accept virtual hugs, tea, or the treats of your choice. and if you let us know what you like, I'd bet you'll see 'em keep on coming.

Anonymous said...


I've seen too many miracles not to believe in them. I'm happy to pray.


Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Julia: prayers are absolutely coming your way. You've been having a rough time of it :( You just tell your pancreas to settle its biscuits!

Anonymous said...

Julie, take care of yourself. (((hugs))) Thoughts and prayers with you always.